Bryant was voted in as Western Conference starter by the fans, but he missed the game with a sore left ankle. He didn't make the squad as a rookie in 1997. This would have been Bryant's 12th straight All-Star appearance if he had played.
O'Neal was selected to the squad as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers in 1997, but he did not participate in that game.
This was only the second time in O'Neal's 18-year career he wasn't chosen to play in the All-Star Game.