The NBA has come under fire from its very own, including the likes of LeBron James following the completed release of a controversial All-Star roster for 2021.
The 2021 NBA All-Star game will take place on Monday, March 8 in Atlanta despite fears the event would be cancelled due to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The current process of NBA All-Star selection is: The starters for the match are voted on by fans, who count for 50 per cent, while players and media split the final 50 per cent of voting.
The All-Star reserves list, which was revealed today and has been at the centre of heated debate, is decided upon by the league’s coaches.
Today’s list of All-Star reserves included:
Western Conference: Anthony Davis (Lakers), Paul George(Clippers), Rudy Gobert (Jazz), Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers), Donovan Mitchell (Jazz), Chris Paul (Suns), Zion Williamson (Pelicans).
Eastern Conference: Jaylen Brown (Celtics), James Harden, (Nets), Zach LaVine (Bulls), Julius Randle (Knicks), Ben Simmons (76ers), Jayson Tatum (Celtics), Nikola Vucevic (Magic).
Atlanta’s Trae Young, an All-Star last season, is not one this year despite averaging 26.9 points this season, the most among anyone not selected.
Miami forwards Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler, who appeared in last season’s NBA Finals for the Heat, didn’t make the cut, nor did Phoenix’s Devin Booker. All three players were All-Stars last year.
Booker’s Suns are currently fourth in the NBA’s Western Conference, while he currently averages 22.6 points per game.
James, last year’s NBA Finals MVP with the LA Lakers, led an outpouring of criticism directed at those who opted to snub the Pheonix guard.
“Devin Booker is the most disrespected player in our league!!!! Simple as that,” James tweeted.
Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis who was last year named an All-Star, was another snub that had NBA personalities puzzled.
Former Boston Celtics champion Kendrick Perkins took to Twitter immediately to express his displeasure at Sabonis’ snubbing, who has been in career-best form this season, with his franchise tracking along nicely as Indiana sit in the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference.
However, it is worth noting that the NBA will likely select another All-Star reserve with Lakers big man Davis expected to miss the game as he nurses a calf injury.
Other snubbings, and players who could fill the void by Davis could include: Brandon Ingram (Pelicans), De’Aaron Fox (Kings), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Thunder) and Jerami Grant (Pistons).
Team captains James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets will draft their teams next week, with the rosters to be unveiled on March 4. The starters were revealed last week.
James and Durant will choose from eight other starters for their teams first when the draft takes place: Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, Washington’s Bradley Beal, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Dallas’ Luka Doncic, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving, Denver’s Nikola Jokic and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard.
– with AP