The NBA announced its All-Star game reserves for both the Eastern and Western Conference, with Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook among the inclusions.
Averaging a triple-double this season, Westbrook was not named a Western Conference starter, however, he was added to the reserves on Thursday.
Westbrook – averaging 30.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists per game before Thursday this season – was among 14 reserves selected by the NBA’s coaches for the All-Star game in New Orleans on February 19.
“There’s no question in my mind that he should be starting,” Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said. “However, I understand that there’s certain things that have to do with who does start. I’m not taking anything away from anybody who is starting, but … Russell, in my opinion, should be starting.”
Westbrook will reunite with former Thunder team-mate and Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant in the west alongside reigning MVP Steph Curry, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Davis.
Warriors duo Klay Thompson and Draymond Green were also named in reserved, with DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings), Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies), and All-Star debutants DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers) and Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz) also included.
In the Eastern Conference, Charlotte Hornets star Kemba Walker was picked in the reserves, along with Isaiah Thomas (Boston Celtics), Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers), Paul George (Indiana Pacers), Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors), John Wall (Washington Wizards) and Paul Millsap (Atlanta Hawks).