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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bosh Injury Opens Up All-Star Spot for Mo Williams

In a post last week, I mentioned the possibility that unfortunate injuries might open a path to the All-Star Game for some "snubbed" players. Sure enough, Jameer Nelson went down with a shoulder injury and Ray Allen earned his ninth All-Star selection. Commissioner David Stern's choice of Allen rankled Cleveland fans, though, because they justifiably feel not only that the Cavaliers have played well enough to merit two All-Star selections but also that the acquisition of Mo Williams has significantly improved their team. I cannot say that Allen does not belong--he certainly has played well enough this season to be considered an All-Star--but I thought that Williams should have made the roster even before anyone got hurt.

Now, Chris Bosh's knee injury has sidelined him for the All-Star Game and Williams has been tapped to replace him on the All-Star roster. You hate to see anyone get injured but it is nice for Williams that he will get the opportunity to play in the All-Star Game for the first time in his career. Although Williams and Cavs fans may be disappointed by how this whole process played out, the reality is that he will go down in history as a 2009 All-Star; in the NBA Guide or the NBA Register, it will not say that Williams was an injury replacement, it will just say that he made the All-Star team.

Congratulations to Allen and Williams--and hopefully Nelson and Bosh will recover from their injuries as quickly as possible.

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posted by David Friedman @ 3:36 AM

4 comments

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4 Comments:

At Wednesday, February 11, 2009 11:37:00 AM, Blogger Steve said...

This is why the concept of "All-Stars" is wrong.

It shouldn't be considered an achievement for a player's career. When we look back on someone like T-Mac and it will say he had 7 or so all-star selections, what does that mean?

Since he started several of the all-star games all it means is that he was a very popular player (which certainly was helped by the Chinese fan base). But was he was one of the 12 best players in his conference every time? Doubtful.

T-Mac came extremely close to starting again this year, as did Bruce Bowen and Yi Jianlian. Thankfully none of them did because none of them deserved it in the least.

I have no problem with All-Star weekend. I look forward to it. But it shouldn't be considered an achievement unless the process of how one becomes an all-star is changed.

 
At Wednesday, February 11, 2009 7:33:00 PM, Blogger Joel said...

Steve,

To be fair, the coaches are far less likely to make a questionable pick than the fans. I think they place a bit too much emphasis on being on a good team but by and large they do a good job, so making it as a coaches' pick is definitely a legit achievement.

What needs to change is the fans voting for the starters. I think it will take Yi making it over KG or something like that for the NBA to look at changing it.

 
At Thursday, February 12, 2009 12:42:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Steve:

I understand what you are saying but T-Mac is not a good example to support your case; he was definitely an All-Star caliber player the seven times he made the team, averaging at least 24.4 ppg each of those years in addition to being a good playmaker and rebounder.

I agree that T-Mac, Bowen and Yi did not deserve to make the team this year--and they did not make the team.

It is interesting to ponder what the NBA would do if a completely undeserving player made the All-Star Team (I'm thinking of Yi, who neither has a track record of previous success nor is he a standout at one skill like Bowen).

 
At Thursday, February 12, 2009 12:45:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

Joel:

The game is for the fans, so they deserve to have some say. Even though the fans sometimes choose players who don't "deserve" to start (in terms of being a top five player in either conference) they rarely vote someone in who does not deserve to make the team at all, so the coaches have the opportunity to select the seven most worthy remaining players.

In MLB, there was one year that fans in a particular city stuffed the ballot boxes and voted in virtually every player from their team; I believe that MLB rescinded that outcome--or at least part of it--and took the vote away from the fans for a period of time.

 

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