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Durant Named Starter for Western All-Star Team | January

The Oklahoma City will have at least one representative on the NBA Western Conference All-Star team in Los Angeles for the league's 60th All-Star Game on February 20. To absolutely no surprise, it will be Kevin Durant, who finished as the leading vote getter at the forward position in the West. He received more votes than anyone in the conference, aside from Kobe Bryant, who received more votes than any other player.

Durant has been in the league for four years now, and this will be his second straight All-Star selection, although it is his first as a starter. 

He will be joined by some outstanding talent in the West, although one player will be replaced, even though they received more votes at their position than anyone else. Yao Ming, center of the Houston Rockets, has only played five games this year and will miss the rest of the season due to a stress fracture in his left ankle. This proves two things: First, Yao is one of the more popular players in recent history, and second, no one feels as if any other player is worthy of starting at center in the west.

His spot will be chosen by league commissioner David Stern, and if he goes strictly by votes to play it safe, then Andrew Bynum finished second to Yao out west.

Here is a look at the starters for both conferences in a few weeks:


G - Kobe Bryant
G - Chris Paul
F - Kevin Durant
F - Carmelo Anthony
C - Yao Ming


G - Derrick Rose
G - Dwyane Wade
F - LeBron James
F - Amar'e Stoudamire
C - Dwight Howard

The rest of the players will be announced on February 3 on TNT. Reserves will be selected by the 30 NBA head coaches will will select seven players each within their conference. They will vote for two guards, two forwards, one center and two other players at any position. Coaches are not allowed to vote for players from their own team. Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs will coach the west, while the east squad's coach will be decided by which team has the best record in the conference through February 6. As of today, Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics has the inside track, but Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat has an outside chance.

Durant will not be the only member of the Thunder to take part in All-Star weekend. While Russell Westbrook should most certainly be named as a reserve, Serge Ibaka will participate in the Slam Dunk contest the night before the game in the Staples Center.

* Make sure to follow Kelley on Twitter @RobKelley24, as he was named One of the 1,000 Most Influential Sports Writers on Twitter.