NEW YORK, Jan. 17 (UPI) --
The NBA announced Thursday Kobe Bryant
had won a nationwide fan balloting and would appear in the league's All-Star Game for a record 15th straight year.
Bryant, whose Los Angeles Lakers are struggling to get back to the breakeven mark in the standings, will start for the Western Conference when the stars of the NBA meet in Houston on Feb. 17.
He received 1,591,437 votes, leading the balloting for the third time in his career. He had been tied with Jerry West, Karl Malone and Shaquille O'Neal with 14 straight All-Star appearances.
Miami's LeBron James was second in the voting and led in the Eastern Conference with 1,583,646 votes.
Bryant will be joined in the Western Conference starting lineup by teammate Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers and Kevin Durant of Oklahoma City.
In addition to James, the Eastern Conference starters will be Dwyane Wade of Miami, Carmelo Anthony of New York and Boston's Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo.
The seven reserve players for each side will be selected by the league's coaches and will be announced on Jan. 24.
James, who on Wednesday became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 20,000 points in a career, will be playing in his ninth All-Star Game.