NBA All Star Game

Adam Silver 'Hopes to See' Kobe Bryant at 2016 NBA All-Star Game

Dec 9, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant (24) looks on during the first half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2015

Kobe Bryant's NBA farewell tour officially kicked off last Tuesday in Philadelphia, but it remains to be seen if the Los Angeles Lakers legend will make a stop in Toronto for the 2016 All-Star Game.

However, the 17-time All-Star has one big supporter when it comes to his All-Star prospects: NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

After balloting for the All-Star game opened Thursday, Silver spoke with SiriusXM NBA Radio and admitted he thinks Bryant should get a sendoff at the midseason exhibition. 

"I hope to see him there," Silver said, according to the Los Angeles Times' Eric Pincus. "I think he deserves to be there. He's going to retire as one of the NBA's greatest players."

The complete sound bite can be heard below, courtesy of SoundCloud.

While Bryant's numbers are hardly worthy of an 18th selection, there's no denying it would be a great tribute to one of the sport's biggest ambassadors to see him living it up on the All-Star hardwood one final time.

Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding noted Bryant's positional shift could tilt votes in his favor:

Bryant has captured four All-Star Game MVPs (2002, 2007, 2009 and 2011) over the course of his career and ranks first all-time with 280 points in All-Star competition, according to Basketball-Reference.com.

Fan voting is scheduled to end Jan. 19, so it will be fascinating to see how the results play out in advance of the Feb. 14 clash in Canada.

If Bryant is ultimately left out of the starting five and snubbed from the coaches' reserve vote, the possibility of the league's adding Bryant as an honorary member of the Western Conference squad could be enticing.

"We'll see what the fans and the coaches decide, and then we'll go from there," Silver said, per Pincus.

Despite his underwhelming performance throughout the first month-and-a-half of the season, it would be hard to argue Bryant's legacy doesn't deserve recognition on the All-Star stage one final time.

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