On Thursday night the NBA announced its starting lineups in New Orleans for next month’s All-Star Game. The Eastern Conference led by the LeBron James and Kyrie Irving and joined by Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The new voting process kept unexpected names out of the lineup. Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors teammates) are the headliners for the West and are joined by Houston Rockets guard James Harden, New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis and San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard.
But the most famous name Russell Westbrook is not listed above. The new system of league instituted this year the fan vote counts for 50 percent of the tally, while the other 50 percent is evenly split between player and media voting. Players like Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas and Westbrook narrowly missed out on starting in the game. Westbrook wound up getting the most votes among players and media with Curry a distant third in each but the fan’s vote tipped the scales.
“About 324 players participated in the voting process”, said by NBA in order to have an impact on the voting. Although most of the votes were for rightful candidates but there were also individual votes for players like Quincy Pondexter and Mo Williams who have not played a game due to injury this season. 18 players in the East and 14 players in the West received individual votes by 96 media members and majority votes concentrated among a small group of players. Only LeBron James was voted by every media members.
Westbrook is the leading scorer and he is a single-handedly trying to do best for Oklahoma City. He is the only player who averaged a triple-double for an entire season.