The 2017 NBA All-Star Game is a few short days away, but there still was some business to take care of before this weekend’s event in New Orleans.
After it was announced that Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love would be sidelined with a knee injury, a roster spot on the Eastern Conference reserves opened up. While there were many NBA players deserving of the honor, league commissioner Adam Silver selected New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony to fill the void.
While Anthony certainly is used to All-Star games (10 selections) and has been one of the league’s superstars over the past decade, his selection is far from a no-brainer. Anthony is averaging a respectable 23.3 points per game, but the Knicks have been one of the bigger disappointments in the league this season, holding a 23-33 record heading into Wednesday’s action.
Many expected Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal to be the player chosen to replace Love. Beal is not far behind Anthony in points (22.3), and the Wizards arguably are the hottest team in the league as of late, going 17-3 in their last 20 games.
Boston Celtics center Al Horford certainly should have been considered as well. Horford has been a major reason for the Celtics’ success this season, as the team currently sits just 2.5 games behind the Cavaliers for first place in the Eastern Conference. The four-time All-Star selection is averaging 14.8 points, 6.7 rebounds and five assists per game.
Philadelphia 76ers rookie sensation Joel Embiid might have been a victim of unfortunate timing. He hasn’t played since Jan. 27 after suffering a knee injury. Had he stayed healthy, though, there’s a good chance he could have been the replacement choice over Anthony. “The Process” is averaging 20.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game this season, in his rookie campaign nonetheless.
So while Anthony ultimately was the player chosen to go to New Orleans, it’s safe to say other players have gripes, too.
Thumbnail photo via Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports Images