NBA All-Star weekend is here which means the word “snub” is one of the most popular words in professional basketball. Some players have a legitimate gripe while others…not so much.
The question is why are these guys not being voted into the game. The annual debate then comes into play. Is the honor of being an All-Star an individual accomplishment or should it be based on the team record? What is the standard and what are the exceptions?
Being an NBA All-Star is an Individual Accomplishment
A lot of people will say “his team is bad, so he shouldn’t be an All-Star.” That argument never makes sense for one simple reason. Every position isn’t responsible for the success of the other players. You can’t expect a power forward to make a guard successful.
For example, when Joel Embiid has the ball in the post and the double team comes, it may leave Ben Simmons wide open at the three-point line. Simmons is more than likely not going to take that shot given his history of outside shooting. However, Embiid will ultimately get his numbers because he’s that good and is better than the other players at his position. Is Embiid’s All-Star candidacy somehow mutually exclusive to Simmons’ ability to shoot?
That question may be a reach, but the point remains. One player can only do so much for the team’s success. Which leads to the next point.
Guys in Suits Play a Big Role
There comes a time when you have to realize a team isn’t good and the ceiling is almost reached. You have one very special player and a bunch of other guys who aren’t good enough for their role. It could be the coach’s fault due to the scheme fit. It could be the general manager’s fault for poor talent selection. Either way, that very special player is putting up great numbers but wasting away in a basketball Siberia.
Look at Bradley Beal, for instance. His name was one of the most mentioned All-Star snubs this season. Beal is putting up 29 points and six assists per game on a bad team. The Washington Wizards are 13 games below .500. The Wizards’ next leading scorer is Davis Bertans, whose career average was 6.2 points per game prior to this season.
Still not convinced? Keep reading.
Politics as Usual
Maybe the word “politics” is a little strong, but the powers that be are seen as having an agenda. The All-Star game has become a popularity contest and is no longer based on merit.
Even though he’s one of the best big men in the east, Andre Drummond jerseys aren’t exactly flying off the shelves. Not to mention he has a reputation of being lazy which probably didn’t help his case with the coaches. Domantas Sabonis was elected as a reserve even though his numbers aren’t as good overall as Drummond’s.
Oh wait, that’s where the whole “winning team” argument comes in to play.
It all makes sense now. If you’re well-liked around the league, you’ll get to the All-Star game. Trae Young is a starter for the game and the Atlanta Hawks are the third-worst team in the league but “he’s playing out of his mind.” Indeed, Young is playing on another level. However, Zach LaVine isn’t even a reserve and it’s because the Chicago Bulls aren’t a playoff team. Looking at you, Chuck.
Are you still confused about what it takes to be an NBA All-Star than before? So are we all.