One of the NBA's great unspoken rules, along with "traveling doesn’t really exist" and "superstars can do whatever they want," is that you can't pick an All-Star from a sub-.500 team. It's a silly fallacy, but it’s one that’s oddly stood the test of time — if you can't singlehandedly will your team to win more than half its games, then you can’t possibly be one of your conference’s 12 best players.
This is hogwash. The All-Star Game is meant to reward great individual talent and great individual achievement, and sometimes those things come from people whose teammates aren’t very good. There’s nothing wrong with being a big fish in a small pond — some of the game’s all-time greats have played that role from time to time.
The 12 best players should be All-Stars. Period. Even if the guy's team is 10-36.
In the Eastern Conference, this is a non-issue — pretty much all the best players are crammed into the top six teams. But out West? That’s where it gets interesting.
Blake Griffin has a good shot at All-Star glory, Kevin Love is deserving, and maybe even a Memphis Grizzlies — Zach Randolph or even Rudy Gay — has an outside chance.
Steve Nash is by no means having his best season, but he made the team last year and seven of the last nine, so he could sneak in as a "legacy" pick.
Monta Ellis is consistently among the league’s top five scorers. How can you keep him out?
The Western Conference is as deep as it’s been in a long time and not just with solid teams, but with individual talent. Seemingly every team out West has a case to be made for someone.
Rules were made to be broken — at least this one definitely was, anyway. The archaic unwritten rule that losing teams can’t have All-Stars has to go.
Do you have to be a winner to be an All-Star? Share your thoughts below.
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