Two of the best players in the NBA this season won’t even start in the league’s All-Star Game.
The NBA announced the five starters for both the Eastern and Western conferences Thursday night in a TNT special, and Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook and Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas weren’t among the 10 names. ESPN’s Chris Haynes was the first to report the news.
The Western Conference’s starters in the Feb. 19 game in New Orleans will be Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, Houston Rockets point guard James Harden, Warriors forward Kevin Durant, San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard and New Orleans Pelicans center Anthony Davis.
Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving, Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler, Cavaliers forward LeBron James and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo will start for the Eastern Conference.
Here’s a breakdown of how the voting process:
Westbrook is averaging a triple-double with 30.6 points, 10.4 assists and 10.6 rebounds per game, but he was in a tough voting bloc with Curry and Harden. Thomas, meanwhile, is averaging 28.7 points per game, good for fourth in the NBA.
The media and players would have had Thomas as a starter, though.
And it was a very close race in the Western Conference, too.
It’s probably a good guess both will be among the reserves picked by NBA coaches. Those names will be announced next Thursday.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images