Well, we now know who our All-Star game starters are:
This will be Durant’s 8th All-Star appearance and Curry’s 4th. Rounding out the starting five for the West are Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, and James Harden.
Out East, Lebron James and Kyrie Irving will anchor a team along with DeMarre DeRozan, Jimmy Butler, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
In a change this year, the NBA All-Star starters are selected via a weighted hybrid approach: 50% fan vote, 25% NBA player vote, and 25% media votes. The All-Star game is a weird event - part popularity contest, part showcase for the most talented players, and part reward for teams that are playing well.
We already knew who won the popularity contest. This is just a bit outdated, but here were the 2nd round of voting returns released by the NBA last week:
Sadly, yes, Zaza Pachulia got bumped from the starting lineup in spite of garnering more than a quarter million more votes than starter Anthony Davis. The system is rigged!
Steph Curry managed to hang on to his starting spot, even though some of his counting stats are down a bit from last year. This is mostly due to his incredibly strong support from fans who allotted him the second most votes (slightly behind James). However, he had to garner enough votes from both groups to hang on to his spot, so it also indicates that players and media members have not given up on MVP-caliber Steph.
Steph is well-deserving of this honor, but it means that Russell Westbrook gets to have yet another thing to be angry about. It also hurts the story stream too, since I was salivating at the thought of having the old OKC team back together in what was sure to be the most awkward team photo shoot of all time. Do you need chemistry in an All-Star game? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Westbrook did all that he could, and this is certainly one of the most egregious snubs if you just look at the counting stats. Westbrook is averaging a triple double, something that the NBA hasn’t seen in the past 57 years. In other words, the same year that Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space. On top of the triple doubles, the guy leads the league in scoring and is second in assists and is the only guard near top 10 in rebounding.
I wouldn’t be overly concerned, as Westbrook is now essentially guaranteed a spot when the coaches select the reserves. Still, I assume Westbrook’s next basketball game will basically look like the Hulk raged out and put on a Thunder uniform. Just be thankful you aren’t the rim!
The NBA coaches are in charge of filling out the remaining rosters and this will happen next week.
I expect that both Klay Thompson and Draymond Green will make the final cut, but the West is packed with deserving players, so we will have to wait and see. We have plenty of time to discuss all this before the All-Star game on February 19th, so for now, just kick back and enjoy the accolades for Curry and Durant.
Feels good to see this perennial all-star in a Warriors uniform doesn’t it?