James Harden reportedly will replace Kobe Bryant as starter in NBA All-Star Game
Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Scott Brooks, who is coaching the Western Conference All-Stars, has decided to insert Houston Rockets guard — and former Thunder player — James Harden into Kobe Bryant’s starting slot, according to a Yahoo! Sports report.
Kobe, who will not participate in the All-Star Game due to a knee injury and hasn’t played in a game since Dec. 17, received 988,884 votes and earned the start, according to arguably flawed means in which All-Star starters are determined.
But in the end, a more deserving — and healthy — player will get the nod. Harden is averaging 23.9 points, 5.3 assists and 4.7 rebounds this season while leading the Rockets to a 36-17 and riding high on a seven-game winning streak, capped by Harden’s heroics on Wednesday night when his game-winning buzzer-beater allowed Houston to enter the break on an absolute tear.
Bryant, meanwhile, insists that he has every intention of playing this season, despite having his comeback from Achilles surgery cut short at six games before succumbing to the knee injury.