Teams placed ninth and twelfth in their conference will be sending at least one player to the All-Star game this season. Between each conference, all of the top ten teams will be sending a player to the All-Star game, except one team.
The Western Conference fifth-seeded Sacramento Kings. The controversy and talks for expanded All-Star rosters flooded social media after the selection show, as both Domantas Sabonis and De'Aaron Fox were left off this year's Western Conference All-Star team.
Having another high-powered offensive season, Sabonis has seen league-wide recognition, ranking among the league leaders for Most Valuable Player. Along with Sabonis, De'Aaron Fox is having a career-best season. Fox is seeing career-highs in minutes per game, field goal attempts, steals per game, points per game, and a breakout season from beyond the arc; seeing career-highs in threes made per game, threes attempted per game, and three-point percentage.
How the NBA botched Sacramento's All-Star Snubs
Yet, both Sabonis and Fox were left out of an All-Star nomination. Questionable selections of Anthony Davis, Stephen Curry, Paul George, and Karl-Anthony Towns paved the way for the Kings dynamic duo to be on the outside looking in.
While Davis and Curry are having remarkable seasons, both their teams on clawing for Western Conference play-in spots. That, combined with Sabonis and Fox's production outweighing the production of both Davis and Curry, made this the wrong decision.
That leaves a conversation between George and Towns over both Sabonis and Fox. While George is putting up good numbers, statistically De'Aaron Fox is superior to George on a number of levels. Regarding Karl-Anthony Towns and Sabonis, Sabonis dominates Towns, similarly to how he performs against Anthony Davis, as Fox does with George. While Sacramento barely made any significant moves to alter their roster, they have improved upon last season, including both All-Star snubs.
The chip the Kings had on their shoulders before the season was already high. After missing out on any All-Stars while claiming one of the best records in the NBA, that chip has grown incrementally, with Sacramento destined to make some noise in the playoffs and leaving the league questioning their decision to give no recognition to one of the league's better teams.