Retiring Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant leads all vote-getters for the 2016 NBA All-Star Game based on the second update announced Thursday.
The NBA's All-Star Game Twitter feed provided the current voting results, which also included positional leads for LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors in their respective conferences:
2018 NBA All-Star @NBAAllStar
Presenting the second returns of #NBAAllStarTO Voting presented by @Verizon! https://t.co/7SYpaqHa1f https://t.co/7gIH3FhpZU1/7/2016, 6:06:02 PM
Bryant continues to lead the pack by a significant margin, racking up more than double the amount of votes as the next member of the Western Conference frontcourt, Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Fans have shown the Lakers legend plenty of love since he announced his intention to walk away from the game at season's end. He still admitted his surprise about the All-Star voting results when the first batch was released in late December, per Baxter Holmes of ESPN.
"Listen, I was making a little coffee run this morning, got some gas and decided to just go on Instagram and peruse," Bryant said, "and [I] saw the damn votes, and I was like, 'What the hell?' Shocked doesn't do it justice."
As of now, Bryant, Durant and Curry would be joined by the Warriors' Draymond Green and the Thunder's Russell Westbrook in the West starting lineup.
Those results may shift in the coming days, however. James, Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul cast votes for each other, among others, on social media this week, which could bolster each of their totals as the voting continues.
LeBron James @KingJames
#NBAVote @carmeloanthony1/4/2016, 8:03:38 PM
The closest race right now is for the third forward spot in the West. Green is battling San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard. The difference is currently less than 2,000 votes, so that battle between two of the NBA's top defenders could go right down to the wire.
That said, the overall vote totals show this year's game will be a celebration of Bryant's terrific career more than anything else.