All Star Trash Talk

The NBA All Star Weekend is upon us! Our very own Mike Lazaris is heading to Los Angeles to take part in all the action.

There’s been many injuries in the lead up to the big game, the likes of Kevin Love, Kristaps Porzingis, John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins all going down with long term injuries. This does however make it more exciting when it comes to announcing replacements.

Goran Dragic, Kemba Walker, Andre Drummond and Paul George were brought in to the mix. That’s right, NO Ben Simmons.
Our very own Ben Simmons is having a monster rookie season, however couldn’t be one of the 4 replacement players to take part in the battle between Team LeBron and Team Curry.

As much as we all would have loved to see Ben Simmons partake in the All Star game, let’s be real, he’s just a rookie! Ben Simmons is going to have plenty of opportunities to play in many all-star games. As good of a season he is having, we’ve got to reward guys who have been in the league for a lot longer and have finally earned the right to play in this game. Which for some may be their last (most likely Goran Dragic).

Simmons has gone about being “Snubbed” the wrong way. He’s talked about being somewhat disrespected, and doesn’t understand what stats really are anymore.

It would’ve been so much better if Simmons took it with a grain of salt, said he needs to gain the respect of the league, and make it known he was going to make it again next season. Go ahead, dominate the USA v World game, win yourself an MVP, and be proud that you’re still participating over the weekend.

When it’s all said and done Simmons will play 10+ all-star games (barring injuries), so missing his very first in his rookie season really isn’t that big a deal.

Someone like Donavan Mitchell (who is very much in the Rookie of the Year race with Simmons) has been a prime example of staying out of the mess of being “snubbed”. He’s playing just as well as Simmons and hasn’t said a word.

The only positive argument for Simmons making this all-star game was the fact he ranked 3rd in Guards for fan voting in the Eastern Conference (ahead of many of the current Eastern Conference guards). If we are saying this game is for the fans, we should give the fans who they want to see play. Most NBA fans would much prefer to see a younger more exciting Ben Simmons over someone like a Goran Dragic. That’s about the only argument that goes his way in the case of a younger unproven player, over someone who’s warranted selection for long enough to let him have one appearance by the end of his career.

Continuing on the theme of “snubs”, there’s none bigger than Joe Ingles missing out on the 3 point shootout. He’s ranked FIRST in the league at 45.7%. How do you not have someone who’s leading the entire league in 3 point percentage in the contest?!? It’s outrageous. Does the league have a hidden agenda against an Aussie upstaging the rest of the league on their big stage?? An invite wouldn’t have hurt!
Tobias Harris got a run, who isn’t even in the top 20! Come on!!
Given Joe isn’t in the contest, it’s hard to see Klay not taking out the title again (if he’s motivated), if he’s not “home town hero” Paul George takes home the crown.

It’s hard to split the Dunk Comp contestants. All 4 are incredible athletes, but I just feel Dennis Smith Jnr has something special up his sleeve, he’s got some serious bounce!

In saying that, there will be no surprises if any of the 4 contestants take home the title!
Moving forward to the main event on Monday, don’t expect a whole lot of defence. Again, it’s for the fans and is the most glorified pickup game of all time. One year it really would be great to see both teams lock horns and actually see a quality game of basketball with the best players in the world on centre stage!
I loved LeBron’s line up before all his injuries, and with that, Team Steph gets the W in this one. The Greek Freak to take home All Star Game MVP honours!

Dave Bauk

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