The NBA All-Star Game starters were announced this evening, and former Kentucky star Anthony Davis was noticeably snubbed from the list.
As the two leading vote-getters of their respective conferences, LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks were each named All-Star captains. No surprise there.
When you get into the starters, however, you’ll notice Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George won the spot over Davis in an apparent tie-breaker.
James, George, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, and James Harden will represent the Western Conference, while Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, Joel Embiid, Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker will represent the Eastern Conference.
Davis, who finished third in the West in player and media voting, came in fifth in the fan votes, giving George a chance to leapfrog the former Wildcat for the prestigious honor. According to the release, fan voting weighs out in tiebreaker scenarios, even if it means the inferior player gets the nod.
For comparison’s sake, Davis is averaging a career high in points (29.3), rebounds (13.3), assists (4.4), and steals (1.7) per game. He’s also shooting over 50 percent from the field, sinking a career-high 33 percent of his 3-pointers, shooting 81.2 percent from the free throw line, and blocking 2.6 shots per game, the sixth consecutive season he has averaged at least two blocks per contest.
George, however, is averaging 27 points, 7.9 rebounds, four assists, 2.3 steals, and 0.5 blocks per game. He’s also shooting 44 percent from the field and converting 39 percent from beyond the arc.
The Oklahoma City star is a fantastic player and deserves a spot on the All-Star team, but you’ll never convince me Davis wasn’t snubbed.
Unfortunately for him, New Orleans has a significantly smaller population size, television market, and average attendance per game than Oklahoma City. The fact of the matter is that no matter how talented Davis is or how hard he tries to build his brand, the ceiling will always be lower for him in a Pelicans uniform.
Here are the combined fan, player, and media votes:
12 players from each conference will be selected as All-Stars, meaning as of today, Davis is the only former Kentucky player to make the team at all. Devin Booker (8), Karl-Anthony Towns (9), and Eric Bledsoe (10) are UK’s only representatives on the list, with none of them making the final cut.
Oddly enough, Wenyen Gabriel also received one vote as an All-Star starter, and the reaction from the NBA on TNT crew was about as funny as you’d imagine.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) January 25, 2019
TNT will unveil the 14 total reserves, as selected by NBA head coaches, next Thursday at 7 p.m. ET. At that point, we’ll see how much the coaches respect guys like Towns and Booker compared to their peers.
Davis will certainly get in as a reserve, but there’s no excuse for a player of his caliber to not be voted in as an All-Star starter. The former Wildcat needs to get traded out of New Orleans, and it needs to happen as soon as possible.