Former Longhorn Kevin Durant headlines 2016 All-Star Starters

Steve Helwick

Former Longhorn Kevin Durant was selected to his seventh consecutive NBA All-Star Game on Thursday. Getting selected to this event has become a recurring tradition for the Oklahoma City Thunder star since the end of his second season in the NBA.

Durant, the MVP of the 2012 All-Star Game, will start alongside teammate Russell Westbrook on Feb. 14 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. NBA fans traditionally vote for the starters in the event via text message, social media and polls on, while the coaches select the remaining All-Stars as reserves.

Durant finished second only to Kobe Bryant in the Western Conference for the frontcourt spots with 980,787 votes. He finished fourth overall in total votes behind Bryant, Stephen Curry and LeBron James. This will be Durant’s fifth time earning a spot as a starter through fan voting.

Despite being chosen out of fan popularity, Durant’s performance has solidified his case for starting in the game.

After a tough, injury-plagued 2014–15 season for Durant and the Thunder, the former MVP has rebounded impressively. Durant ranks fourth in the NBA in scoring, averaging 26.6 points in 39 games this season. He ranks first in the NBA in rebounds among all small forwards (7.7 per game) and is shooting 88.6 percent from the free-throw line — top 10 in the association.

Durant’s All-Star selection is a highlight coupled with his individual accomplishments with the Oklahoma City Thunder this year. The team that missed the playoffs a year ago currently sits at 33–13 — the best record in the Northwest Division and third in the NBA.