Kobe Bryant to Miss All-Star Game

Fans may be disappointed, but it could be good long term for Kobe and the Lakers.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Kobe Bryant, who missed the last three Lakers games with a sprained ankle, will now not take part in the All-Star Game Sunday in Dallas.

    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.

    Kurt Helin lives in Los Angeles and is the lead writer on NBC's NBA blog Pro Basketball Talk (which you can also follow in twitter).