The NBA All-Star Game might be the most popular exhibitions amongst the four major sports leagues in the United States. It’s everything a basketball and non-basketball fans could ask for. With expansions to All-Star weekend, the NBA has done all they could to grasp the attention of fans nationwide. They’ve been doing a marvelous job, the exception being the enigma that is now the dunk contest, and they would obviously hope to continue with their work.
What would be the next step? With the overwhelming theme this year being All Star Snubs, the idea of expanding the roster has risen.
Now, critics will immediately shoot back with comments such as, “it will ruin the value of an ASG roster spot.” They might even say, “It’ll be easier to get in.” What is the right move?
Lets take a look at the current roster:
John Wall (s)
Kyle Lowry (s)
Carmelo Anthony (s)
LeBron James (s)
Pau Gasol (s)
Dwyane Wade (Injury; will not be participating)
Stephen Curry (s)
Kobe Bryant (s) (Injury; will not be participating)
Blake Griffin (s) (Injury; will not be participating)
Marc Gasol (s)
Anthony Davis (s)
DeMarcus Cousins (injury replacement for Bryant)
Damian Lilliard (injury replacement for Griffin)
Taking a quick glance over the roster and you’ll probably wonder who’s missing? Cousins and Lilliard are in because of injuries but if they had never occurred, this discussion might be gaining more steam. The reality is, they’re both deserving of the All-Star game albeit making it their in an unconventional way.
What if that wasn’t the case? Hypothetically, if the rosters were set at a limit of 13, only one of these players would be getting in. We wouldn’t be seeing the surging Cousins who has been an absolute beast this year, and we wouldn’t see Mr. 4th Quarter provide us with what will be highlight plays throughout the game.
Notable snubs in this year’s ASG include: Mike Conley (17.4 PPG, 5.4 APG), Dirk Nowitzki (18.3 PPG, 5.9 RPG), Derrick Rose (18.6 PPG, 4.9 APG, 3.1 RPG), and Kyle Korver (51.6% FG, 52.8% 3-PT, 92% FT). Korver was just added as a replacement for Wade. The list would have been longer if not for injuries striking a handful of players.
After initially believing that a roster expansion was necessary because of a variety of reasons, such as basketball becoming more popular, higher level of talent spread across the league and goals to expand their popularity, the right move should be to keep the rosters at 12.
The recent injuries of superstars prove to be the biggest reason why.
Two All Stars already have been replaced due to injuries and now there are a handful of superstars that may succumb to the same fate as well. Carmelo Anthony is fighting a lingering knee injury that may sideline him Sunday as well as the Knicks contest against Orlando, Anthony Davis is powering through a sprained shoulder, Dwyane Wade has already ruled himself out, and maybe Tim Duncan can join this list due to “old age.”
With a potential of five All Star replacements, an expansion of the roster would essentially bring in lesser talent in the event of many injuries as we are seeing today.
Keep the roster the way it is. There are other ways to expand the game; the NBA just has to find out what will be the most successful.