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 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.