The 2021 NBA All-Star team has been finalized and what a time to be a basketball fan! Giannis, KD, Kyrie, Steph, Lebron, Kawhi, Luka, and many more elite talents will all be on the court at the same time, and we just get to sit and watch! If this year’s All-Star game is anywhere near the level of last year’s (arguably the best All-Star game of all time, thanks in large part to the Elam ending, which is being utilized again this season) then we should be in for an absolute show!
However, as great as this lineup is, there are some obvious names missing from the roster. Many of those names made it into the reserves, like Dame, Simmons, Harden, and AD. However, many still remain left out and overlooked, leaving many fans and players disrespected and bewildered.
We wanted to shed a light on some of those stars and make an argument for them. However, to make it interesting, we are going to be focusing on why exactly each player missed the roster.
Bam Adebayo – Miami Heat
Reason for being overlooked – Miami’s 14-17 record, position
There is only one player on the All-Star team that is on a team with a losing record, Bradley Beal, who made it on the back of 32.7 points per game (We will return to Bradley Beal in a few moments). Bam Adebayo does not have that stat to his name (Although he is averaging 19.6 points from the center position) and therefore can not overcome his team’s record.
He also unfortunately plays center, which is a locked up position in the All-Star game. Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid are two of the best centers of all time and any other center who wants to hurdle them is going to have to do unbelievable things to get there. Bam might have been impressive, but he has not been Joker or Process impressive.
I do fully expect Bam to get the rub in the reserves however whenever AD is removed for injury.
Khris Middleton – Milwaukee Bucks
Reason for being overlooked – Position
Khris Middleton plays forward, which is currently the most talented and deep position in all of basketball. Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, and Giannis Antetokounmpo are the four best forwards in all of basketball history. They also are four of the most popular players of all time. No other player at the position will earn a shot at these All-Star roster spots until one of these stars retires.
Sure, the reserves forwards are a little soft in the forward position. However, that would require the league to remove a player from one of the some of the biggest fanbases in the league (Boston, New York, and Philadelphia). That is not going to happen.
Mike Conley – Utah Jazz
Reason for being overlooked – Age
The average age of the eastern starters is 28 years old. The average age of the western starters is 29 years old (27 if you remove Lebron). Mike Conley is 33, which would make him the second oldest player on the team. Only Lebron is older and Steph is not far behind. The All-Star game is meant to be an opportunity to highlight the upcoming stars of the league going up against the defining stars of the league’s last few years. Zion may be in the midst of his second straight disappointing season, but he is a young star that the NBA wants to build upon. For that he makes the reserves.
Conley will probably retire in the next few years. For that reason he will not be selected for the All-Star roster and retire without a single nod throughout his career.
Devin Booker – Phoenix Suns
Reason for being overlooked – ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Maybe the team is not winning enough as it was in the past? No, that is not it, because they currently have the fourth best record in the west. Maybe Booker just is not as good as the players already selected? No, he is shooting more then 50% from the floor, with 24.7 points per game. Maybe his team just is not relevant enough to get a roster spot? No, because his teammate Chris Paul got selected.
He is young, the Suns are going to be in the western semi-finals if not better, and after what happened in the bubble, they are as popular as any team. Devin Booker and the Suns are currently being disrespected, and I for one hope they get to take that out on every opponent for the rest of the season and playoffs.