T-Pru and Scotty Do: NBA All Star Game Snubs

T-Pru and Scotty Do: NBA All Star Game Snubs

Turner Pruitt and Scott Mountz

The lineups are set and the rosters are locked in as we head into the midway point of the 2016-2017 NBA season and we must say… This year’s NBA All Star Game isn’t even worth watching. Not only is this the first year in ages that the All Star Game won’t include future Hall-of-Famers Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett, but future stars were not given the credit they deserved based on their early performances.

Joel Embiid, arguably the best big man in the Eastern  Conference, was not selected into this years All Star game. He averaged 19.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 2.5 blocks per game this season. In the West, Karl-Anthony Towns was also left out of the All Star Game honors. His averages may be even more impressive: 22.4 points, 11.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.5 blocks per game. It seems that averaging a double-double at age 21 should be enough to earn you a spot on your conferences All Star roster… but apparently not.

Not only will both conferences’ front court be missing some major talent, but the back courts will also be without some major players in the league. First, Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers did not receive enough votes to make the All Star team. Although he did suffer a thumb injury that took him out from January 18 up to now, he put up good numbers prior to the injury. He averaged 17.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 9.7 assists, and 2.2 steals per game in the time he was playing, which are certainly some quality numbers. One of the most surprising snubs is one of the leagues superior players, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trailblazers. He has certainly performed like an All Star for the majority of his career, making it very odd that he will be absent at this years All Star Game. Lillard averaged a whopping 26.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game.

Obviously, a number of players were left completely out of the All Star Game events this year, despite very impressive performances in the first half of the year. However, there is also some controversy within the rosters of who will be starting. Arguable the  best player in the NBA after the first half of the season, Russel Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder, will not be starting in this year’s game. Westbrook is averaging a triple-double this year, which is unheard of. He has 30.8 points, 10.6 rebounds and 10.2 assists per game this season so far. With 61 career triple doubles, 24 of them coming in this season alone, he has the fifth most of all time. And he will surely pile on many more to his resume. This is truly unbelievable, so the fact that he won’t be starting in this year’s All Star Game is almost just as difficult to comprehend.

Yes, there will be some of today’s stars going head to head in New Orleans on February 19th, and we’re sure it will be entertaining. However, knowing that some of the league’s top performers will not be participating will make it harder to watch. As fans, we generally hope that the all-star honors are given to the true all-star performers, which was not exactly the case this year.