Fans stunned Oklahoma City Thunder star is left out of NBA All-Star lineup
OKLAHOMA CITY – We’re only halfway through the NBA season, but Russell Westbrook already has accumulated 21 triple doubles and is averaging 30 points per game.
He was also the first player in All-Star history to be named MVP two years in a row.
Despite those statistics, it wasn’t enough to get him on the starting lineup for this year’s All-Star game.
Instead, Steph Curry and James Harden sealed those starting spots.
“I think that might be a little messed up. He might not be happy about it. I don’t blame him. I think he’s done a really good job for the team,” Matthew Erickson said.
Now, his teammates are reacting on social media.
Enes Kanter took to Twitter, adding that nobody deserves to start in the game over Russell Westbrook.
Oklahoma City Thunder’s Cam Payne played off of Westbrook’s ‘Why Not Foundation’ motto by tweeting, “#WhynotRuss.”
Experts say fans make up half of the vote, while players and members of the media make up the remaining percentages.
Experts say Westbrook topped both the media and peer group, but the fans voted him third.
“Number 1 media, number 1 by his peers and then third. That does not equal to not being a starter. He should be the first or second guy out there,” Jerry Ramsey, producer at 107.7 The Franchise, said.
Some experts believe where he’s from cost him the starting lineup.
“I think this is the first time a small market factor in Russell Westbrook’s career has bit him in the tail and that’s my honest opinion because the fan vote weighted so much on this vote that it kept him out of the All-Star game,” Dylan Buckingham, sports anchor at KFOR and host on 107.7 The Franchise, said.
Others think his attitude cost him.
“He’s a good player. There’s no doubt about that and the Thunder needs him, but he sometimes, he overreacts in my opinion,” Robert Baird said.
But this snub could make him even better on the court.
“He takes every little bit of negativity about what people say about him that he hears and he tailors it to his game and it makes him more fierce on the floor,” Buckingham said.
It will be up to the coaches to decide who will be a reserve.
The NBA All-Star game is in New Orleans on Feb. 19.