Every year, players get snubbed from the All-Star game in the Eastern and Western Conference. With the current system, the fans vote for the All-Star starters from both conferences, which really is the equivalent of a popularity contest than a talent contest. This is evident from the fact that players such as Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony are starting for the Eastern and Western Conferences. Both players have almost sat out more games than they have played. Furthermore, the Los Angeles Lakers have the second worst record in the Western Conference with a record of 13-34, while the New York Knicks have the worst record in the Eastern Conference with a record of 9-38. These two debacle picks were the epitome of legacy and popularity picks, rather than picks that were based upon merit.
What that means is that players that rightfully deserve to be on the All-Star team will inevitably be snubbed. Head coaches have the opportunity to do some damage control with the picks done by the fans, but with ten players taken up from the East and West, the roster spots are somewhat limited. And while coaches are not allowed to vote for their own players, there is still a bit of biasness with the relationships that they have with former players or other players on a different team.
The difficulty with all of this is that if there are players that have been snubbed, it means that you would theoretically have to kick someone currently on the All-Star team to be replaced. And if you look at the current roster of reserves, you can easily make a case for all of them.
Eastern Conference All-Star Starters
Eastern Conference All-Star Reserves
Western Conference All-Stars Starters
Western Conference All-Star Reserves
By all accounts, all of these reserves deserve to be All-Stars. However, were there any other players that deserved to be All-Stars a little bit more this year? Below is a list of the Top-10 players that were snubbed in 2015’s All-Star game.
*Stats are correct as of January 30th.
10 DeAndre Jordan – Los Angeles Clippers
9 Brandon Knight – Milwaukee Bucks
8 Kevin Love – Cleveland Cavaliers
7 Dwight Howard – Houston Rockets
6 Monta Ellis – Dallas Mavericks
5 Nikola Vucevic – Orlando Magic
4 Mike Conley – Memphis Grizzlies
3 Kyle Korver – Atlanta Hawks
2 DeMarcus Cousins – Sacramento Kings
1 Damian Lillard – Portland Trailblazers
What else does Damian Lillard have to do? The sharp shooting point guard was snubbed from the Olympic Team, which is somewhat understandable, but to be snubbed from the All-Star game is almost inexcusable. This season, Lillard is averaging 21.8 points per game, 6.2 assists per game, and 4.6 rebounds per game. Furthermore, with LaMarcus Aldridge (an All-Star reserve) banged up, Lillard has been the primary weapon for the Blazers. Lillard, not Aldridge, has been the MVP of the Trail Blazers. Additionally, the Blazers have a record of 32-14, which is good for third place in the West. It is certainly possible that Lillard will replace the injured Kobe Bryant for a spot on the All-Star team, but he should have been voted there to begin with.
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