Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder is averaging a triple-double and is the prohibitive favorite to be named the N.B.A.’s most valuable player, but he will not be starting in the All-Star Game. And he can blame the league’s fans for that.
The news shocked many around the N.B.A. when it was announced Thursday, with Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and James Harden of the Houston Rockets beating out Westbrook for the starting guard spots on the Western Conference squad that will take the court Feb. 19 in New Orleans.
In a new voting system in which the fans, the players and the news media all got a portion of the vote, Westbrook’s dominant season helped him finish first among the players and the news media, but third in the tiebreaking fan vote, more than 200,000 votes behind both Curry and Harden.
The reaction among…