While most people consider the All Star game to be nothing more than a popularity contest, I still find the announcements interesting. There are some guys you know are going to be locks so that takes some of the suspense away, but this year there were a few spots that were absolutely up for grabs. We knew someone was going to get screwed, we just weren't sure who it would end up being considering there was real debate when it came to filling out five guys for both conferences.
With that said, let's have a look because I imagine there are some pretty upset fanbases at the moment. Let's start with the West
Mostly chalk, but Zion is an interesting name. When Zion has played, his numbers are massive and the Pelicans are pretty damn good, so if he were to not miss so much time it wouldn't be a surprise at all that he was named a starter. But the reality is he's only played 29 games. Considering the Pelicans have played 49, that's a pretty big gap. When you look around the West in terms of front court options, I don't think it's insane to suggest that spot should have gone to someone like Domantas Sabonis. He's been awesome for a Kings team that just so happens to be 3rd in the West. I get that nobody is tuning into an All Star Game to see Sabonis instead of Zion goddamn Williamson, but on some level, the All Star Game should also be about rewarding deserving players.
Other than that I can't imagine anyone has an issue with the other four. Don't be stupid.
Now let's move to the East where things were much more of a shitshow
We knew the frontcourt battle here was going to be a bloodbath. Having to choose between Embiid, Tatum, Giannis, and KD for 3 spots is messed up. You knew Giannis was going to get the captain spot, so that left 2 spots for 3 guys. Here's what I know. Jayson Tatum is the best player on the best team, he's getting one of the spots. That leaves Embiid vs KD.
This may come as a shock to some reading this, but Joel Embiid got hosed. Complete hose job. KD got hurt, it sucks, I wish it didn't happen, but it did. In that time, Embiid has vaulted into the top 3 of MVP and his team has passed BKN into the 2 seed in the East. That's deserving of being an All Star starter. The game played difference isn't that crazy (35 for Embiid vs 39 for KD), and he'll certainly add more to that from now until the All Star Game. I normally like to clown on Embiid for crying about being snubbed, but this one was fucked up in my opinion,
Then there was the backcourt. Nobody should doubt Donovan Mitchell getting his nod, that was expected. Kyrie getting in over someone like Jaylen Brown? Eh, that one isn't as great. As I blogged earlier today, their numbers are similar, but Jaylen has played in more games and is on the better team. He has an MVP caliber teammate in Tatum the same way Kyrie had one in Durant. I'll be honest, I don't see it. Granted I am very biased when it comes to this topic so I am willing to suggest that may or may not cloud my judgement on this, but I don't think I'm alone. It would have been cool to see Tatum/Brown start together, but they'll both be there during the weekend so it's whatever. Just don't get hurt and be ready for the second half is what matters most.
So to me, Embiid is by far the biggest snub. It had to be someone, whoever it ended up being would have a case of why it was a huge snub, and one day maybe we'll get to the point where we can just eliminate all positions and just pick the best players. Same goes for All NBA too by the way.
Do you agree? Do you think they got the picks right? Let's argue on the internet because that's what this thing is for.