Report: James Harden Will Replace Kobe Bryant As All-Star Game Starter

02.14.14 4 years ago
Kobe Bryant, James Harden

Kobe Bryant, James Harden (Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports)

Rockets GM Daryl Morey vented about it on Twitter when the All-Star starters were announced, and it appears that a Rocket will be a starter in the 2014 All-Star Game after all. Sources tell Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports that James Harden will take Kobe Bryant‘s spot as a starting guard for the Western Conference in the 2014 All-Star Game this Sunday.

Per Yahoo:

Injured Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will be replaced as a Western Conference All-Star starter by Houston Rockets guard James Harden, a source told Yahoo Sports.

Bryant (988,884) and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (1,047,281) earned the right to start in the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday after securing the top two vote totals for West guards in the fan balloting. Bryant, however, will miss the game due to a knee injury and has not played since Dec. 17. Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks, who is coaching the West All-Stars, chose Harden as a starter.

It was actually a rival coach, OKC’s Scott Brooks, that selected Harden to start. Maybe that’s because Brooks had the pleasure of coaching Harden in Oklahoma City before the Beard was controversially traded to Houston in the fall of 2012. But the Thunder, and Harden, seem to have adapted well since parting ways two summer’s ago.

Harden is making his second straight All-Star game appearance in a Rockets uniform and averaging 23.9 points, 5.3 assists and 4.7 rebounds in 38.4 minutes a night. He’s also sporting a true shooting percentage of 60, which calculates shooting efficiency on two-pointers, three-pointers and free throws. The Rockets are tied for the third-best record in the West.

Meanwhile, Brooks and the Thunder have the top record in the league and the front-runner for MVP.


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