MX23RW : Monday, July 23 00:30:12

Kobe Bryant to sit out All-Star game

Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant says that he will sit out the All-Star game to allow younger players the change to feature.

Kobe Bryant has said that he will not play in next month's All-Star game, even though he finished third in the fans' vote for the Western Conference.

The Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard was named in the starting lineup for next month's game, despite missing the majority of this season with Achilles and knee injuries.

The 35-year-old told ESPN: "With all due respect to the fans that voted me in - I certainly appreciate that, they know how much I appreciate that - but you got to do the right thing as well.

"My fans know you got to reward these young guys for the work that they've been putting in. I think it's important for them to go in and perform.

"They've been playing all season. They deserve to be in there. They deserve to play. So, I see no reason why they shouldn't be out there doing their thing."

Bryant, who has featured in just six games this season, has been voted to the All-Star game 16 times during his career.

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Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant rises high to dunk against the New Orleans Pelicans on April 22, 2011
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