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James Harden to start All-Star Game for Kobe Bryant

Feb 14, 2014, 9:33 AM EDT

Houston Rockets v Golden State Warriors

Kobe Bryant was already replaced on the Western Conference All-Star roster with Anthony Davis, but that was only half the process. Kobe must also be replaced in the starting lineup.

Looks like that’s settled, too.

Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports:

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.

Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks, who is coaching the West All-Stars, chose Harden as a starter.

Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $70,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Tuesday night’s games – the first games after All-Star Break. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $9,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Tuesday. Here’s the FanDuel link.

I thought Chris Paul, the third-leading vote-getter among Western Conference guards and best All-Star reserve at any position in either conference, deserved the start. Oh, well. Paul will still get his minutes, and if he’s playing well, he’ll be on the court in the final few minutes when both teams play hard.

However, I like the sentiment behind Brooks picking Harden, his former sixth man with the Thunder. That’s just a nice show of respect from the coach.

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