Let's say you were looking for good, well-thought out, insightful All-Star pieces. Here you go:
Empty The Bench's East and West.
Give Me The Rock's All-Star Dance Team.
SLAM's B-List All-Stars.
The Hoop and Harm's "Top 12 Players in Each Conference; Not Technically An All-Star List" All-Star List.
We decided to do one, because they're fun. Which is what the All-Star game is supposed to be. Fun. The biggest problem we have with it is that it gets treated as some sort of legitimate process. Come on. The term All-Star doesn't have a concrete definition. Let's consult the dictionary, shall we?
Dictionary.com: consisting of athletes chosen as the best at their positions from all teams in a league or region: Our quarterback was chosen for the all-star team.
American Heritage Dictionary: Made up wholly of star performers: an all-star cast.
Notice how it uses terms like "best" and "star"? That's because there's no technical definition. The whole process is clumsy. That's why the NBA decided to give fans a vote. If there's not a way to select them that's not completely arbitrary, then what's the harm? Are the fans morons that abuse the privilege? Absolutely! That's why they're fans! If you're not a coach, or NBA representative, you have no obligation to really be objective and considerate with your All-Star selections.
On the other hand, if it were up to us, the All-Star game would be made entirely of players that really want to be there and deserve to be there. There's a big sentiment in the media that a player should be there because "it wouldn't be right if he wasn't." Barkley made this point about Iverson last night. But really, AI's been to eight of the damn things, selected for nine. You really think he's going to feel slighted if he doesn't start? How about Jason Kidd? Nine time All-Star. The same guy who D'Allessandro says "doesn't look like he wants to play"? If the whole thing is for fun, and the guys in the actual game give about as much effort as they do in the preseason, maybe less, why not fill it with some guys that are actually interesting. What, is it for the casual fan? "Ooh, Jason Kidd's in the All-Star game, AGAIN! I think I'll watch this time!" Please. But you put Jose Calderon, who legitimately deserves that spot, on there, and Canada will come out hard core. Bosh is great, but Jose is the kind of guy that can really give Canada a reason to watch.
So why not put together a team of entirely interesting players that fit the bill? Hell, half the All-Stars don't even want to play. They want to come down, hang out, go to the parties, and enjoy the time off. Then there's the injury issue. Sheed doesn't want to play, but Dwayne Wade should NOT play. The kid's killing himself for Riley, they're not going anywhere, and it's taking a toll on Wade. We'll come back to this later, but make no mistake, Dwayne Wade should be playing as little professional basketball as possible for the next 10 months. So if he's so banged up, why not just leave him out, and put in someone who's healthy and who wants to be there, and who deserves to be there? Haven't we kept Chauncey Billups out of top billing for long enough?
The West bugs us even more. Chris Paul is not starting the All-Star game. Chris Paul. Neither is Steve Nash. You must be joking. This has to be some type of sick joke. We've woken up in hell, I mean... but no. It's okay. The whole thing is arbitrary. We accept that.
But in the continuing vein of recognizing players that rarely get their due, we've put together our WTF All-Star Team. Because f*ck 'em if they can't take a joke.
Perhaps you're wondering why Paul Pierce is a small guard in this lineup. The answer, dear friends, is because Corn drinks a lot.
G: Jose Calderon
G: Chauncey Billups
F: LeBron James
F: Gerald Wallace
C: Dwight Howard
LeBron makes this spot because he's still young and right now, he is the face of the league. Kevin Garnett deserves to be here, but somehow, I think he'll manage to get over it. And Gerald Wallace has played out of his mind. Not putting Caron on here was literally painful.
G: Rip Hamilton
G: Joe Johnson
F: Hedo Turkoglu
F: Caron Butler
F: Chris Bosh
F: Josh Smith
C: Samuel Dalembert
G: Chris Paul
G: Kobe Bryant
F: Carlos Boozer
F: Rudy Gay
C: Yao Ming
Why is Kobe on here? Because nobody loves individual accomplishment like that man. Anyone who wants it that bad deserves to be in. Plus seeing him and LeBron get in a pissing match would be entertaining. Before he starts playing "Kobe Ball" and Nash and Paul club him like a baby seal.
G: Steve Nash
G: Allen Iverson
G: Brandon Roy
F: David West
F: Dirk Nowitski
F: Carmelo Anthony
C: Amare Stoudemire
We don't like putting Amare down as a Center. He's not a true center, he's a power forward. But with Bynum out, we're short on them. AI's on here, because he's having one of the best individual seasons of his career. But just imagine this lineup.
That's a WTF All-Star team.