With only 24 roster spots available for the NBA’s annual All-Star Game extravaganza, there will always be snubs when the rosters are announced.
Some of them — Derrick Rose, looking at you — are a sign that the media and coaches occasionally have to step in to save the fans from their own abject stupidity.
Others — Luka Doncic, who had as good a case as anyone in the West for inclusion on the squad — invite a bit more debate, but the prevailing attitude ultimately became, “Sorry, rook, you just aren’t ready yet. Maybe next year.”
But sometimes you just have to feel for a guy whose combination of a small market, a loaded conference and lack of value of his greatest skill — no Defensive Player of the Year awards are given in All-Star Games — conspire to keep him watching the game on television.
But seriously, Rudy Gobert? The crying was a little bit much.
Rudy grew increasingly emotional speaking with the media about his All-Star snub. Said his mom called him crying. Said he wrote and deleted several messages on social media. Finally, he grew too emotional to speak, and walked off, wiping away tears. pic.twitter.com/UkFX2nUrt8
— Eric Walden (@tribjazz) February 1, 2019
Yes, the Utah Jazz star got weepy when talking about the snub.
You really don’t want to give the sharks on NBA Twitter the scent of blood to roast you over, and the response was swift and merciless.
Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors started with, “I guess I should cry too, no Charlotte?”
I guess I should cry too… no Charlotte? ???
— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) February 1, 2019
Which, c’mon, Draymond, you’ve been such a train wreck this year you couldn’t make the G-League All-Stars, so lay off.
Warriors teammate Andre Iguodala was similarly vicious.
He gone cry in the car?
— andre (@andre) February 1, 2019
And Isaiah Thomas of the Denver Nuggets, who hasn’t been good since Danny Ainge put the voodoo hex on him that Ainge puts on everyone who leaves Boston, isn’t going to be getting into any Gillette commercials anytime soon:
Come on fam you are too big to be crying like that…
— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) February 1, 2019
Tony Jones, who covers the Jazz for The Athletic, pointed out that Gobert’s crying was less about the snub and more about feeling like he’d disappointed his mother back home in France.
I mean…from my interpretation the man was tearing up talking about the sacrifices his mom made. Clowning him for that is cruel
— Tony Jones (@Tjonesonthenba) February 1, 2019
And if crying for one’s mother is socially unacceptable, let’s just go back to 2014 and take away both Kevin Durant’s MVP trophy and the “real MVP” from Durant’s mom.
For better or worse, All-Star selections help to cement legacies when it’s time to argue about the Hall of Fame.
The Indiana Pacers’ Victor Oladipo got an All-Star selection in part because his coach, Nate McMillan, lobbied other coaches around the league to let him in despite his season-ending ruptured quadriceps tendon.
And sure, someone else will take Oladipo’s place (D’Angelo Russell or we riot!), but the point remains that Oladipo will, for purposes of the history books, be an All-Star for the second straight year.
Granted, Gobert’s irritation at saying that great defensive players don’t become All-Stars is, in light of the brand of basketball played during the actual game, disingenuous at best.
But Gobert is also leading the league in field goal percentage, he’s fifth in the league in rebounds per game, he’s second in offensive rating, and he’s fifth in the league in value over replacement player, all per Basketball Reference.
If that’s not an All-Star, what on Earth is? Especially since the San Antonio Spurs’ LaMarcus Aldridge (whose .516 effective field goal percentage is among the worst of all NBA forwards since he can’t shoot a 3 for beans but can’t attack the rim, settling instead for midrange shots right out of the NBA’s Dark Ages post-Jordan and pre-LeBron) got in ahead of Gobert, an absolute travesty of a vote.
At the end of the day, Jazz fans can hang their hats on one thing:
I refuse to hate on a guy crying over a game that he has so much passion for. All respect for Rudy.
Gobert should have been an All Star and it’s great to see that this matters so much to some players.
— Mister Mellow (@softcoredancing) February 1, 2019
At least their guy actually cares.
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