As a fan of the game of basketball, the All-Star game is always a “must watch” event. Filled with a bunch of highlight, jaw dropping plays, fans look forward to this game before the season even starts. Thursday, January 21, this years All-Star starters were announced before the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers game on TNT. The following week, the All-Star reserves were announced selected by head coaches.
Due to the astounding number of basketball fans in New York and more specifically Suffolk Community College, I thought it would be interesting to hear what Suffolk’s fans thought of this years All-Star roster. Most of the subjects were surprisingly disappointed with the selected players, more specifically for the Eastern Conference.
LeBron James, Kyle Lowry, Dwayne Wade, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony were named the starters for the East. This surprised most. James, Wade, and George earned their spots as starters with their magnificent play thus far, but what about Carmelo Anthony and Kyle Lowry?
“Melo does not deserve to start, I think. He’s had success because he’s getting help from Kristaps Porzingis and his other teammates. He doesn’t have to carry the scoring load on his own anymore. And he really hasn’t even played his best basketball, he’s been inconsistent.” said Suffolk student Dandre Baker.
After missing half of the last season, Melo’s numbers have been steadily dropping since the 2013-14 season but, somehow he managed to earn a starting spot as an All Star. When asked who he would replace Carmelo with, Baker immediately answered, “Andre Drummund.” The Detroit Pistons Center, has made noticeable improvement from last season. Drummond is averaging four more points than last season, with 17.3 and is shooting 52 percent from the field. Already, Drummond has totaled 47 impressive double-doubles thus far in the season. Those sound like All-Star numbers. Instead, the third year Center will be coming off of the bench for the East. This bring up and interesting question; if a player was a perennial All-Star starter, like a Carmelo Anthony, should that guarantee him another starting spot in future All Star games?
As for the guard spot, needless to say, there was more disappointment. For the second straight year, the Toronto Raptors Guard, Kyle Lowry was named a starter for the East surpassing Kyrie Irving by 65,000 fan votes.
“This is why the fans shouldn’t vote.” Kevin Wallace, student at Suffolk said. “Look at the numbers. The Cavaliers have been playing noticeably better since Kyrie returned from his injury. Don’t get me wrong Kyle Lowry is a good player but he shouldn’t be an All-Star player this year. Jimmy Butler and Kyrie Irving are better suited.”
Wallace made some valid points.Taking a look back at the 2014-15 season statistics for Kyle Lowry, he shot 41.2 percent from the field, his three point percentage was 33, and his free throw percentage was 80.8 percent, 45th amongst guard free throw percentage. But, somehow Lowry found himself starting in the All-Star game that season. The same season Kyrie Irving averaged, 21.7 ppg. and shot 46.8 percent from the field, 41.5 from three point range, and shot 86.3 percent from the free throw line. Irving was an All-Star reserve that year.
“The fans really shouldn’t vote anymore. Last year Justin Bieber told people to vote for Kyle Lowry which really isn’t fair. There are die hard Bieber fans out there who probably don’t even watch basketball, going and voting for [Lowry] just because he said so. It doesn’t make sense. It ruins the sport.” says Suffolk student, Kenny Simmons.
Fans have a tendency to be biased and only vote for players they want to see in the game rather than studying the stats and then deciding who is deserving of an All-Star appearance. It isn’t fair when a public figure like Justin Bieber uses his status and social media outlets to influence All-Star votes. Nevertheless, every year All-Star weekend is a must-watch event for basketball fans to enjoy, this year will be no different.