The NBA Needs Russell Westbrook to Start Next to Kevin Durant at the All-Star Game

The current NBA All-Star voting puts Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors in the lineup, while the backcourt will be Stephen Curry and James Harden of the Houston Rockets. Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder? He’s 3rd on the guards votes, something that would be amazing if it changes.

Why? Well, if you haven’t been following the NBA for the last few months, Durant and Westbrook are no longer teammates. Furthermore, they really don’t like each other anymore. No one on the Thunder likes Durant. No one in Oklahoma City likes him. He may have done what’s right by him and his career, but for the franchise, the city, the fans and his teammates, he’s a traitor and a hypocrite. Which is why the potential clashes between the two teams and especially Durant and Westbrook have such an explosive potential to them. So imagine what it could be like if they’re teammates.

Can it happen? Durant is a lock to make the starting lineup in the West, leading all votes in the conference. Westbrook is 3rd on the voting charts, with 501,652 votes going his way. Curry leads with 523,597, followed by James Harden with 519,446. Not impossible to close, but it does seem difficult. Westbrook doesn’t have to worry about anyone else; Klay Thompson is 4th with less than 300,000 votes coming his way so far.

What could happen? Nothing much. It’d be more of the ‘cut the tension with a knife’ kind of situation. Westbrook won’t pass to Durant. Maybe the two will try to outdo each other play after play, going into ‘Kobe Bryant’ mode, which means forgetting that they have teammates (something Westbrook does with ease) and trying to make the All-Star game about themselves. It’s completely fine on All-Star night as long as the fans are happy.

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Maybe this is all some misguided thinking. It’s quite possible that when they’re on the floor together playing in the same jersey, all the animosity will disappear. And in any case, Steve Kerr is going to coach the game, so he doesn’t need to put them on the floor together, especially if Westbrook doesn’t get selected to the starting lineup. But in a league that’s sometimes lacking when it comes to individual rivalries, having Westbrook and Durant having to share the floor has some very interesting potential which I presume everyone would love to see fulfilled.