On Thursday night, the starters for the 2017 All Star Game were announced, and one key person seems to have been mistakenly left out.
East Starters: Kyrie Irving, Demar Derozan, Jimmy Butler, LeBron James, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
West Starters: Steph Curry, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Davis.
So out of those names, doesn’t there seem to be a big one missing?
If you have watched any type of basketball this year, you would clearly see that the man who is set to average the first triple-double since Oscar Robertson in the 60’s is not on that list.
What this shows is that the new all-star voting system worked for the most part.. just one glaring mistake.
The new system takes into consideration now only 50 percent of fan voting, and now 25 percent of player voting and 25 percent of coach voting.
So what this does do is ensure that players like Zaza Pachulia, and even Dwayne Wade this year, are not starting when they don’t deserve to just based off their popularity. It gives a total examination of how seemingly everyone feels about the performance all-star caliber players this year so far and is not just based off of what fans think, which becomes a popularity contest. With the addition of the coach and player voting, there is a more balanced look at who should really deserve that coveted start because the players and coaches have first-hand experience and knowledge of who should be there.
What this also ensures is that the fans still have the majority of the say. So, although the popularity contest has decreased slightly, it still holds a lot of weight. This is what hurt Russell Westbrook.
Now when you have someone averaging 30.6 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 10.4 assists per game, then they should be a lock to start in the All Star game because those stats warrant that you are definitely one of the top players in the league that given season. What hurt Russell here was the notch he took his villain meter up to this season after the departure of Kevin Durant.
Westbrook has been on a mission this season and although his team isn’t the most talented, they are still five games over .500 which means that he’s had to do everything to get to that point. How he does it is questionable in the eyes of many who aren’t fans of only one player controlling the ball most of the game, one player taking a majority of the shots and that player also possessing an attitude and forcefulness that puts a lot of people off while he plays.
The way he dresses, the way he speaks, the way he plays are all always under controversy and for that alone, many fans will not support him when it comes to this kind of thing.
This is a travesty.
Westbrook might be the biggest All Star starter snub in league history, because his play isn’t being rewarded. Instead, everything else that comes with that play is being devalued and picked apart to the point where fans won’t even give him the respect he deserves because he is not the Steph Curry’s of the world who play with a marvelous finesse. He’s not the LeBron James’ of the world whose brand has grown to inordinate proportions. Instead, he’s one of the fiercest competitors the league has ever seen and because of that, in this day and age, he’s almost looked down upon by many instead of celebrated for what he’s accomplished.
His sheer will to win and the force he goes about it with alienates him from many current players. It’s a shame that this is what was the ultimate determining factor is whether or not he would start the in the All Star game by the fans.
Do you think Westbrook deserved to be an All Star Starter? Comment below or find me on Twitter @phenombc3