The NBA All-Star Game takes place this weekend in Brooklyn and New York, and until this week, there was plenty of controversy about the choices. Damian Lillard, in particular, stirred up plenty of talk about his being snubbed from the initial list of All-Stars.
The impact of Lillard on the Portland Trail Blazers’ NBA futures for the 2014-15 season is noted by this online sportsbook, where the Blazers are among the favorites to win the championship this season. With that in mind, Lillard was eventually given a spot on the Western Conference team, after an injury to Blake Griffin, and the result is a lineup that is now much closer to a league-wide consensus over what is essentially a 14-player list.
Here’s a quick look at several former Californian high school stars suiting up for the event this weekend and what they have done to earn their spots:
For more updated lists of California’s All-Time Best NBA Alums, CLICK HERE.
For the all-time alumni list of all 50 California players from the NBA All-Star Game since 1951, CLICK HERE.
Klay Thompson (Santa Margarita, Rancho SM)
Thompson has come out from behind the hype of teammate Steph Curry to take his rightful place in the upper echelon of NBA stars this season, posting averages of 22.2 points per game and a 44 percent rate from beyond the arc. Oh yeah, and he scored 37 points in under 10 minutes in that memorable effort against Sacramento.
Damian Lillard (Oakland)
The aforementioned Lillard isn’t far behind Thompson, statistically, averaging 21.6 points per game, and a tidy 6.3 assists per game. He was the NBA Rookie of the Year just two seasons ago. The season before that he was at Weber State.
Russell Westbrook (Leuzinger, Lawndale)
Often leading his team single-handedly with Kevin Durant missing significant time with injuries, Westbrook has used this season to remind fans of just how prolific he can be. Westbrook has put up a career-high 25.9 points per game this season, adding 7.6 assists and 6.3 rebounds per game as well.
James Harden (Artesia, Lakewood)
He along with Thompson have known the thrill of winning a CIF state title. Harden also is in serious contention for this season’s MVP award. The Bellflower, California native is doing ridiculous things this year, averaging 27.5 points, 6.8 assists, and 5.6 rebounds per game. He is one of if not the single most dangerous player one on one, and the entire team’s offense is built around his ability to break down the interior of defenses.