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Russell Westbrook says Paul George’s all-star snub is ‘outrageous’

George did not make the all-star team for the first time since his leg injury. Westbrook was not going to hear it.

Paul George was not voted into the 2018 NBA All-Star Game despite solid numbers on both ends of the court, and Russell Westbrook was chief among those visibly upset his teammate was snubbed. Westbrook took jabs in all directions when asked about George’s standing as a non-all-star after the Thunder’s narrow 109-108 win over the Nets Tuesday.

“Unbelievable. I think it’s just outrageous, in my opinion,” Westbrook said, according to ESPN’s Royce Young, reportedly closing his eyes and shaking his head. “I don’t know who else made the team but got four people from one team, you’ve got guys complaining about getting snubbed until they get in, you’ve got guys just talking about it all the time.

”But the guys that deserve it — should be in — are not. I just don’t understand. Doesn’t make any sense.”

Westbrook was likely referencing the Warriors, who saw Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green get nods as all-stars, while Damian Lillard made the NBA All-Star Game after years of being snubbed. Others voted in as all-star reserves — and rightfully so — in the West were Karl-Anthony Towns, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Jimmy Butler, as well as Westbrook, who continued his rant by rattling off several of George’s stats.

“Guy leads the league in steals, competes every night, top two at his position. Don’t make any sense, regardless of anything else,” Westbrook continued. “If you’re going by all-stars, there are certain all-stars in this league. Everybody’s not an all-star. Just because you get voted in doesn’t mean you’re an all-star. I just think it’s outrageous. But you know, it is what it is.”

George, who was voted an all-star in 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017, did not let the all-star snub ruin his mood.

“It wasn’t going to put me in a funk or cause me to be in a lost place or a sunken place,” George said. “I didn’t make all-star. It is what it is. I’ve got a longer break in between the season now. ... I wish I was an all-star to whoever made the list, but I wasn’t an all-star, apparently, and life goes on.”

Did George deserve to be an all-star?

In his first year with the Thunder after requesting a trade from the Pacers, George is averaging 20.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, three assists, and a league-leading 2.1 steals per game. He is one of the most active defensive players in the NBA, notching the second-most steals (93), most deflections (189) and third-most loose balls recovered (75). George has also been one of the league’s more reliable shooters at 42.2 percent from three, including better than 44 percent from both corners.

But the guys who got in ahead of him were having pretty great seasons, too. As long as the Warriors are the NBA’s most dominant team, their four stars will be fixtures in the NBA All-Star Game. Butler has almost single-handedly turned the Timberwolves into a playoff contender in the West, and Lillard is averaging 25 points and 6.6 assists to lead the Trail Blazers to yet another playoff appearance. George’s have been good, but the Thunder as a whole may not have been good enough to warrant two all-stars in a competitive conference.

This is also a pivotal season for both George and the Thunder. George can leave Oklahoma City and become an unrestricted free agent, where there have been murmurs he will do what it takes to play for his hometown Los Angeles Lakers team.