The 2014 NBA All-Star roster has me upset and disgusted. The politics of the NBA are on full notice this season if you ask me, but who’s asking? No one is….but, I’ll speak on it anyway. I will never go against the fans being able to vote their favorite players into the starting lineup. My problem comes with the selection of the reserves. I think something has to be done with the process.
It has gotten to the point that I feel that the “coaches” vote on league favorites who are playing well over the unknown guys who are playing great. Before you try to knock my argument mentioning DeMar DeRozan who was selected and Tim Duncan who wasn’t, just listen. There are always exceptions, but I believe it’s only there to cover the truth. And NO, I’m talking any conspiracy theories. Just speaking on what I see and what I feel.
Here is the list of All-Star players in both conferences:
Stephen Curry, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, and Blake Griffin
LaMarcus Aldridge, Damien Lillard, James Harden, Dwight Howard, Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker, and Chris Paul
Kyrie Irving, Dwyane Wade, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, and LeBron James
Chris Bosh, DeMar DeRozan, Roy Hibbert, Joe Johnson, Paul Millsap, John Wall, and Joakim Noah
At first glance, it’s easy to look at those names and know many of them are all-star players. That doesn’t mean they belong there this year. The new format of the starters without a center to me is foolish to begin with. Howard should have been voted in as a starter, but with the format he wasn’t. In my opinion, he didn’t deserve to get in as a reserve (this coming from a diehard Rockets fan) after losing in the fan voting either. A mere formality changes everything.
The known politics of sports with the best players from the best teams comes into play. Yet, when players on horrible teams are playing at a very high level, they should be rewarded as well. I’ll run down my list of players who I feel were robbed (I hate snubbed), followed by my list of those selected who don’t belong.
My biggest losers in the West were DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, and Goran Dragic. In the East, Lance Stephenson, Kyle Lowry, and Al Jefferson. I can give an honorable mention to Isaiah Thomas and Arron Afflalo as well. All of these player have had superb seasons and I feel should have garnered an all-star spot. Cousins and Davis’ teams aren’t having great years in the win-loss column, but they have easily been two of the top players in the league. Dragic on the other hand has his Phoenix Suns surprisingly comfortable in the playoff race.
The coaches chose “names over games” for the Western Conference players who were selected that I feel didn’t deserve to be there. Kobe “Black Mamba” Bryant was going to be voted into the starting lineup, as expected, but due to his injury hopefully one of the guys mentioned makes their first all-star appearance. As previously mentioned, Howard after not being voted into the starting lineup didn’t deserve to make the roster over Cousins or Davis.
Paul and Parker are perennial all-stars and play on two of the top teams in the West. Paul has been amazing this year when he’s played. His injury status being up in the air with the possibility that he won’t be back prior to the all-star makes it stupid in my mind to be voted in. Parker’s San Antonio Spurs are again playing well, but his play hasn’t been as good as either Dragic or Thomas. But, the Spurs had to have someone represent them…
In the Eastern Conference, Bosh and Johnson had no right being selected over Jefferson and Stephenson. That to me is pure disrespect. The Charlotte Bobcats have had a much better season than expected behind Jefferson’s play. Stephenson has led the league in triple-doubles this season and is a major piece for the East leading Indiana Pacers.
Millsap has played well for the surprising Atlanta Hawks, but he hasn’t overly impressed me. He’s been hot at the right time, but Lowry along with DeRozan following the trade of Rudy Gay have the Toronto Raptors making noise. No one in their right mind envisioned the Raptors being one of the top teams in the East, let alone the Atlantic Division. DeRozan is a scorer, but Lowry has been the best player on the team this season.
Everyone else who made the roster deserved to be there and I’m proud of those guys making their first appearances.