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2015 NBA All Star Snubs

by Photo of Josh Bombart

NBA players like Damian Lillard express disappointment on being snubbed from NBA All-Star Weekend.

2015 NBA All Star Snubs

With NBA All-Star Weekend on the horizon there are many disgruntled players who weren't named to the roster. NBA All-Star Weekend is made up of a number of different events including the Celebrity Game, Rising Stars game, Skills challenge, Three-Point shootout, Dunk Contest, and the featured All-Star Game that takes place on Sunday, February 15th.  Both the Eastern and Western Conferences will be represented by 12 All-Stars, starters who are voted in by the fans and the remaining players who are selected by the coaches. 

In theory the selection is based solely on every player's performance during the first half of the season. Unfortunately for many young players, this is often is not the case as fan votes usually go to big name veteran players, regardless of performance. In recent years there have been a number of examples where big name players were voted to play in the game despite being injured and not playing much during the season. This often leads to players who deserved to play in the game being left out. 

Because the Western Conference has more competitive teams and more talented rosters as a whole, there is more controversy of who didn’t make the All-Star game in the West. Especially notably at the guard position. This year point guards Damian Lillard (Portland Trailblaizers), Mike Conley, (Memphis Grizzlies), and Goran Dragic (Phoenix Suns) all got snubbed out of the game. The current guards for the West are Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers), Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder), Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), James Harden (Houston Rockets), and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors). Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers) was also voted into the game but due to injury will not participate.

Many expected Damian Lillard to be the frontrunner to replace Bryant. Lillard is having arguably his best season yet as a pro, averaging 21.7 points, 6.3 assists and 4.6 rebounds a game for Portland. To the surprise of many, Bryant was replaced by center DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings). Last year Lillard competed in all five NBA All-Star events, but this year he will not compete in one. Lillard has voiced his disappointment stating, “I just want to thank the coaches who feel I wasn’t good enough, the fans that didn’t think I was good enough, and Adam Silver also for not thinking I was good enough.” Lillard also stated that he was not even invited to participate in the Skills Challenge despite being the reigning champion for the last two years.

While Lillard may have deserved to make the All-Star roster, you can make the case that any other player who made the team might have been snubbed if Lillard was to take his spot. It's hard to argue against the guards that were selected to the team. Harden is a frontrunner for MVP. Curry and Thompson are the driving forces behind the best team in the Western Conference. Paul and Westbrook are also both having terrific years. But as always, there are just more worthy players than available spots. Snubs are always fun to talk about, but in this case, it looks like Lillard did indeed get the shaft. 

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