Why Kevin Durant Deserves To Be an All-Star

JJ GilliamContributor IJanuary 26, 2009

For most sports fans, this past weekend was probably a hard one to handle. There was no NFL, no MLB, and the NBA is winding down before All-Star weekend. Of course there is still plenty to talk about, but most of the news is bad and getting worse.

No, this will not be an economy-based post or political in any way. It is still entirely about Oklahoma City and upcoming events. Oh, and I may be including how my man-crush with a certain sharpshooter has taken a hit.

But first things first, the Thunder will be represented at All-Star weekend in one way or another. I can honestly say outside of the dunk contest that the whole event has been lost on me. I will be tuning in for my team this year, but I really want to find out what all the excitement is about. Can anyone explain it to me?

Kevin Durant and Jeff Green played in the rookie game last year, and both should be locks for the sophomore squad. Rookie Russell Westbrook will be on the other side, as the OKC stars battle it out. Durant is the wild card, however, depending on the how the reserve All-Stars are chosen. If they only look at the Thunder's record, it will be a shame.

While the team is improving, nobody has picked up their game more than Durant. His points and rebounds are improved, but his ability to take over the game is what should get him recognized. Maybe that is why I haven't been able to get into the festivities in the past.

The NBA needs to get over picking the same players just to draw attention to a meaningless game. They should be rewarding the best athletes, much like MLB does. Now I really don't think every team has to be included, but it would keep me from watching if only Lakers and Celtics players were in the game.

I know I am being biased towards Durant, but he is not alone in having an argument to that effect. First and second year pros rarely get the attention they deserve and thus the rookie challenge was born. If the NBA wants the best, they need to take a hard look at changing the way the All-Star rosters are formed.

That rant is over for now, and it is time to move on from another subject for good. My most recent time-killer has been to form the best OKC squad on paper. I juggle the current players around and add the one or two pieces that I think would make the most sense. While this is sure to continue, my Michael Redd push is officially dead.

Redd is done for the year, and Milwaukee will have to figure out how the injury hurts or helps them in the future. It hurts the Bucks now, but it could help them in keeping Redd from bolting as a free agent. I wanted the Thunder to trade for him badly, given their need for an established outside player.

It is time to find a new muse with a shooting touch, hopefully someone yearning to be part of a franchise with upside. Not a player such as Larry Hughes, who only seems to care about himself. This three-point specialist may need to come from the college ranks, but that is a story for another time. 

OKC has an important stretch coming up, and the All-Star game is still a few weeks out. It has been a big month for the Thunder, and they need to keep up the momentum. A boost of recognition from the league can’t hurt, but Durant will stay motivated either way. 

It would be the NBA who is making the mistake by not including one of their top all-around playmakers, so the joke would be on them. And I'm sure plenty of OKC fans could find other things to do on a weekend in the middle of February.

Visit my website, www.afterthelightning.com, for more Thunder coverage. A.T.L. is a proud member of www.blogsbyfans.com.