There's been a lot of talk surrounding the All-Star game, both good and bad. I'm not here to debate whether we should have an All-Star game or not, I'm here to explain the type of players you want in an All-Star game and more.
It's that time of year when NBA fans start talking about who should be in the All-Star game, and as an analyst, it annoys me just a slight bit when personalities start to name a ton of players who should be All-Stars. There has been a lot of talk surrounding Jaylen Brown, Christian Wood, and Nikola Vucevic, and Khris Middleton. These are great players and are very deserving of an All-Star appearance, but with all the talent in the NBA, I'm just not sure that these players belong in the contest, and I'll tell you why.
First off, I know that I'm going to get backlash for what I just said, but hopefully, the explanation of my thoughts will trigger your understanding. Obviously, the four players that I just listed are having phenomenal seasons. Do they deserve to be in the All-Star contest? Yes, but do they belong, and would they play well? I don't believe so. It happens every year, a player who has been quite dominant throughout the season and is selected to be on the tail end of the All-Star team. The same thing has happened to Brandon Ingram, Khris Middleton, and Nikola Vucevic in the past (just listing quick examples). These players were visibly timid when playing in the game, and to tell you the truth, they looked lost. NBA analysts are clamoring for these three players to be locks for this year's All-Star game. Yes, these players look exceptional performing against their opponents, but when they are put up against a team full of stars, their confidence dwindles and they genuinely look like they don't belong. Another factor that improves the All-Star contest is the overall skill and play of the player. A player like Donovan Mitchell or De'Aaron Fox is going to be more fun to watch than a player like Khris Middleton or Nikola Vucevic just because of the way they play.
Another element that people are becoming exceedingly hooked on is the advanced stats and the defense. Remember, it's the All-Star Game, and unless it's going to be played like last season (which was awesome), defense does not matter. NBA personalities are getting wrapped up in the defense and how each player leads their team, which does not matter in the All-Star contest. An individual that covers the NBA suggested that Mike Conley should make the All-Star contest over Donovan Mitchell because Conley is the principal cause of Utah's success. Yes, that is true, and I agreed with the individual that Conley is the foremost centerpiece to Utah's number four ranked offense, but does that mean you put him ahead of guys like Chris Paul, De'Aaron Fox, and Donovan Mitchell? I consider the answer to be quite apparent.
There are a lot of athletes in the NBA who deserve to be in the All-Star Game, but the number of athletes that belong in the contest diminishes considerably, and I don't believe that guys like Middleton, Vucevic, and Wood belong in this year's All-Star Game.