Well, I have to concede that I didn’t get ALL of my picks right… In fact, I picked right only 1/5 of the Eastern conference starters (LeBron), and 3/5 of the Western conference starters (Kobe, Unibrow, Steph). But never mind that. My percentage is still better than Kobe’s this season (oh snap!). Now let’s see what we have to say about the actual starters…
Carmelo Anthony – Hmmm… I always had mixed feelings towards Melo. I guess one can justify his place among the all-star starters – he has been playing well this season, despite the abysmal performance of the Knicks in general. But I think Bosh, with his throwback season (21.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg), and playing on a much better team than the Knicks, would have been a better choice.
Pau Gasol – A truly deserved one, that is. I’m really glad to see Pau this year (although he keeps stealing Joakim‘s thunder). He’s having the best season of his career (18.6 ppg, 11.5 rpg), and that says something, since Pau has been in the league for 14 years.
LeBron James – Well, this is a no-brainer. An all-star game without LeBron is like FIFA without corruption. He might not post the LeBron-esque numbers we got used to in the past decade, but he is still without a doubt the best player in the world, a position he maintained for the past decade or so.
Kyle Lowry – Well, ok. I concede my defeat here. Lowry has been playing big this year (19.8 ppg, 7.5 apg), and the Raptors look really great. So be it. He deserves it more than Wade or Kyrie. Although Jeff Teague can justify his claim for the spot as well. In fact, what is the difference between Lowry and Teague? Aren’t they the same player? Has anyone ever seen them together in the same vicinity? Hmmm… One wonders.
John Wall – A great choice. Washington looks great, and Wall leads the league in assists (10.0 apg, alongside 17.0 ppg).
Overall, the East looks good.
Kobe Bryant – Does he deserve to start an all-star game based on his performances this year? No. Did he earn that right base on the total accumulation of his career achievements? Fuck yeah. Like Tim Duncan, Kobe has earned the right to play in every all-star game until his retirement. Due to his recent probably season-ending injury (more on that below), I guess Harden will take his place, and it’s an understatement to say that The Beard deserves this spot.
Stephen Curry – Another no brainer. If NBA awards were being handed out right now, Steph would have been MVP. The best player on the best team. And what a player he is!
Anthony Davis – He relaxed a bit after the murderous start he had in this season, but he became the league’s best center this year, and he is more than deserving the starting spot.
Marc Gasol – Come on! I fucking hate Memphis! Little Gasol has been wonderful this season, and I hate to admit it but this is a somewhat justified choice as well. Although seriously – Durant is not a starter while Marc Gasol is?! A bit weird, you have to admit…
Blake Griffin – Blake is like the teen idol who keeps getting music awards. He might deserve it, but one thinks this might be a bit over the top. I mean – Blake starts the all-star game and Chris Paul not?! WTF is this shit?! Blake’s rebounding reached a career-low this season (7.6 rpg), just as I feared a couple of months ago. But hey, Dunks! Highlights! 😦
The West seems more shady than the East. One could have chosen a more deserving starting five, but hey – it is what it is and other cliché sayings.
We’ll take a sharp turn right now, because I must release some steam regarding Kobe’s injury.
Damn. Shit shit shit. Here we go again. Bryant’s season (and maybe his whole career) is probably over, after (yet) another injury. I was really upset to read about it, and you know why? Not only because I really like Kobe, despite the obvious shortcomings this player has. It’s because he is one of the game’s all-time greatest players, and if he retires because of this injury it will be really… I wouldn’t say unfair, because it’s not like his career was snapped at its prime, but it’s really close to being unfair.
A reminder: When Kobe suffered that torn Achilles tendon, it was a mere two games before the end of the 2012-13 season. Kobe, who was nearing his 35th birthday, was having a really great season, averaging 27.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg and 6 apg, shooting a very good FG% of 46.3 (above his career average) and helping the Lakers achieve a playoff spot, despite a very rocky start. But then he got injured, and nothing was ever the same. He came back briefly last year, just to average 13.8 ppg in 6 games, and then there’s this year, where he doesn’t play as good as the old Kobe, but he also doesn’t have the kind of depressing end-of-career season like some of his contemporaries – for details please contact Allen Iverson or Tracy McGrady. True, he was shooting an abysmal and career-low 37.3 FG%, but hey – Jason Kidd had several similar seasons and I don’t remember him getting as much heat from the media about it. Kobe was averaging 22.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg and 5.6 apg, not bad, one has to admit, but also not quite Kobe-esque. And this is what depresses me – that he had the end of career ruined by injuries. He was fine at the end of the 2012-13 season, before this whole injury stuff began. Jesus, he was voted to the All-NBA First Team that season! And then shit happened and he was forced to battle with injuried, which prevented him from ending his career like he would have wanted – with guns blazing, shooting his way to the all-time top scoring list, overtaking both Karl Malone and Kareem… But now he won’t get to do that, and one can only hope that we didn’t see the last of him… If it wasn’t for that Achilles tendon, who knows what might have been?…
Damn, that dude is on fire! I love Klay, and his tandem with Steph is fucking amazing. And here he goes and scores an NBA record of 37 points in one quarter, en route to 52 points total in Golden State’s win over Sacramento. He had 11 treys in the game, which is a total bettered only by Kobe Bryant and Donyell Marshall. In fact, I wonder whether I was wrong in not including him in my prediction for the all-time three pointers record… I bet my life that he will end his career in the all-time top 5, but can he really have a go at Curry’s future record? I’d say he has a 20% chance. Anyway, you go Klay!