Today the NBA will announce the final additions to the NBA All-Star Game. The festivities are basically a waste of time, a "break" for the players from their regular schedule and a chance for a professional sports league to parade around the biggest names in the game, occasionally recognizing a player who might actually deserve to be there.
I'm really good at having opinions, but I went outside of myself to get some perspective from some other fans of the NBA as we mark our candidates for All-Star status at the not-quite mid-point of the season.
Daniel Coughlin (DC): Hey guys, it's always time for more basketball. I voted for the all star roster for the NBA All-Star Game for the first time and I didn't want to vote for most of the players who probably deserve to be there. I think I almost voted for Shabazz Muhammad.
Zach Barker (ZB): So here's my big idea for All Star game. Silver already wants a shorter season and has talked about a mid season tourney. I got an idea...
So first, make it a week long, and start it off with that before mentioned mid season tourney.
Here's the rules of tourney: 3 on 3 Make it take it 25 and under only Play opening rounds at local high schools Winner hosts next all star game + $$. Vets get games off to rest. Thoughts??
DC: I might be okay with that. Anything would make it more interesting than 48 minutes of no defense, don't-get-hurt shoot around. It's only good because one player takes it too serious, and also you have the struggle of then feeling like that one dude shouldn't be taking it too seriously even though he is the only player worth watching in the event.
ZB: Kyrie/lillard....yep. I hate watching it too...
Kyle Flater (KF): They just need to make the game and side events worth more prize money. Like an order of magnitude. Everyone (good) would want to be in the dunk contest if it was for ten million tax free.
I'd be cool with a round robin 3 on 3 tourney. Each starter could be a team captain.
I'm legit excited about the rising stars game. I AM GIANNIS.
DC: I forever support Giannis.
So, given that I can't have Shabazz Muhammad in the all star game, I am going with this:
East Starters: Kyle Lowry, John Wall, Jimmy Butler, Al Horford, Hassan Whiteside
East Bench: Dwyane Wade, Kyle Korver, Jeff Teague, Pau Gasol, K.J. McDaniels, Paul Millsap, Chris Bosh
They clearly aren't the actual "All-Stars" or 12 best players based solely on presumed talent. But that goes with the whole approach I have that I don't need Lebron there every year. He belongs in the dunk contest. Dwyane Wade gets for complicated reasons. He's old, he's a dirty player, he isn't particularly good, he is taking a spot away from a younger guy. BUT, he also broke Kobe's nose in an All-Star game. Anyone who takes it that seriously or is that willing to be a dick at All-Star Weekend gets a lifetime guarantee that I want to see what they will do next. He's the ASG-level talent that brings the Patrick Beverly vibe.
ZB: We all know starting is bullshit.
East: Melo (NYC host), LBJ (it's LBJ), Pau (vs. Marc, duh), Wall (double figure assist), Lowry (We The North)
My East Bench: Jimmy Butler, Kyle Korver, Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague, Greg Monroe, Brandon Knight, Al Horford
Sorry: Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade
Not Sorry: Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, Bradley Beal, Nikola Vucevic
DC: Aaaannnnddd correction already, I don't want Pau. Pau shouldn't be there. Giannis should be in the ASG. Hell, I might even move Bosh out of there to make room for Vucevic.
West: Steph Curry, Damian Lillard, Klay Thompson, Giorgi Dieng, Demarcus Cousins
West Bench: Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Andrew Wiggins, Andrew Bogut, Tim Duncan, James Harden, Anthony Davis
Obvious observation: The West is absolutely insane. Much like Lebron, there are a ton of dudes who belong in other events, not the ASG. The skill contests should have guys like Blake Griffin, Goran Dragic, Nikola Pekovic, and Serge Ibaka. Make those dudes run the skills course in the "heavyweight" division.
ZB: West: Blake Griffin (Too deep at posts in West - LMA, etc.) Marc (See Pau) Kobe (Nope, who does Kerr pick?), Anthony Davis (Thanks, Lainey!), Steph Curry (Splash)
West Bench: LaMarcus Aldridge (Won't play but deserves it), Mike Conley, Klay Thompson (37 gets him in), Draymond Green, CP3, Lillard, Harden, BBBBOOOOOOOOGGGGIIIEEEEE!
And Duncan gets Kobes spot, sits out, and KD gets last spot.
Sorry: Dirk, Wes, Wiggins
Not Sorry: Russ, Ty, Dwight
DC: I think a lot of players "deserve" recognition, but I think it also should be more about the guys who are intriguing at the moment. Hassan Whiteside isn't going to be a 10 time all-star, but he is very interesting and fun right now. That means he is currently two things that the NBA ASG is not.
ZB: I want Giannis to pull a Lilliard and try to win Dunk, Skillz, 3 pt, & MVP
KF: I want him to dunk from the 3pt line.
Also, learn to contest shots with his left.
DC: *Praying hands emoji*