When the NBA revealed the starting lineups for the 2017 All-Star game on Thursday, there were two fairly egregious omissions. Russell Westbrook was left off of the Western Conference squad despite the fact that he’s averaging a triple-double on the season, while Isaiah Thomas’ career year in Boston was ignored over in the East.
A day later, the two had a chance to react to their respective snubs.
“It is what it is,” Westbrook said. “It’s the nature of the business, the game. You just play. I don’t play for All-Star nods or All-Star bids, I play to win championships and every night I compete at a high level. It’ll work out, just continue to do what I’m doing and play the game the right way and everything else will work out.”
Thomas, meanwhile, admitted to being “hurt” by the results, but also promised to use the snub as additional motivation.
“I can’t do nothing about it,” he said, via ESPN. “I’m trying to change it up now where I stop worrying about things I can’t control. I’ve done everything I possibly could to put myself in a position to be able to start in the All-Star game and it didn’t happen so I’ve just got to get back in the gym and keep working. Like I always say, I’m gonna just keep going. I appreciate everybody who voted for me, especially you guys, the media showed me some love. And then my peers, my peers showed me love too. So it hurt, but I’ll be all right. I’ll just use it as motivation.”
Thomas, of course, has been doubted his entire life. The NBA featured his story in a new video spot which will air during the first nationally-televised Saturday night game of the season, when the Spurs host the Cavaliers on Jan. 21 at 8:30 p.m. ET.