By Marquis Cooley | Reporter
The full roster for the 2021 NBA All-star game was announced last week, and same as always, it was met with a lot of controversy. There were multiple players left out that fans and media members alike felt as though should have made the team. Controversy surrounding the NBA all-star rosters is so common that every year, ESPN’s The Undefeated releases an NBA All-Snub roster hours after the all-stars are announced.
I’ll be the first to admit the NBA doesn’t always get it right when it comes to these rosters, nor does any other sport for that matter. I even believe the selection process for these teams is flawed by allowing players and coaches to have input on who plays a game that is made strictly for fans.
However, when discussing these rosters and who should be playing in these games, I think former NBA player and sports analyst Jalen Rose said it best: We shouldn’t say who got snubbed from these rosters “without saying who they should replace.” For example, I believe Devin Booker should have made the team over his teammate Chris Paul, because he has been putting up better numbers and has been a bigger factor for the Phoenix Suns’ success this season.
That doesn’t change the fact that these rosters are incredibly hard to make. Take this season for example — thirty games into the season when the all-star voting began, there were multiple players deserving of an all-star nod, but there were only 24 spots available. That’s not even enough for every team in the NBA to have a representative. With such limited spaces available, not to mention limited spots per position as well, ultimately people are going to get left out.
If you’re unable to definitively say that a player you want in the all-star game should be in over someone else that did make it, then you can’t complain about them being a snub, because everyone on the team is deserving. Julius Randle may not have been many people’s first thought for the all-star game, but it’s hard to argue against him when he is putting up career-high numbers and has the New York Knicks in playoff contention for the first time since Linsanity and Carmelo Anthony in 2012 and 2013.
There’s a lot of talent in the league, arguably more so than ever before. Not every player who’s having a good season is going to get the recognition you feel they deserve. Perception of players in the league fluctuates constantly from season to season, sometimes even month to month, so just because someone didn’t make it this year doesn’t mean they won’t make it next year.
Sometimes players just need to get the league to notice them, and that’s what all the snubs this year were able to do. A lot of them will make their all-star debuts or returns next season.