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Kobe Bryant on All-Star Game voting lead: ‘Shocked doesn’t do it justice’

Kobe Bryant holds more than a 200,000 votes advantage on Stephen Curry in All-Star Game voting.
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Los Angeles Lakers veteran Kobe Bryant leads NBA All-Star voting by more than 200,000 votes after first returns, the NBA announced Friday. 

Bryant has 719,235 votes, more than 200,000 ahead of Warriors guard Stephen Curry, who has the second-most total. Cavaliers forward LeBron James is the highest vote-getter in the Eastern Conference with 357,937. 

Last month, Bryant announced that he would retire from the NBA following the 2015–16 season. Bryant has made 17 All–Star games during his career, only missing out twice. 

In the Western Conference frontcourt tallies, Bryant is trailed by Kevin Durant, who has 349,473 votes. 

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Bryant expressed his surprise at the initial voting after the Lakers’ 94–84 loss against the Clippers on Christmas.

“I was making a little coffee run, getting some gas, decided to go on Instagram and peruse and saw the damn votes. I was like, ‘What the hell?’ Shocked doesn’t do it justice,” Bryant told reporters. “It’s exciting. What can I say? Just thankful.”

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When asked about his thoughts regarding playing in the All-Star Game, Bryant gave a little bit of a hint.

“It’s a huge honor, it’s cool. All-star Games are always tough because there are always players who deserve it who don’t make it, every year, with the amount of talent that we have [in the NBA]. That part of it is tough,” Bryant said. “I’ll have plenty of time off coming up. I enjoy trying to play as much as I can.”

Heat guard Dwyane Wade has the second-highest vote total in the Eastern Conference with 300,595. Pacers forward Paul George trails him with 283,785. 

You can see a more complete list of voting totals below. 

The 2016 NBA All-Star game will be played on Feb. 14 in Toronto. 

- Stanley Kay