Bryant, Iverson Out of NBA All-Star Weekend

Kobe BryantThe projected Texas shootout between Kobe Bryant and LeBron James in this weekend’s NBA All-Star Game in Dallas fizzled out, as the Lakers guard begged off from playing due to an injury. Bryant has missed the Lakers’ last three games because of an ankle injury. Commissioner David Stern has named Dallas point guard Jason Kidd to replace Bryant in the West roster. It will be Kidd’s 10th All-Star appearance. The veteran point guard had already set a Phoenix vacation for the weekend when Stern made the call.

Meanwhile, Allen Iverson will also miss the action this weekend. The Philadelphia 76ers guard opted out of the festivities to tend to his youngest child, who is reportedly sick. New York Knicks center David Lee will suit up in place of Iverson. Lee will be making his first All-Star team. He is averaging 20 points and 11 points, numbers that are impressive enough for him to become the first Knick to get an All-Star spot since 2001, when Allan Houston and Latrell Sprewell were both selected.