Unfortunately, there can only be 24 All-Star spots. With the NBA announcing the reserves on Tuesday, The Phoenix suns star guard Devin Booker finds himself in a familiar spot.
Getting snubbed for the initial voting, and possibly getting in the All-Star game through a player injury, again.
The Western Conference is very difficult for coaches to vote on, but the criteria that snubbed Booker last year cannot be the same excuse this season.
The Suns are siting at 20-10 and in 4th place in the tough west, and are vastly improved since last seasons bubble run.
So why the snub again? The West is loaded with stars, and unfortunately that will be the problem every year for Devin Booker.
Damian Lilliard and Donavan Mitchell have been spectacular as well, but one of those guys had to be overtaken by a guard that is well deserving.
Booker has been in the league longer than Mitchell and should have beat him out last year without question.
Donavan has the Jazz in a place they haven’t been, and Lilliard continues his marvelous play and is keeping the Blazers a float through injuries.
The situation for the voters is very difficult year in and out in the West. But at some point, respect of how long a player has been in the league putting up huge numbers has to come into play in the decision making.
The Eastern Conference is sending four new players to the All-Star game, players that are way less talented than Devin Booker and have far less of a resume in the league.
No question if Devin were in the Eastern Conference he would have been an All-Star in his second or third season even on a bad team. But the West is the big time, and making it there shows just how elite you are or not.
Booker is not going to be the only West player being snubbed, but what can’t happen, is one of those guys behind Booker like Ja Morant jump him in the coming years.
One could make a case that rookies and second year players should never jump a Vet in waiting no matter his draft status. Zion Williamson has been good but has not accomplish nearly what Booker has this season.
Position should be taken out of the equation, seeing that the game has changed to position-less style players that do it all on the court. Simply, just put the best 12 guys on the floor.
If that were to happen, then perhaps Zion could be Anthony Davis’s injury replacement and Booker on the original roster because of seniority.
Booker can still make his second All-Star appearance via the injured player replacement, but what else can he do that would convince the voting coaches he is better than the most popular name of the reserves.
They asked for better numbers, then more wins, a playoff contender, and with all boxes checked, Booker still on the outside looking in.
Starting to wonder if there is a bounty out for this guy, as he doesn’t even get the respect as a star from referee’s during games as most star players do.
Lots of things changing in this world of crazy sports, I remember a time when a player went out and earned his respect thru nicks and bruises and gets his due.
I guess the new sports trend is, just be the most popular name and you get respect.