Westbrook named as reserve for All-Star game
BASKETBALL: Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant are teammates again and Gordon Hayward, DeAndre Jordan and Kemba Walker are about to get their first opportunity on the All-Star stage.
Meanwhile, Dwyane Wade's run of 12 straight selections in the NBA's midseason showcase is on the cusp of ending.
Westbrook - the NBA's scoring leader and triple-double machine - was among 14 reserves selected by the league's coaches for the All-Star Game that will be played in New Orleans on February 19.
The Oklahoma City guard and two-time reigning All-Star MVP is averaging 30.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists per game, so his selection was likely an easy one.
"There's no question in my mind that he should be starting," Thunder coach Billy Donovan said Thursday night.
"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."
Being picked reunites Westbrook in the Western Conference locker room with Durant, his former Thunder teammate who is now part of a record-tying feat for Golden State.
The Warriors tied the league mark with four selections, with reserves Draymond Green and Klay Thompson joining two teammates announced as starters last week - Durant and Stephen Curry.
NBA ALL-STAR RESERVES
EAST: Isaiah Thomas (Celtics), John Wall (Wizards), Kevin Love (Cavaliers), Kyle Lowry (Raptors), Paul George (Pacers), Kemba Walker (Hornets), Paul Millsap (Hawks).
WEST: Russell Westbrook (Thunder), Klay Thompson (Warriors), Draymond Green (Warriors), DeMarcus Cousins (Kings), Marc Gasol (Grizzlies), DeAndre Jordan (Clippers), Gordon Hayward (Jazz).
EAST STARTERS: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks), Jimmy Butler (Bulls), DeMar DeRozan (Raptors), LeBron James (Cavaliers), Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers).
WEST STARTERS: Stephen Curry (Warriors), Kevin Durant (Warriors), James Harden (Rockets), Kawhi Leonard (Spurs), Anthony Davis (Pelicans).