Kobe was the highest vote getter in the Western Conference. He will be replaced by a hometown player — Jason Kidd of the Dallas Mavericks. Also out is Allen Iverson, due to a family matter, to be replaced by the Knicks David Lee.
Kobe sprained his ankle when Lamar Odom stepped on his foot during the Lakers win over Charlotte. He sat out the next three games, saying his ankle was too sore to push off and run on. The Lakers still won those three games, with Pau Gasol leading the way and improved Lakers defense over all.
Lakers trainer Gary Vitti had said he hoped Kobe would sit out games through the weekend, but Kobe said he would make his decision based on how his ankle felt.
Still, more time off to rest not only his ankle but also his sore back and fractured finger — not to mention just tired legs — heading into the final stretch of the season and the playoffs could be the best thing for him and the team.