The 58th NBA All-star game is scheduled for February 16 and will take place at the US Airways Arena, home of the Phoenix Suns. But there is more than one problem to this years ballot and the players picked to represent their respective teams, especially with concerns to Chris Boshs late entry.
NBA fans from over 200 countries will watch their favorite players showcase their talent, and with competition skyrocketing, trade talks more prevalent, and the NBA Development League awaiting all inferior players, guys are left with one option — play hard or go home. And that includes the progress of their team. So do many of the players deserve to compete in this years festivities?
Disappointments are guaranteed. Two-time NBA MVP and six-time NBA all-star Steve Nash is set to watch all the action on the sidelines. This, despite ranking third in the league in assists. While heartbreaking to most Canadian fans, really, who would he replace? The guards for the West — Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups and Tony Parker — compared to Nash, have better overall stats (points, etc) and team records.
But how about the guys who have great individual stats but horrible team records like Toronto Raptor Chris Bosh?
When youre talking about an all-star game, winning matters! says Jeff Van Gundy, NBA analyst and former New York Knicks and Houston Rockets head coach. In an interview on FAN590, Van Gundy bluntly told Raptors commentator Jack Armstrong that Bosh shouldnt be in the All-star game.
Boshs individual performance looks sweet on paper. He averages 23.2 points and 9.2 rebounds in 38.5 minutes per game. But his team, nowhere close to play-off standings, sits 4.5 games beneath 500 and third last in the Eastern Conference.
To be in the all-star game, you have to be on a team thats 500 and above says Van Gundy. However, his opinion carries no weight when faced against the millions of voting, fans across the world. Not to mention the other coaches who disagree with Van Gundy.
I think he’s worthy of it for sure, says Raptors head coach Jay Triano As we were filling out the ballots, we said, there’s no way Chris should not be on this team. He’s an all-star in this league; he’s proved that in the past.
As much as the coaches and players have a say, ultimately, its the fans that get what they want. With the advent of internet voting, which allows users to vote multiple times, fan-favorites surpass more eligible players with winning records, by land-slides. This raises the question: Should the criteria used for selecting the all-star roster be revised?
It depends on the morals and values of the NBA. Which is more important: talent or a winning record? The bottom line is that fans want to see a show. They crave plays that will make them say Oooh . Some like the textbook basketball exhibited by Tim Duncan while others want the razzle-dazzle, embodied in superstars like Lebron James.
Both James and Duncan have winning records. But is it fair that Ray Allen, a franchise player who averages 18.0 points per game (ppg) on the best team in the NBA, (Boston Celtics) was passed over by Danny Granger who averages 25.8 ppg on the second worst team in the East (Indiana Pacers)?
Van Gundy says Under 500, no all-star game. What do you say?