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LeBron James passes Lakers icon Kobe Bryant for most All-Star Game starts

Lakers, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James now holds the record for most starts in an NBA All-Star Game, passing the late icon Kobe Bryant during the Team LeBron versus Team Giannis showcase at the United Center on Sunday.

The King, who was named an All-Star captain for the third straight year, recorded his 16th All-Star start and passed Bryant who had 15 starts during his 20-year career with the Lakers.

NBA Hall of Famers Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Bob Cousy are on a three-way tie for third place after each making 13 starts in the mid-season spectacle.

LeBron James has started every All-Star game since making it for the first time way back in his sophomore season in 2005. Now 35 years old and on his 17th year in the league, James looks like there will still be more All-Star appearances in store for him in the future.

LeBron James and Kobe Bryant’s storied careers, meanwhile, will always be intertwined. The pair have developed an even stronger bond when James took his talents to the Lakers last year.

Tragedy struck just a day after James passed Bryant as the NBA’s third all-time leading scorer, as The Black Mamba —  along with eight others —  shockingly passed away in a helicopter crash on January 26.

This year’s All-Star game has been an endless ode to Bryant’s massive influence on the game of basketball. Team Giannis and Team LeBron are donning no. 24 and no. 2 jerseys for Kobe and daughter Gianna. The All-Star game format has also been altered in his honor, while the All-Star MVP award has permanently named for the Kobe Bryant MVP award.