Kevin Durant was in already.
Russell Westbrook is in now.
But James Harden?
He won't be joining his Thunder teammates in the All-Star Game this year. When the reserves were announced Thursday evening, the shooting guard was not among the Western Conference backups.
That's as it should have been.
Listen, you won't find a bigger fan of The Beard than yours truly. This guy's game is outstanding. He can shoot from outside. He can get to the hole. He can create for his teammates. He can defend you a little bit, too.
But he's not an All-Star yet.
Not when you see the other players who were left off the Western Conference squad.
Joining the previously named starters — Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin, Andrew Bynum and KD — are Minnesota's Kevin Love, Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge, Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki, San Antonio's Tony Parker, Phoenix's Steve Nash, Memphis' Marc Gasol and Russ.
No way Nowitzki is playing at an All-Star level this season. Problems with his right knee forced him to sit out more than a week, but even though he's returned, his game hasn't. He's had three games of 10 or less points, including a 2-of-15 shooting performance against Oklahoma City.
Dirk's a Hall of Famer but not an All-Star this season.
The same goes for Steve Nash.
While his stats are solid — 15.1 points and 10.0 assists — he's playing for a woeful Suns team. Thunder fans saw just how awful on New Year's Eve when Oklahoma City led Phoenix by as many as 25 points. The Suns never led in the game.
But even if Dirk and Nash would've been left off the team, there are players who deserved to get in ahead of Harden.
Rudy Gay is having a stellar season, keeping the Grizzlies afloat even though they're without the injured Zach Randolph.
Kyle Lowry is powering a resurgence in Houston, propelling the Rockets to one of the best records in the West.
And Denver, well, I'm not sure who you'd pick, but someone who wears the Nuggets uniform deserves to be an All-Star. Ty Lawson or Nene most likely. Denver lost three of its best players to lockout-motivated contracts overseas that became impossible to break — and still, the Nuggets entered Thursday night's games tied with Houston and Dallas for the fourth-best record in the West.
Now, despite all of those deserving players, if you consider stats and his team's success, Harden has a great argument for being an All-Star.
The Thunder entered Thursday night's game at Sacramento with the best record in the NBA, and Harden is no small part of that success. Without him, there are plenty of games that Oklahoma City could've lost.
His numbers have skyrocketed since last season, too. He's scoring a bunch more, 16.8 points a game vs. 12.2 points last season. He's shooting better, 47 percent this season vs. 43.6 percent a year ago.
Among players at his position, few are more proficient than Harden. Look at the Player Efficiency Rating, and you'll see that the only shooting guards who rank higher are Kobe and D-Wade.
But Harden's not a starter on his own team.
Granted, he plays every bit as much as a starter. He averages 31.2 minutes a game, which is exactly the same amount as Nash. But the reality is, if you can't crack the starting five on your own team, you're going to struggle to make the All-Star Game.
Ditto if you're the third option for your squad.
Harden normally takes a backseat to Durant and Westbrook when all three are on the floor together. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's worked out pretty darn well for the Thunder, though I wouldn't mind seeing Harden initiate the offense more even when he's out there with KD and Russ. But the truth of the matter is, what works for the Thunder doesn't necessarily work for Western Conference coaches voting for the All-Star reserves.
Harden thought he should've been an All-Star. Told SI.com as much earlier this week. Said he felt like the team was playing well enough and he was playing well enough to be selected.
No doubt there are All-Star Games in Harden's future. Many of them, if I had to guess.
But as it should, that first one will have to wait.