Friday, January 20, 2017

Russ Gets Snubbed Again

This has got to be the most mentally challenging year Russell Westbrook has ever endured. Start it off with Kevin Durant leaving for Golden State while constantly throwing shade towards Russ, and now he is snubbed out of the starting All Star lineup. Lets break this down from the beginning.

Kevin Durant and the Thunder lost in the 2016 NBA Conference Championship after being ahead 3 games to 1. After losing to the Golden State Warriors, Durant publicly states 'We will get them next year'. The Warriors go on to the NBA Finals where ultimately they lose to LeBron and his Cavaliers (in an epic 3-1 comeback). Now in the offseason, chatter arises that Durant might be taking his talents elsewhere; such as Golden State, New York, or even Los Angeles. Russ meanwhile, was left in the dark and had to find out that his "best friend" and teammate decided to pack up and go to Golden State through a text message. That's right, Golden State. The team that beat them in the NBA Conference Championship, the team that KD claimed they would beat next season, and the team loaded with so many superstars they could have their own NBA All Star lineup. After Durant departed, he left Russ to deal with the media uproar and Russ was left just as stunned as all of us were. To make things worse, Durant goes on to say how he could never win with Russ because all they did was play 'hero ball' and fight over who would take the last shot. Needless to say, Russ has some built up aggression from all of this over the last 6 months. Now lets flash forward to this season.

Russell Westbrook is now the obvious MVP front runner. He is averaging a triple double and is carrying the Oklahoma City Thunder. Durant is having a tremendous season as well with the Warriors but with all the usage that Russ is getting it would be hard for anyone to be ahead of him in the MVP race. James Harden however, is pretty close. Ever since Mike D'Antoni took over, he has transitioned Harden from SG to PG and made a spectacular Point Guard out of James Harden and it's showing on the court. With that being said, there is still no player in the NBA having a better season than Russell Westbrook. Now, last night TNT released the All Star lineups for the East and the West and guess who is missing from the starting lineup. That's right, Russell Westbrook. He didn't make the cut due to Steph Curry and James Harden (both are tremendous players, but neither is having the type of season Russ is). This type of neglect from the fans is simply outrageous. The NBA All Star vote has been divided up this season with 50% of the vote going to the fans, 25% going to the media, and 25% going to the players. Russ ranked number 1 in media vote, and player vote but got 3rd place in fan vote behind Steph and Harden. Now essentially this means there was a three way tie for the 2 starting positions in the All Star game, but in the rules it states that tie breakers go to the fan vote leaving Russ out of the lineup. The fans have already proven that hey are incredibly irresponsible at selecting All Stars and this further proves that point. If this All Star vote was left 100% to the fans then we would be seeing Zaza Pechulia in the All Star game. That's who the fans selected. Unbelievable in every possible way. The only good that can come from this is that now Russ will be even more determined to annihilate all of his competition. The man already has the passion that burns with the power of a thousand suns and that has just been increased ten fold. So, from a truly reluctant fan of his play, I want to say I'm sorry Russell Westbrook. The fans have let you down to highest degree.

Here is a model to help you understand the All Star voting breakdown

Backcourt: Top 10
1Stephen Curry, GS*1332.0
2James Harden, HOU*2222.0
3Russell Westbrook, OKC3112.0
4Klay Thompson, GS4845.0
5Chris Paul, LAC5645.0
6Damian Lillard, POR8466.5
7Eric Gordon, HOU71568.75
8CJ McCollum, POR165610.75
9Andre Iguodala, GS922611.5
10Manu Ginobili, SA1020611.5
* All-Star starter (Curry, Harden win fan-vote tiebreaker)

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