All-Star game: popularity favored over talent?

The NBA All-Star game is coming this weekend, and the lineups have been set for the dunk, skills, and three-point contests and the All- Star Game itself. True, there is no changing the picks now or the decisions that were made, but there is still a lot of heat being thrown out for the players who made the all-star teams.

The two biggest issues that fans have had begin with the fact that Portland’s Damian Lillard, for the second year in a row, has been snubbed from the Western Conference squad, despite having ultimately two absolutely amazing seasons stats-wise. This season he is averaging around 26 points, six assists, and five rebounds per game. He is also shooting a solid 43 percent from the field, which is the best of his career.

But Lillard failed to make the team, while players like the Warriors’ Klay Thompson, who is only averaging around 22 points, two assists, and four rebounds per game, were selected. Utah’s Gordon Hayward also made the team with averaging only 22 points, just over three assists, and a little under six rebounds per game. Undeniably Lillard has the better stats, yet he doesn’t make the team. Why is that?

A lot of people say that it’s because Portland doesn’t having a winning record, but that wouldn’t make sense because Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins made the team and they both play for losing teams. The Pelicans are 11th in the West with a record of 23-34, which is worse than Portland’s, and the Kings are only a half-game above the Blazers with a 24-33 record. So, it’s not like those teams are any good but Davis and Cousins made the team because the stats are there.

People in Portland and throughout the NBA are very displeased about Lillard’s situation, but what about Russell Westbrook?

Although he did make the team at least, Westbrook is not a starter in the All-Star Game. I’m sorry, but how is a player who is averaging a triple-double every time he steps on the floor not a starter in the All-Star Game? Westbrook is averaging nearly 31 points, 10 assists, and 10 rebounds per game as a point guard. That is almost absolutely unheard of, as only one other player has done it NBA history, Oscar Robertson in 1961. Robertson averaged 30 points, 11 assists, and 12 rebounds on the season.

How can a player like Westbrook do what he does every single night on the court and still not deserve a spot on the starting lineup? Especially when he is the leader in the MVP race this season?

The conclusion that I have come to is that the NBA is rigged and is all just a popularity contest. Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson all made the all-star team from Golden State, which is four of the West’s starting five. As Durant’s stats are impressive and he actually deserves a starting spot, Green, Thompson and Curry do not all deserve a spot on the team this year.

I already mentioned Thompson’s stats, but Curry is an ASG starter, too, while he averages 25 points, just over six assists, and four rebounds per game. Lillard didn’t even make the team and averages better than that, and Westbrook is making history and isn’t starting.

It makes me begin to think that it’s all about those bandwagon fans. All those Warrior fans who exist now, but didn’t exist five years ago when the Warriors were 13th in the Western Conference with a record of 23-43. What’s funny is, no one even knew who Curry was until he eventually became a two-year wonder.

Can I just say… Stats don’t lie.

Damian Lillard (right) is averaging his career high 25.7 points per game this season. Russel Westbrook (left) is averaging a tripple double this season.

Damian Lillard (right) is averaging his career high 25.7 points per game this season. Russel Westbrook (left) is averaging a tripple double this season.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.