2023 NBA All-Star Game starting snobs
The 2023 NBA All-Star starters were announced Thursday and LeBron James tied Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for most All-Star selections with 19. This is the 18th time the Los Angeles Lakers forward has been named a starter.
There are expected All-Star starters like James, Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.
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But, as always, there are players who have performed well so far in the season who have been snubbed for the All-Star starting lineup. There’s still a chance of being named to the team as a reserve, but there’s an added weight to the glory of being named a starter.
Here are the snubs from the NBA All-Star starting roster:
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Joel Embiid – Philadelphia 76ers
In the East, Durant, Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum and Joel Embiid are all worthy starters. But it was a numbers game. Only three could be elected as front row starters. It’s not like anyone who didn’t deserve it got out of this group. Embiid turned out to be the one left out.
The Philadelphia 76ers center has been an All-Star for the past five years. This season, he is the league’s second leading scorer and is averaging 33.4 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.
Jaylen Brown – Boston Celtics
At guard, Kyrie Irving is a fan favorite and got the go-ahead to start, but Boston’s Jaylen Brown is having the better season. He’s averaging 26.9 points per game and 7.1 rebounds compared to the Nets star’s 26.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.
It would have been a better choice.
Ja Morant—Memphis Grizzlies
In the West, Memphis’ Ja Morant could easily have been a starter in the backcourt alongside Luka Doncic, but there’s no problem Curry getting the nod. Morant is averaging 27.3 points and eight assists per game.
Morant, who made his first all-star team last year, will be part of the reserve team.
Domantas Sabonis—Sacramento Kings
In the frontcourt, you can tell Zion Williamson didn’t play enough games (only 29) and Sacramento’s Domantas Sabonis should have been named as one of the starters.
Sabonis has started 45 games this season and leads the league with 12.4 rebounds per game.
Lauri Markkanen—Utah Jazz
The same case can be made that Lauri Markkanen should have been named as one of the starters. The 25-year-old has never been selected for an All-Star Game but has started 46 games so far this season and is averaging 24.8 points per game and 8.7 rebounds.
But as long as they do it as reserves… no harm, no fault.
Contributor: Victoria Hernandez