I used to care about the All-Star returns but lately I realized that it was really stupid. I don’t know what the results are right now but here are my picks for the 2011 All-Star Game
In the West
Guards – Deron Williams and Kobe Bryant
Deron Williams is the best point guard in the NBA right now and anyone who says Chris Paul still has that memory of that one MVP season that he had. Anyone who says Derrick Rose is a homer and anyone who says Rajon Rondo is smoking bad weed.
Maybe I still have the Warrior/Laker game fresh in my mind but man… Kobe never stops amazing me. Despite a dip in his numbers and another finger more fucked up, sometimes there are those moments where you KNOW that shot he’s taking is going in. The Lakers are right behind the Spurs in the standings and Kobe has cleared any early season doubts of him and has asserted himself as the man in LA.
Forwards – Kevin Durant and Dirk Nowitzki
It is a pure coincidence that my picks happen to have one of each guard and one of each forward. Although Kevin Durant hasn’t produced at his projected level (were people seriously expecting a 35/10 season from him?) and has shied (shy-ed) away from the spotlight at times to Russell Westbrook, there isn’t a better Forward in the West than Kevin Durant. The Mavs were pretty good before they went on this little skid and they’re suffering from some injuries. Dirk has been the leader but this is a pretty good Mavs squad with a good 8-9 man rotation when healthy. Dirk gets the nod over Gasol and Duncan who has fallen off significantly.
Center – Yao Ming
This is the dilemma. After Yao Ming the best Center in the West is either Nene or Andrew Bynum, and they both suck more penis than the sluttiest girl in your school. We might as well let Darko Milicic start because he is having a pretty good year. The league is just filled with Centers that are average for today’s standards. Let Yao get the start, let Gasol or Duncan start the game, and pick a reserve that deserves it. I hope Blake Griffin gets to play in the All-Star Game. I think the thing we have to be most thankful for is Yao Ming leaving his name on the ballot. If he didn’t, Andrew Bynum would be starting the All-Star Game.
Let’s take a look at the East.
Guards – Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade
Derrick Rose has really elevated his play this season and at this point the gap between Rose and Paul and Williams isn’t that big. Rose is a MUCH better player than Rondo and if I was starting a team I would take him after Williams, before Paul. He’s extended his range out to the 3 point line and he is just a really good basketball player. Dwyane Wade gets the other guard spot by default. He’s still the good old Dwyane Wade whose team is getting hated because of a certain LeBron James character.
Forwards – LeBron James and Amare Stoudemire
Hate all you want and talk about Karma or whatever but LeBron is still an All-Star in this league until the day he gets a severe injury (it would be very funny if this ankle injury ended his career). I also have to give mad props to Amar’e Stoudemire who I have given Chris Bosh treatment for most of his career. Amare has proven that he isn’t Nash’s little bitch and can lead a team to victories. I think the Knicks will eventually level out and end the season a few games above 500 but Amare is doing a good job and the Knicks have been my team of choice in my NBA 2k Association.
Center – Dwight Howard
Is there ANYONE else?
And here is the problem. The NBA is seriously running out of Centers. Andrew Bogut is the 2nd best Center in the NBA and 3rd place is a tie of mediocrity. The league’s most hyped big man prospects have all been disappointing. Bynum will not get much better, Greg Oden is done, and Hasheem Thabeet has been nothing short of a bust.
The days of me being younger than any NBA player are nearing an end and I start to realize that the people heading into the league today grew up watching the same players that I did. The highlight reels are dominated by perimeter players and I think this has fueled an obsession for 7 footers to want to be more guard like. Make cool passes, cool drives and cool dunks. They also want to show that they can shoot the 3 so they hang around the perimeter but they aren’t very successful. The traditional Center position is disappearing and with retirement on Yao Ming’s horizon and no legitimate successor to Yao at the Center position, there needs to be a new All-Star Voting system.
And it’s really quite simple. All-Star Voting system was always flawed because in most cases, a shooting guard’s role on the floor is a lot closer to the small forward’s role than it is to a point guard’s role, and the same thing applies to power forwards and centers. It’s like the NFL grouping the Quarterback and the Running Back together just because they are both ‘backs’.
Change the ballot instead to 1 point guard, 2 wings, and 2 “post” players. The Point Guard is easily the most unique position in the NBA and it’s the one that should get that single spot instead of the Center position.
With this new system, I could have chosen a much better line up of Williams, Bryant, Durant, Nowitzki and Gasol to represent the West.
My three cents.