*B-ball fans can wonder no more whether Kobe Bryant will play in this weekend’s All-Star game.

That’s because Thursday the NBA announced that Bryant would not play because of a sprained left ankle.

The Lakers guard will be replaced by Dallas veteran Jason Kidd.

Bryant has missed the Lakers’ last three games and did not speak with reporters about his All-Star status after sitting out a victory over Utah on Wednesday.

It will be the first All-Star game Bryant has missed since the 1999 lockout and the first time he has not participated in a game that has been played since his rookie season in 1997.

Bryant was co-most valuable player of the game last season with Shaquille O’Neal.

Allen Iverson the Philadelphia 76ers’ guard will also miss Sunday’s All-Star game for personal reasons and will be replaced by the New York Knicks’ David Lee.