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If You Didn’t Vote for Russell Westbrook for All-Star, We’re Not Friends

Haven’t we been through enough?

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The starting lineups for the NBA All-Star Game were released on Thursday and they are as follows: From a loaded Western Conference, the starting five is Golden State Warriors teammates Steph Curry and Kevin Durant, Houston’s James Harden, San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard, and New Orleans center Anthony Davis. Out of the Eastern Conference, we get Cleveland teammates LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, plus Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan, and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo. The matchup between Davis and either LeBron or Antetokounmpo in the post means that the two teams will probably score a combined 5,000 points in regulation, so this is great.

It’s also terrible and a travesty and a gross miscarriage of justice.

Why? [Clambers up on top of five stacked soapboxes, adjusts settings on bullhorn.] For one thing, Isaiah Thomas is not starting in the All-Star Game. He has been scooped up from a crop of slippery, indomitable, and shorter-than-average freewheeling guards by Allen Iverson himself to join him in his Reebok-branded cloud castle.

It’s unfortunate, but what’s that extremely astronomically incorrect saying? If you shoot at the moon and miss, at least you’re among the stars? At the very least Thomas is, you know, up here, so that I can forgive.

Kyle Lowry, who is averaging 22.2 points per game (with an effective field goal percentage of 58.9 percent) and 7.1 assists, and is somehow, getting better at 30 years old, is not an All-Star starter.

But Lowry doesn’t compel me to grouse much either, and it was either him or Kyrie Irving, so that, too, I can forgive.

What I cannot forgive, and will forever hold against all of you, is that Russell “Zeus Genes” Westbrook is not an All-Star starter. Yes, the very same guy who has the second-most assists among NBA players this season, who is leading the league in scoring, and who is averaging a triple-double, which, in all NBA history, literally only Oscar Robertson has successfully done. That Russell Westbrook.

This Russell Westbrook.

This is like if Bill Belichick starts Jimmy Garoppolo over Tom Brady when the Patriots eventually reach the Super Bowl. This is like if Mongol laid siege to the earth and the Justice League benched Superman. This is like if Murphy Lee’s verse didn’t make it to the final remix of “Welcome To Atlanta.”

I understand that the All-Star Game is just a glorified exhibition, but Russell Westbrook doesn’t, and if you had anything to do with his exclusion from it, I hope that every soda you drink from henceforth is already shaken up.