By: Jack Nevins
On February 19th in Utah, at Vivint arena, home of the Utah Jazz, the stars of the NBA will duke it out in a showdown on the world’s biggest stage. The teams used to consist of the East vs. West, where it then shifted to two team captains where players were selected in a draft, back to square one with the East vs. West. As you see the top ten players get selected for the starting roles on each squad, the reserves bring great controversy to who should really get a roster spot. These players consist of who was snubbed or who deserved to be on the team of these elite players.
The 2023 All-Star teams were missing notable names from both the East and West, but who really was snubbed and deserved a spot? The Eastern conference starters contain Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Donovan Mitchell, and Jayson Tatum. The Western conference starters include LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic, and Zion Williamson. All players are deserving of their starting roles, but the reserves are questionable, with many names missing from both rosters.
The Eastern conference squad is without the likes of James Harden, pascal Siakam, Trae Young, and even Jimmy Butler. Harden is averaging 21.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1 steal, the 10 time All-Star is definitely deserving of an All-Star appearance over Jrue Holiday. Pascal Siakam was named an All-Star in 2020, and has since been a leader to the Raptors success in the East. With career averages, Siakam has 25 points a night, with 8 rebounds, and 6.3 assists. Trae Young, an All-Star in 2022 and one of the best young guards in the league was a sure snub this year. The only obstacle in Trae’s way is the sub – .500 record of the Hawks. Young certainly has the numbers averaging nearly a double-double, with 27 points per contest and 9.9 assists. The final Eastern conference snub is Jimmy Butler. Butler will not be representing the Heat in this year’s game, as his teammate Bam Adebayo will be playing. Butler has led the Heat on several deep playoff runs, including a finals appearance in 2020, during the bubble season. Averaging 22 points, 6 boards, and 5 assists, Butler is well deserving of a spot on this year’s roster.
The Western conference will be without key household names in Anthony Davis, De’Aaron Fox, Devin Booker, and Anthony Edwards. Davis is no doubt a star-studded forward, but has dealt with serious injuries throughout the season. In the 29 games Davis has played, he averages a double-double with 27 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Davis was held back because of his injury and his lack of games played. De’Aaron Fox is the clutchest player in the NBA right now and the Kings sit at the third seed in the Western conference because of Fox’s 24 points and 6 assists a night. Although Domanats Sobanis is averaging a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds, Fox was just as qualified for a spot than Sabonis was. With a similar case to Anthony Davis, Devin Booker has only been seen 29 times on the floor this season but has far better numbers than Paul George. George averages 23 points, 5 assists, and 6 rebounds, while Booker puts up 27 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds a night. Both are astonishing veterans in the league, but Booker held the upper hand on the Clippers veteran forward. The 21 year old, first overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft, Anthony Edwards, has put up a phenomenal resume on a struggling Timberwolves team. With 25 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists, Edwards is much more deserving of a roster spot over Jaren Jackson Jr. Jackson with only 16 points and 6 boards a night, does not match the statline of Edwards.
The All-Star game in Utah will be as entertaining as always, featuring the NBA’s best talent. However, we will not be seeing some players from both conferences that were well-deserving of a spot on this year’s roster.