The day after a game where Warriors center ZaZa Pachulia stood over Westbrook like the Undertaker after a hard foul, and after that same game Westbrook had some harsh words, the voting results for the NBA All-Star game’s starters came out and Russell Westbrook’s name was no where to be found.
Yup you read right. Last Thursday, the starters for the 2017 NBA All-Star game were announced both for the Eastern and Western conference. Surprisingly Russell Westbrook who is top two in the MVP race did not make the starting lineup after being named the game’s MVP last season. All-Star starters included Western Conference: Stephen Curry, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis. Eastern Conference: Kyrie Irving, Demar Derozan, Jimmy Butler, Lebron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo. Social Media erupted in confusion as Warriors guard Stephen Curry made it over Westbrook. Not to say that Curry shouldn’t have made it but Westbrook is averaging a triple double through 34 games. He is averaging 30.6 PPG 10.6 APG and 10.4 RPG and might be the biggest snub in NBA history.
Does this mean that the All-Star voting is a joke? The league did try and switch up the way All-Star voting was done by giving the fans 50% of the voting but that still turned out in this debacle. He got the votes from players and media, but not from the fans. Westbrook still has a chance to make the All-Star game as a reserve but that isn’t the point. How does a player averaging a triple double and is top two in the MVP race not automatically be named an All-Star starter? As if Russell Westbrook needed any more fuel to add to his revenge tour this season he has 21 triple doubles himself and the All-Star starters combined only have 19.
We all knew something would be wrong with the voting when ZaZa Pachulia was starting at center after the first two voting ballots were released. The NBA has had a history of snubbing people who deserve to make the game but the fan voting has always played a big factor. Other notable snubs for this years game is Isaiah Thomas and Joel Embiid. I know I am not the only one that feels like the NBA needs to change the voting system for the All-Star game because now it’s just become a popularity contest with no real meaning. The All-Star game use to mean something to the players and the fans it was a badge of honor because for the first half of the season you were playing at an elite level. Now you just have to be a bi enough face to make it. The NBA will have to release a statement sooner or later about the snubbing and something will eventually have to be changed. For right now though we will wait for the reserve list to be released next Thursday.