With the Memphis win over Portland on Tuesday it became official:
Oklahoma City’s Scott Brooks will coach the West in the NBA All-Star Game, which takes place in New Orleans on Feb. 16.
The honor goes to him because his Thunder, riding the hot shooting of Kevin Durant, will have the best record in the West on Feb. 2, which is the cutoff. Portland with Terry Stotts can’t catch him now, and Gregg Popovich of the Spurs is excluded from consideration because he coached the team last year (it’s not like Pop wanted to do it anyway, he’d rather sip wine somewhere).
Brooks coached the West in the All-Star Game in 2012, a game his team won 152-149 (got to love the “defense” in the ASG).
Brooks will have one decision to make: Fans voted Kobe Bryant in as a starter but he is out at least another three weeks, meaning he will not be able to play. While the league will name Kobe’s replacement to the roster, Brooks gets to choose who starts. I’d put my money on James Harden.
Brooks will go up against Frank Vogel of the Indiana Pacers, who will coach the East.