When judging a player in any sport, it is hard to separate being a fan and the athletes actual performance. This article is not meant to be a slight towards any of the All-Star starters who were selected this year. The intention is to show how All-Star games in most sports have become a popularity contest rather than a performance based achievement. There is something to be said for having Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade make their respective all-star teams because they are iconic players. In regards to starting however, there is tangible evidence that there are more worthy players who should be occupying those two spots. With this being Kobe Bryant’s last season in the NBA, I understand the reasoning for wanting him to appear in the game. This season has been difficult to watch for even the biggest Bryant fans because of his teams lack of success as well as his struggles on the court. For every great player that there has ever been, the one thing that you can not defeat is father time.
You have so many players that are having truly great seasons and have elevated not only their play, but also their respective teams. Demarcus Cousins has the Kings in playoff contention and is currently 3rd in the NBA in scoring but yet he was not voted an all-star starter. Draymond Green, who without a question, deserves to be starting somewhere on the western conference team is also a noticeable snub. In regards to the Chicago Bulls, Jimmy Butler should be starting when the western and eastern conference teams face off in Toronto on all-star weekend. His game has elevated to another level this year and he is the best player on a team who currently sits in third place in the eastern conference. In reality though, the name behind the jersey is a lot more significant than the players actual performance. The great ones deserve to be celebrated and praised for their legacy, but the starting 5 for both teams should consist of the 10 “Best” players in the league and not the most popular.