Kobe says Dirk will be MVP of ASG

With the reigning MVP of the All-Star Game sidelined for this year's event, who will win the honor this year?

"Dirk," Kobe Bryant said Saturday. "He should, he should come out and play the way he plays in Dallas."

Bryant shared MVP honors last year with Shaquille O'Neal, but will miss the game with a sore left ankle. Western Conference coach George Karl tabbed Mavericks forward Nowitzki to replace Bryant in the starting lineup.

Bryant believes the All-Stars will follow usual game tradition of trying to set up the hometown player.

"I certainly would," Bryant said. "He should go out there and just play his game. He's well deserving."