No Respect: NBA All Star Snubs and Other Stories

With today being the day that All-Star starters are announced, I couldn’t think of a better time to announce my first annual All-Snub team. “What’s the All-Snub team,” you ask? Seeing as how I just made that term up about 38 seconds ago, I’ll tell you. Since today is the day they announce the starting fives of each team for the All-Star Game, which is being held at the star-studded Staples Center in Los Angeles this year, I feel like I should give it up for the guys who never get any respect. Now, I’m not saying these guys deserve to be All-Stars, but they deserve to have their names in the conversation at the very least.

How about Kevin Martin for example? While guard is a stacked position in the West, what with Chris Paul, Deron Williams, and Kobe Bryant at the position, Martin often gets over looked. Averaging the lowest minutes per game (31.3) since his sophomore season, Martin is putting up exceptional shooting numbers. He’s currently fourth in three pointers made, and first in free throws made. All this while averaging 23.5 points should not be overlooked.  What’s more shocking is that Vince Carter, at the last balloting update on January 13th, was ahead of him in votes. While he may not be having a good enough season to make the team, he should NOT be behind Vince Carter in voting.

You want to know what’s not fair? How about the fact that rookie, John Wall, who plays for the Wizards, a team that has not won a single game on the road so far this season,was ahead of Raymond Felton in voting at the last update. Why do I bring up John Wall’s name? How about because Ray has played 12 more games than him this season? Not to mention he has better numbers across the board and is playing for a team that has won a game on the freaking road! Felton is averaging more points, assists, steals, and rebounds than he ever has in his career. Yet nobody really talks about him as a potential All-Star. Well, at the very least he should get Most Improved Player consideration.

So that wraps up the guards on the  All-Snub team. Who makes the forwards? Well one of those spots is guaranteed to a guy who has had a 30-30 game. A guy who has 30 consecutive double doubles. A guy who had a 43-17 game this season. That’s right I’m talking about Kevin Love. And guess what? He will most likely be snubbed from the All-Star Game. Kevin Love is on pace to become the first player since Moses Malone to average 20 and 15. So why doesn’t he get any All-Star attention? Because his team is bad. Well, I don’t care because Kevin Love is good. Don’t punish him for playing for the Timberwolves!

Most of the players I’ve decided to pick for my All-Snub team, aren’t exactly household names. None of them have won an MVP award, or been to the NBA Finals. Well it may shock you to learn that Dirk Nowitzki (who won the MVP in 2007, and was in the Finals in 2006) was the sixth leading vote getter at the final balloting update! What’s more shocking, is that poor Dirk has less than half as many votes as leading forward, Kevin Durant. Dirk is averaging a modest 23.3 points on 51.8% shooting with 7.1 rebounds. He’s also averaging 34.7 minutes per game, which just so happens to be the least amount of minutes per game he’s played since his rookie season, when he averaged just 20.4. Dallas’s recent struggles when Dirk was injured proves how valuable he is to his team, and why he deserves to be an All-Star.

Every time I glance at the balloting for West centers, I am reminded that Yao Ming still plays basketball. While Yao has obviously been a huge disappointment this year due to injuries, his vote total just goes to show how popular basketball is oversees. While it’s not fair that Yao is leading the West center position, it’s almost even more unfair that Al Horford has been so blatantly snubbed. Al is currently averaging 16.2 points to go along with 9.7 rebounds, and 3.4 assists a game. Since voters are so obsessed with team records, I’ll throw this out there; his team is in fifth place, and with the exception of Orlando, none of the teams ahead have a better center (I would have mentioned Joakim Noah, but he’s injured).

So that’s the All-Snub team. Will any of these guys be named starters for the All-Star Game? Besides Dirk, I wouldn’t hold my breath. Even so, the All-Star Game should be great, and it’s hard to argue with any of the projected starters (besides Yao Ming). I just hope that this year, the game can get back some of that magic that games in the past have had.

Hardwood Paroxysm