This season it seems as though the fans just decided to toy with the system and see what they can achieve with voting for the NBA All-Star starting fives.
There have been a few close calls recently of questionable All-Star starters, such as Jeremy Lin last season, but how can the NBA be content with the voting results this season? In addition, the center position must be brought back.
Kobe Bryant is a starter in the All-Star game. The same Kobe Bryant who has only played six games this season and is averaging less than 14 points in those games. He’s chosen over James Harden, who is clearly the best shooting guard in the West right now? It’s reached a new level of ridiculousness.
Blake Griffin is putting up numbers of 20.8 and 10.9 rebounds per game this season, but LaMarcus Aldridge, Anthony Davis and even DeMarcus Cousins have had much bigger impacts on their respective teams this season and have had highly notable years thus far. I understand that flash is a part of the All-Star Game, but the starters should have a cemented position of productivity in the season that sets them above the other candidates. This simply isn’t the case here.
Out in the Eastern Conference, it’s difficult to make the case that these were horrible picks. The one legitimate case there is that John Wall, who has reached a new level of leadership and productivity in Washington, should have been chosen over Kyrie Irving, who isn’t having the most efficient season thus far. The odd look of it, though, is due to the fact that the center position has been done away with and the voting is now listed as three frontcourt players.
The West has two true big men while the East has none. Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James obviously know how to produce at the power forward position, but going up against Griffin and Kevin Love isn’t exactly the kind of matchup many of us expected. Meanwhile, the West also lacks a true center.
Griffin, though better at offense in the post, hasn’t developed the ability in the paint that would make him a center. Love isn’t the best defender down low and extends his shot out to 3-point line, which he loves to find. Wouldn’t a matchup of Dwight Howard and Roy Hibbert been much more appealing to the fans?
The switch in frontcourt voting came during a time period that the league lacked an abundance of quality centers, but that time is already over. Howard, Hibbert, Cousins and Joakim Noah to a name a few, are established centers that can be the key to a championship team at some point. One can make the argument that the All-Star coach can simply make a substitution at the beginning of the game, but that somewhat taints the meaning of being selected as an All-Star starter.
As the years go by, the value of the All-Star Game seems to be declining more. This game is made for the fans, but that doesn’t mean they should be trusted with decisions like this. Sure, All-Star Weekend is meant for having fun and relaxing, but when the amount of questionable decisions continues to increase with every passing year, so does the annoyance of the weekend in general.