Examining Under Deserving NBA All-Star Selections of the Past 15 years
I recently put together a piece about ‘random’ MLB All-Star selections. So, it’s only fair that the NBA gets the same treatment. There have been many head-scratching decisions by the NBA All-Star voters in recent years.
I had to make sure to highlight some of the guys who probably didn’t deserve to play in the midseason showdown, that got the nod anyway. When you consider that the likes of Kevin Martin and Monta Ellis were scoring 23-28 points per game and never got in, well… it just goes to show how nothing is perfect.
Kyle Korver (2014-15)
Look, I don’t have a single negative word to say about Kyle Korver. He’s been a consummate professional on every team he has played on, and never complained about his role. He’s one of the best three-point shooters in the history of the game. But, he should never have been an All-Star.
Because the Hawks had the best record in the East at the All-Star break in 2015, it must have been decided that they should have four All Stars. Horford and Millsap deserved it. You can (kind of) make a case for Jeff Teague. But, not for Korver.
He was having an incredible 50/50/90 shooting season at the midway point. But when you consider that Korver averaged 12 points, four rebounds and three assists, he had NO business being an All-Star. Come on, man.
Mehmet Okur (2006-07)
It’s hard to dislike anything about Mehmet Okur. One of the first centers to be a “floor-spacer”, the seven-footer was a very good player in Utah. He was decent on the boards, blocked the occasional shot, plus had a smooth touch from the outside.
Okur averaged 17 points and seven rebounds per game during the 2006-07 season, which are pretty good numbers by most standards. But, they were not nearly good enough to put him in the All-Star game. The Jazz were fantastic in that year, going all the way to the conference finals. But, Memo was just not a good selection.
It’s cool that he represented his team, it really is. But, it was a poor choice. Just as surprising in the 06-07 year was Josh Howard getting in. He played well for Dallas, but 19 points and six rebounds per game is also seemingly not good enough. But, it was??? Come on, NBA. Kevin Martin should have had that spot.
Gerald Wallace (2009-10)
Gerald Wallace was always a likable NBA player. And as soon as he got to Charlotte, his career started to take off. His number will not be retired by the franchise (and nor should it), but he made them fun to watch and helped them to a surprise playoff appearance.
That postseason trip happened to be in 2009-10, where they got clobbered by Orlando in round one. Gerald was also voted in as an All-Stara. He averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds, numbers similar to Okur’s a few years prior. This made him the first All-Star in the history of the Charlotte Bobcats.
It’s hard to slander Wallace, so I won’t do that. But, those statistics do not scream All-Star. Not in the slightest. Kevin Love has posted similar numbers for the Cavs in recent years on top seeds and not gotten the same recognition. So, why did Gerald Wallace get the benefit of the doubt on a team that just squeaked into the playoffs?
Andre Iguodala (2011-12)
Andre Iguodala has had an incredible NBA career. He’s been named MVP of the NBA Finals, and won three titles (and been to six in a row). He’s made two All-Defense teams. He was also voted in as an All-Star. But clearly, it happened in the wrong year.
How many forwards averaging 12 points, six rebounds and five assists have been named as All-Stars? ONE. Iguodala. He averaged 20-6-4 in his third year, and similar numbers in the years that followed. But no All-Star nod. They chose to vote him in during a season in which his contributions were down.
Iggy did score 12 points on 6-7 shooting with four rebounds and a pair of assists in 14 minutes of action, but his selection was still odd. Josh Smith was putting up far better numbers. Why didn’t he get the spot!?