(Reuters) – Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook, a notable absentee from the starting line-ups for next month’s All-Star Game, was selected among the reserves for the marquee exhibition game, the NBA announced on Thursday.
Westbrook, averaging a league-best 30.7 points per game this season, gets the nod for the Western Conference reserves along with Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz, DeAndre Jordan of the LA Clippers, Sacramento Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins, Memphis Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol, and Draymond Green and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors.
The All-Star Game’s most valuable player in 2015 and 2016, Westbrook was overlooked as a West starting guard in voting by fans, players and the media as Golden State’s Stephen Curry and James Harden of the Houston Rockets were selected instead.
Westbrook, 28, who is averaging a triple-double (including 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists) through 46 games this season, will be making his sixth All-Star Game appearance.
The Eastern Conference reserves are Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets, Indiana Pacers’ Paul George, Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry, Paul Millsap of the Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas and John Wall of the Washington Wizards.
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in St Augustine, Florida; Editing by John O’Brien)