It's only right.
Fans weren't going to let Kobe Bryant walk away from the game of basketball without seeing him start in the NBA All-Star Game one last time.
The Black Mamba received 1.9 million votes Thursday, more than any other player this year, to be named to his 18th and final All-Star Game, which will be played February 14 in Toronto.
The honor puts Bryant in the company of Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and John Havlicek as the fourth player to start an All-Star Game at 37 or older.
"I look forward to hopefully being healthy and going out there and playing well," Bryant told ESPN, perhaps looking for his fifth All-Star MVP in the process.
Already, Bryant owns the record for the most points scored in the All-Star Game with 280.
Joining him as Western Conference starters for the All-Star Game will be Stephen Curry of the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard and the Oklahoma City Thunder duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
They'll be up against the Eastern Conference All-Star starters, consisting of LeBron James from the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, Indiana Pacers forward Paul George, Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade and Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry, representing the host city.
There's no doubt, though, that this All-Star Game will be all about Kobe.
"It'll be a special All-Star because this is Kobe's last run," Wade told ESPN.
Not everyone is pleased by the starters that were voted in, though.
Noticeably missing from the West's starting five was Warriors small forward Draymond Green, despite averaging career highs in points (14.5) and rebounds (9.5) in helping the team own a league-best 39-4 record.
James Harden, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul and Jimmy Butler were a few more players that didn't receive enough votes to be named starters for the game, although it's likely that they'll be called upon as All-Star reserves.
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(Photos from left: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images, Mitchell Leff/Getty Images, Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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