OKC Thunder notebook: Former OKC star James Harden to start for injured Kobe Bryant

Thunder coach Scott Brooks was charged with selecting a replacement for Bryant, and he turned to Harden.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: February 14, 2014
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photo - Houston Rockets James Harden, right, dances with Oklahoma City Thunder Kevin Durant during the Rising Star NBA All Star Challenge Basketball game, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Houston Rockets James Harden, right, dances with Oklahoma City Thunder Kevin Durant during the Rising Star NBA All Star Challenge Basketball game, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

As coach of the West All-Stars, Thunder coach Scott Brooks was charged with selecting a replacement starter for injured Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant in Sunday night's All-Star Game.

He settled on former Thunder guard James Harden, now with Houston.

Harden, who came off the bench in each of his three seasons with the Thunder, couldn't help take a joking dig at Brooks.

“I told Scotty that I came off the bench for three years in OKC, so it was time to make it right,” Harden told TNT in a courtside interview during Friday's BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge.

DURANT ANTICIPATING LEBRON MATCHUP

Kevin Durant and LeBron James are being talked about in the same conversations more and more as the two continue to take their games to new heights.

They're being compared, analyzed and labeled as chief rivals.

And on Friday night, Durant might have fanned the flames.

Asked by TNT sideline reporter Craig Sager what he was looking forward to in Sunday's All-Star Game, Durant said a one-on-one matchup.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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