As an NBA fan, I used to have faith in my peers. I used to believe that most of you were able to form educated opinions without my help and guidance, without me looking over your shoulder to carefully check the names you select and the boxes you mark.And then the 2006 All-Star Game rosters came out.
While I applaud some of this year’s selections – like Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki and Toronto Raptors forward Chris Bosh – I am downright angry at several of the omissions, especially in the West. Here’s my snub list:
1. NO/OK Hornets guard Chris Paul
How could you not include the guard who has not only single-handedly transformed a cellar-dweller into a playoff team, but did it in the toughest division in basketball? Not only can the rookie score – 16.2 points a game – but he also does the one thing that most young players can’t – take care of the ball. He’s averaging more than seven assists and fewer than three turnovers a game. That’s not just efficient for a rookie, that’s efficient for an All-Star.
2. Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony
Even though he’s playing exceptional ball in his third season, he’s the best player on a division-leading team; that should be an automatic selection. His scoring average is up and while he may not dazzle you in other areas – like rebounds and assists – he is proving to be a mismatch on the drive and a runaway train on the post. With the injuries to forward Kenyon Martin and center Marcus Camby, and the Nuggets’ inability to find a starting shooting guard, Anthony should be rewarded for keeping a mediocre team afloat.
3. Milwaukee Bucks guard Michael Redd
Not only is this guy dropping a monster season on an unsuspecting Central division but, like All-Star reserve and Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas, he is another second-round pick success story. I understand that most of you haven’t been able to see Dead-Eye Redd play much, but the guy is the purest shooter in the NBA. His release is high, smooth and brutally quick; he may have taken 237 three-pointers already, but he’s hitting at a rate of 41 percent. That’s absurd.
So what’s the solution? From the West, cut Houston Rockets center Yao Ming (and move San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan to a center spot) and Seattle Sonics guard Ray Allen; Yao has missed too may games and Allen hasn’t had the impact on his team that Paul and Anthony have. In the East, leave out Detroit Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace. He may be my favorite player, but his biggest achievement this season has been cutting his hair short enough to where his white spot doesn’t look so weird.
Now that I’ve set the story straight and you have a whole year to let the logic digest, I sincerely hope that you NBA fans everywhere make more … informed … selections in 2007.
Sports Editor Travis Stewart is a junior broadcast journalism major from Sugar Land.