Russell Westbrook is not concerned about missing the starting lineup in the All-star Game, as his primary focus is to better himself and win an NBA championship.
The OKC Thunder star was not among the Western conference starters after losing a tiebreaker with Curry and Harden.
The superstar was left out of the West, with the NBA’s new voting system involving players and the media.
“It is what it is,” Westbrook said Friday. “That’s the nature of the business, the game. I just play. I don’t play for All-Star bids. I play to win championships, and every night I compete at a high level, and it’ll work out.
“I just continue doing what I’m doing and play the game the right way, and everything else will work out.”
Westbrook was actually tied with Curry and Harden in the points tally after finishing first in the media vote and player vote and third in the fan vote, but Curry and Harden beat him out because the fan vote was the tiebreaker.
“[Winning the players’ vote] doesn’t change anything for me,” Westbrook said. “It’s a great honor … and being an All-Star is something you don’t take for granted.
“But like I said, I don’t play to play in the All-Star [Game]. … I play to become a better player and to win championships.”
“I don’t want to take away anything from anybody, because I’m obviously not with all those players on a regular basis,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “But in my opinion, there’s no way he should not be starting in an All-Star Game.
“That’s it. Someone can say, ‘Well, who then?’ I’m not getting into that. I’m saying what he’s done this year. Here’s a guy, in my opinion, clearly is right in the thick of the MVP race for the entire league. So there in itself, I think everybody would admit that.”