The second round of votes have been counted up by the NBA, and Kobe Bryant is the first player to break the one million vote mark. His 1,262,118 votes are still more than Kevin Durant (616,096) and LeBron James (636,388) combined, and he's all but sealed his place on the Western Conference squad when they travel to Toronto.
The second-most voted for through round two? The reigning Most Valuable Player and champion Stephen Curry, not far behind the Black Mamba with 925,789 votes. Curry is positioned to be the only player who might be able to surpass Kobe before voting closes on Jan. 18, but with only 11 days left before polls close, it'd be surprising to see that gap close while Bryant continues piling up up massive returns in what will be his final All-Star game.
One more trip through All-Star weekend festivities for Kobe should make for an enjoyable weekend for the fans, who clearly want to see the five-time champion play with the rest of the NBA's marquee players. His play has been down this year, but that doesn't change the fact that his fans around the world are going to give any support they can until he unlaces his Nike's one last time.
Kobe's done his part as an ambassador for the NBA's week of celebration... :
... and giving him one last opportunity to partake in it is hardly the worst thing for the NBA. Considering how many people want to see him put on a show one last time, flanked by the likes of Chris Paul and Durant, it's arguably the best thing possible to get as many eyes as possible on the league.
Here's the full vote tally with just over a week left. Mamba in.