Snub, meaning to be cut short, made smaller, diminished. To say individuals, who may otherwise be having a fantastic season, would some how be diminished by not being included in the midseason classic is something of an understatement. None of these players listed here on my Top Five All-Star Snubs, will end up on my Greatest All Star Snubs of All-Time list. I’ll tell you now, Chris Paul is not on this list. He should rest. He’s got nine All-Star appearances. He’s good in that regard. These fellas are starving for one. Without further ado;
MIKE CONLEY, again
Averaging 19 points, six assists and a career high 41 percent from behind the arc still didn’t get the lefty lockdown artist any all-star love. Nine years in and still no love. Could be indicative of a lack of appreciation for his intangibles from fans. Could be he plays on a medium market team, but his window is quickly closing as other, younger guards are ascending in the Western Conference, and next season he’ll be a year older.
DAMIAN LILLARD, again
Though I in no way believe that Damian Lillard will NEVER be an NBA All Star again, this was yet another opportunity that has fallen by the wayside in his young career. Averaging 26.6 points per game, shooting 44 percent from the field, both career highs, and not getting an All Star nod? It’s rough out West if you’re a point guard this year.
Speaking of a Portland Trailblazers’ guard who put up All-Star numbers, shooting guard C.J. McCollum will join his Rip City backcourt mate on the sidelines this weekend. He also is averaging a career-high in points (23.4 ppg) while shooting 48 percent from the field. In the immortal styling of James Ingram, McCollum’s like ‘I did my beeest, but I guess my best wasn’t good enough…’
JOEL EMBIID aka The Process
I like Joel Embiid! I like him alot. It’s no wonder the Philadelphia 76ers invested so much time in him through some uncertainty. Now all that is paying off. Despite missing some games this season due to rest and knee soreness, Embiid is indeed Em-Beast when it comes to scoring, rebounding and blocked shots.
Averaging 20 points, eight rebounds, to go with 2.5 blocks per game, Embiid is doing all this damage while still having his minutes nursed. This is the most basketball he has played since his days in Phog Allen Fieldhouse. Low post, midrange, out to the three point line, on the break, you name it, Embiid is the new breed.
RUDY GOBERT (Surprise!)
The Maginot Line was a series of obstacles and defensive installments that were once all that stood between the French heartland and oncoming Germany troops. It was a formidable barrier, bristling absurdly large cannons, bunkers and facilities enough to house thousands of men with enough rations to wait out against anyone indefinitely. So, the Germans just went around. Thus, it has now become a metaphor for someone or something with a false sense of security. Rudy Gobert’s grown man numbers of 12 points per game, 13 rebounds, shooting nearly 65 percent from the field, with 2.5 blocks, may have made Utah fans believe he had all the weaponry to get called onto the All Star stage, but circumstances did an end around and picked better players. It’s difficult for a blue collar player to get any All Star love these days.