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News » Thunder's Durant feels an All-Star snub, too

Thunder's Durant feels an All-Star snub, too

Thunder's Durant feels an All-Star snub, too
There may have been a couple of Jazz players on the floor Friday night that felt slighted by not receiving an NBA All-Star selection. But there was certainly another athlete that was an All-Star snub on the court -- and he was not wearing the home white jersey.

Oklahoma City's second-year pro Kevin Durant has been making a case all season that he deserves the recognition of being named to the Western Conference squad. Although the Jazz prevailed 110-90, Durant continued his stellar play this season as he racked up 29 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.

The omission for Durant stung because he is averaging 24.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists, but he knows that at 20 years of age, he has a long career ahead of him.

"Coming into the year, I just told myself to get better. If that comes up, it does," said Durant of possibly making an All-Star team. "Unfortunately, I didn't make it this year, but hopefully I have more years to come. I am excited for what this team has in store, and I just need to continue to work."

Durant will in fact be heading to Phoenix in a couple of weeks for the All-Star weekend, but as a participant in the Rookie-Sophomore Challenge. Thunder coach Scott Brooks doesn't think it will be the last time the 6-foot-9 forward/guard will be joining the mid-season festivities.

"He needs to just keep improving," Brooks said for Durant to be named to the main squad. "One thing about Kevin, he is a gym rat. He wants to get better, and he will get better. It is what he is about. He embodies what our team is about, continue to work and continue to improve, and continue to play together. Kevin does that. He does it every night. He is a very consistent player, and we are all proud of his efforts."

Perhaps even more encouraging for the Thunder than having just Durant close to being an All-Star, is that he will be joined in Phoenix by his two teammates, Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook. The three players led their team against the Jazz as Green had 11 points and six rebounds, and Westbrook chipped in with 20 points, eight rebounds and three assists.

"We don't really talk about it," said Westbrook of the three teammates chosen to participate in All-Star weekend. "We are just trying to focus on getting to the break, playing well as a team and finish out strong."

Having three young stars bodes well for the Thunder, but the coach and players know they still have a long way to go.

"Whether we win or whether we lose, every game, every practice is going to be an opportunity for us to get better," said Brooks. "That is what we are, who we are right now; that is the progress we have to make."

"We get a chance to all play together, to improve together," said Westbrook. "It is great that we can all grow together as a team, and as long as we continue to work hard, I think we can build something special." E-mail:

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: February 1, 2009


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