It’d be nice if I could muster some sort of righteous indignance over the news that David Lee, and not Stephen Curry, will be representing the Golden State Warriors at the 2013 NBA All-Star Game in Houston. But I can’t.
I’d justfeel better if Curry had somehow been wronged by a faulty voting process or biased electorate. But he wasn’t.
The fact is that there’s really no logical case to be made for Curry’s superiority to the reserve guards who beat him out. Russell Westbrook is one of the 10 best players in the NBA and his team has won more games than any other this year. The only real point of contention about his spot on the roster is whether or not he should have been voted in as a starter ahead of Kobe Bryant.
Similarly, Tony Parker and James Harden both have PERs substantially higher than Curry’s (22.93 and 22.03 to 19.84, respectively) so any argument against their worthiness starts from a severe logical disadvantage. Their numbers have both simply been better than Curry’s, but even if you’re inclined to ignore them, you’d be hard pressed to make a very good anecdotal case that Curry’s exclusion was some sort of travesty.
It’s not difficult to argue that Curry is equally deserving of trip to Houston as Westbrook, Harden and Parker are, but it’s nearly impossible to say that he is more deserving.
The discourse on the Warriors’ first All-Star selection since 1997 is sure to branch off in a couple of different, predictable directions. First, fans will lament Curry’s absence from the roster, citing the impact he’s made on the Dubs, his status as the league’s preeminent three-point shooter and his worthy statistical credentials. All of those things are true, and they’re compelling. But as we’ve covered, he wasn’t the only terrific guard up for consideration.
Next, some fans will make the case that Curry is more deserving than Lee. In a vacuum, that’s a reasonable position. But it ignores the reality of the situation. Curry wasn’t competing with Lee for a spot (or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph); he was fighting with the three guards we’ve already mentioned. And even if he were measured against the bigs, its not like he has been demonstrably better or more valuable than the players who made the team.
It’s bitterly unsatisfying to be at peace with a decision that I desperately want to be upset about. But Curry was just a casualty of a numbers game; there were too many good players and not enough spots. It’s a bummer for Curry, but your takeaway from all of this is that I deserve congratulations for my impressively logical and mature handling of the whole situation.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to stick pins in my Tony Parker voodoo doll.