It’s official: James Harden will start the 2017 NBA All-Star Game.
That may seem silly as far as being news. After all, Harden is having a monster year and is the leading candidate for MVP through half the season. But in the West, it’s not that simple.
Stephen Curry, a media darling, is coming off back-to-back MVP seasons. Russell Westbrook, a huge fan favorite, is averaging a triple-double. With only two guards allowed to start, the clear frontrunner was not even a lock to crack the top two.
But they got it right and Harden gets the starting nod. This is the fifth time Harden will be on the All-Star team but the first time he will be a starter. It’s extremely well deserved. The Rockets are 33-12 behind Harden’s averages of 28.9 points on 44.4% shooting, a league-leading 11.6 assists and 8.3 rebounds.
Props to Houston’s fans who did their part, staying on top of social media to help get the fan vote. The media and players made up the other 50%, but the fan vote was going to play a big role.