Why Russell Westbrook Deserves All-Star Starter Nod Over the Rest

Credit: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Credit: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Why Russell Westbrook Deserves All-Star Starter Nod Over the Rest

Let me tell you about a man.

A man who’s superstar teammate abandoned him and left the team for dead. A man who has 21 triple-doubles in just 44 games. A man who is a Most Valuable Player candidate who plays with the most passion the game has seen in a long time. A man on pace to average a triple-double in an entire season.

That man is Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook, who has been snubbed an All-Star starting spot on the 2017 Western Conference roster.

Despite his historic start in the first half of the 2016-17 season, Westbrook failed to be voted into the Western Conference starting lineup for the NBA’s new All-Star voting format, which includes 50% from fans, 25% from players, and 25% from a select panel of media personalities. Out of all players, Westbrook is arguably the most deserving of them all.

According to NBA.com, Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, and James Harden—three MVP candidates this season—each had a weighted score of 2.0.


All Star Voting West



Harden ranked 2nd amongst the media, 3rd in player voting, and 2nd amongst fans. Curry, the NBA’s back-to-back Most Valuable Player and arguably the most famous player in today’s league, ranked 1st amongst fans, 3rd in player voting, and 3rd in media voting.

Then comes Westbrook, who ranked 1st in both media and player voting, but 3rd in fan voting.

If there was a tie in weighted score (which happened), the NBA declared whichever player lead in fan voting, no matter the media and player voting, would reign supreme.

Fans and media personalities took to Twitter to express that Westbrook’s snub is absurd. TNT analyst and NBA legend Charles Barkley spoke his mind, admitting “[Westbrook] deserves to be starting.”


Russell Westbrook is singlehandedly carrying the Oklahoma City Thunder this season—their 25-19 is good for 7th in the Western Conference standings. “Mr. Triple-Double,”—as they now call him—is averaging 30.6 league-leading points, 10.6 rebounds (11th in NBA), 10.4 assists (2nd in NBA), and 1.5 steals per game that would make the 2x All-Star Game Most Valuable Player the first player since Oscar Robertson in 1960-61 to average a triple-double over an entire season. Each time Westbrook steps on the court, he is already a triple-double threat.

But, before we could praise him to be perfect, we must recognize Russell Westbrook’s turnover woes and inefficiency this season. His 5.5 turnovers per game is a career-high and 42.3% shooting overall is nothing to brag about. Regardless, Westbrook plays with a chip on his shoulder every night and plays harder than the entire league combined. The inefficiency is expected, as he accounts for almost half of all of the Thunder’s points this season. He has partaken in all 42 of Oklahoma City’s games so far and if remains healthy, will play in all 82 of them, going berserk in each one.

He was abandoned. He was left for dead. He is playing this entire season pissed off and with a vengeance. Russell Westbrook being snubbed from the 2017 All-Star starters will have its consequences—for his opponents, of course.

Look out, NBA… A storm is coming.


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