The NBA’s Western Conference is absolutely loaded with talent this season. So heading into Tuesday night, it was pretty much guaranteed that at least one or two star players from the West were going to get snubbed when the NBA All-Star reserves were announced. But that didn’t stop Russell Westbrook from going off after he found out his teammate Paul George was one of those players who won’t get the chance to play in the All-Start Game this season due to an overwhelming amount of talent in the West.
While Westbrook himself was named an All-Star reserve this season, George—who is averaging 20.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.1 steals per game during his first season with the Thunder—was left off the team when the reserves were revealed on Tuesday. Westbrook responded by referring to the snub as "outrageous" after Oklahoma City’s win over the Nets. He also threw some not-so-subtle shade in the direction of the Warriors and Damian Lillard while explaining why George definitely deserved a spot on the All-Star roster this season.
"Unbelievable," Westbrook said. "I think it’s just outrageous, in my opinion. I don’t know who else made the team, but you got four people from one team, you’ve got guys complaining about getting snubbed until they get in, you’ve got guys just talking about it all the time. But the guys that deserve it—should be in—are not. I just don’t understand. Doesn’t make any sense."
The "four people from one team" Westbrook alluded to are obviously Golden State’s Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, while the "guys complaining about getting snubbed until they get in" is a reference to Lillard. The Trail Blazers star spoke with ESPN.com at length last week about his feelings on getting left off the All-Star team in 2017.
Westbrook continued by making his case for George.
"Guy leads the league in steals, competes every night, top two at his position. Don’t make any sense, regardless of anything else," Westbrook said. "If you’re going by All-Stars, there are certain All-Stars in this league. Everybody’s not an All-Star. Just because you get voted in doesn’t mean you’re an All-Star. I just think it’s outrageous. But you know, it is what it is."
Carmelo Anthony spoke on George’s snub as well. He wasn’t quite as upset as Westbrook, but he also thought it was absurd to see the list of All-Star reserves without George’s name on it. Additionally, Anthony spoke about what it was like for him to miss out on making the All-Star team for the first time since 2009.
George was obviously upset about not making the All-Star team, but he found a way to put a positive spin on it. He pointed out that missing out on the All-Star Game will give him a chance to recover from the first half of the season.
"I didn’t make All-Star," he said. "It is what it is. I’ve got a longer break in between the season now."
If you didn’t catch the list of players who will represent the West as reserves in the All-Star Game, you can check it out below.
The 2018 NBA All-Star Game will take place in Los Angeles on Feb. 18.