Other Sports
 
     === News Summaries from The Sports Network - Thursday, December 25 ===
 
 
              === James, Curry lead initial All-Star balloting ===
 
 New  York,  NY (SportsNetwork.com) -  The first  ballots are in, and Cavaliers
 forward  LeBron James  holds a slim lead over Warriors guard Stephen Curry for
 leading-vote getter for the 2015 NBA All-Star game.
 
 James,  an All-Star  starter in 10 straight seasons and two-time All-Star MVP,
 has  accumulated a league-best 552,967 votes, while Curry sits just behind him
 with 549,095 votes.
 
 This season's game will be played Feb. 15 at Madison Square Garden.
 
 New  York forward  Carmelo Anthony  (265,170) and  Chicago big  man Pau  Gasol
 (247,953)  are  on pace to start  in the frontcourt for the Eastern Conference
 next  to  James. Washington point guard  John Wall (299,209) and James' former
 teammate with Miami, Dwyane Wade (265,917), lead all East guards.
 
 Pelicans  power forward  Anthony Davis is third in overall voting with 524,623
 votes.  Lakers  guard Kobe  Bryant (521,542)  , who  passed Michael Jordan for
 third on the NBA's all-time scoring list earlier this season, is fourth.
 
 Clippers  forward Blake  Griffin  (307,908) and  Grizzlies  center Marc  Gasol
 (227,554) are also on pace to start for the West.
 
 Voting  will  continue through Jan.  19 and the  starters will be announced on
 Jan. 22.
 
 
                        === Bryant out against Bulls ===
 
 Chicago,  IL  (SportsNetwork.com) - Los  Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant cited
 "old  age"  and "sore knees"  as his reasons  for sitting out Thursday night's
 game against the Chicago Bulls.
 
 "It's  extremely difficult,  especially playing here, playing on Christmas Day
 and  playing in this city. I love playing here," Bryant said while speaking to
 reporters. "The fans have always been great. There's always a lot of energy in
 the  building. At the same time, I've just got to try to be smart. It's really
 going against my nature, but I've got to be smart about this."
 
 The  36-year-old  Bryant, who is  averaging 24.6  points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.9
 assists, did not play in Tuesday's home win over Golden State. Thursday was to
 have been his 16th career game played on Christmas Day.
 
 "Old  age. My  knees are sore at  this stage of the season," Bryant commented.
 "My  Achilles are sore, both of them. My metatarsals are tight, back is tight.
 I just need to kind of hit the reset button.
 
 "When  I have  a  couple of  days,  the body  realizes how  messed  up it  is.
 Everything else starts hurting."
 
 Bryant  currently  averages 35.4 minutes  played over 27 contests this season,
 but his court time will be cut down.
 
 "I'll  get  back to being healthy  like I was at  the start of the season," he
 said.
 
 12/25 19:48:17 ET