Portland's loss to Memphis Tuesday night clinched the coaching spot for the Western Conference All-Stars for Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks. The spot is given to whichever team has the best record of the conference, and the only team that can catch the Thunder, the San Antonio Spurs, is coached by Gregg Popovich who is ineligible because he coached the team last year.
The Thunder (36-10) have won eight in a row, and have thrived in the absence of Russell Westbrook. Kevin Durant's MVP-caliber season has of course helped, but Brooks also deserves credit for the development of young players like Jeremy Lamb, Reggie Jackson, and rookie Steven Adams.
It's Brooks' second All-Star coaching gig, following 2012. I'm sure he's thrilled, and by thrilled I mean "probably wishes he could go on vacation with his kids." But them's the breaks.
The 2014 NBA All-Star Game is Sunday, February 17th on TNT.