NEW YORK, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Kobe Bryant, even though he has played in just six contests this season, was named Thursday as a starter for this year's NBA All-Star Game.
Bryant piled up enough votes in fan balloting to become a member of the Western Conference All-Star team for the 16th time. Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, with 19, has had more All-Star appearances than Bryant.
Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder led the West players in voting and, along with Bryant, will be joined in the starting lineup by Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers, Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors.
Miami's LeBron James received the most votes overall and will be part of an Eastern Conference starting five, which includes Miami's Dwyane Wade, Indiana's Paul George, New York's Carmelo Anthony and Cleveland's Kyrie Irving.
The All-Star Game will be played Feb. 16 in New Orleans.
Bryant missed the start of the season following surgery on a torn Achilles and then played six games before fracturing his left knee.