Scott Brooks says he's starting James Harden in All-Star Game Published: February 14, 2014

Kobe Bryant's out. So, James Harden is in.

That's what our Darnell Mayberry is reporting from the NBA All-Star weekend in New Orleans, as Thunder coach Scott Brooks is calling on Harden to replace Bryant in the Western Conference starting lineup.

Bryant still isn't back from a knee injury, so Brooks has enlisted his former Thunder pupil to start alongside Warriors guard Stephen Curry, Timberwolves forward Kevin Love, Clippers forward Blake Griffin and Thunder forward Kevin Durant.

Harden spent his first three NBA seasons with the Thunder, who selected him with the No. 3 pick in the 2009 draft, and he was a member of the Oklahoma City team that advanced to the 2012 Finals.

Harden, Durant and Griffin (a former OU player) make three Oklahoma connections in the All-Star starting lineup for the West.

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