Coaches fail to select best player on resurgent team as All-Star reserve.
By SAM AMICOFS Ohio
Well, at least Stephen Curry took the news well.
Curry, of course, is the point guard for the resurgent
Golden State Warriors, a fourth-year pro who’s averaging 20.9 points and 6.6 assists, and shooting 45 percent on three-pointers.
Most folks will tell you Curry is the main reason the Warriors have gone from spending nearly a decade in the dumps to a real threat in the Western Conference.
Yet it was forward David Lee, not Curry, who snapped Golden State's 16-year drought Thursday, becoming the team's first All-Star since Latrell Sprewell in 1997. Now, nothing against Lee, who’s been a major factor for the Warriors this season as well. He certainly deserved a spot.
Even Curry said so.
"Congrats to my bro @Dlee042 representing #DubNation in Houston,” Curry posted to his Twitter account, in reference to Lee. “Proud teammate. Let’s go.”
Others, however, were less thrilled with Lee being the only Warrior who was voted in as a reserve by the West coaches.
Charles Barkley told a national television audience he was so angered by Curry’s omission that “my head’s about to explode.”
Warriors backup point guard Jarrett Jack tweeted, “I really need to take a deep breath so I won't say something I'm not supposed to.”
And Warriors fans everywhere felt like they’d been kicked where it counts
But the trouble here is deciding who should’ve been left out. Joining Lee as West reserves were Spurs center Tim Duncan and point guard Tony Parker, Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook, Rockets guard James Harden, Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge and Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph.
Hard to overlook anyone on that list. All are top-flight players from playoff-contending teams.
Meanwhile, not all reserves in the East can make that claim
– with the 76ers’ Jrue Holiday and Cavs’ Kyrie Irving joining the Heat’s Chris Bosh, Knicks’ Tyson Chandler, Pacers’ Paul George, and Bulls’ Joakim Noah and Luol Deng.
Holiday’s team appears unlikely to make the playoffs unless Andrew Bynum eventually makes his Philadelphia debut, then stays healthy and plays with some serious passion.
Irving’s team lost 32 of its first 43 games.
Yet Holiday and Irving are making their first All-Star appearances (as are George, Noah, Harden and Chandler).
Keep in mind that the reserves, again, are selected by coaches, who can’t vote for players from their own teams.
What actually may have hurt a guy like Curry the most? Well, the fact that fans select the starters.
In the West, the starters are Dwight Howard (Lakers), Blake Griffin (Clippers) and Kevin Durant (Thunder) in the frontcourt, and Kobe Bryant (Lakers) and Chris Paul (Clippers) at guard.
In the East, it’s Kevin Garnett (Celtics), Carmelo Anthony (Knicks) and LeBron James (Heat) in the froncourt, and Dwyane Wade (Heat) and Rajon Rondo (Celtics) at guard.
Now, the Lakers and Celtics are both traditionally strong franchises with huge fan bases. But do those two teams, given their first-half disappointments, really deserve to have two guys apiece starting?
The fans say yes. The coaches would probably tell you no.
Curry and others like him – Clippers guard Jamal Crawford, Hawks forward Josh Smith, and so on
– can only sigh.
This isn’t intended to trash the guys who made it. In the East, Holiday and Irving are two of the most dynamic guards in the game. Irving, in particular, makes for good TV. And that’s what All-Star weekend is all about.
Plus, he can really play. Earlier in the week, Celtics coach Doc Rivers admitted he voted for Irving
– although Rivers made it clear it wasn’t easy, considering the Cavs’ record.
In the West, not enough coaches made that difficult choice to include Curry. Difficult, of course, because there were so many other worthy candidates.
Still, of all the possible reserves out West, Curry is widely considered one of the two or three best, and certainly one of the top seven.
Yet he’ll be at home, just like the rest of us, when the rest of the stars are taking center stage.