What does the third-best record in the NBA get you these days?
For the San Antonio Spurs (30-11) it apparently does not mean having anyone on your roster named to the starting five of the Western Conference for the 2013 NBA All-Star Game in Houston Texas on February 17th.
On Thursday, the league announced the All-Star starters and the list of usual suspects that follow should not really come as a shock once the votes were tallied: Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin will represent the West, while LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo were named the starters for the East.
Despite the Los Angeles Lakers’ drama-filled season, Bryant received the most votes followed closely by James.
But now the focus shifts to who will be named among the reserves for each side — and that is where guys like Tim Duncan and Tony Parker should receive some love.
And this is where the debate really gets good.
There are a number of qualified players who should have their number called and truly are having All-Star seasons. Golden State would not be were it is without Stephen Curry and David Lee. Not only is Jamal Crawford a lock for Sixth Man of the Year thanks to his work off of the bench for the Los Angeles Clippers, but Crawford is also deserving of an invite to Houston.
The same can be said about Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, James Harden, Russell Westbrook and super rookie Damian Lillard. And that is just the West.
Back East, expect to hear Tyson Chandler, Joakim Noah, Jrue Holiday and even Paul George’s name floated about as All-Star reserves.
One thing is for sure — someone deserving will get left off the list. It happens every year. For now though, the starters for each side are in place and the rest (along with the debates of who is All-Star worthy and who is not) are yet to come.
Here is how the voting for the Western and Eastern Conference All-Stars shook out:
East Frontcourt: LeBron James (Mia) 970,314; Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 891,759; Kevin Garnett (Bos) 328,716; Chris Bosh (Mia) 308,194; Tyson Chandler (NYK) 260,000; Paul Pierce (Bos) 171,601; Joakim Noah (Chi) 129,331; Josh Smith (Atl) 111,260; Anderson Varejao (Cle) 99,955; Amar'e Stoudemire (NYK) 90,996; Shane Battier (Mia) 88,800; Andrew Bynum (Phi) 84,939; Luol Deng (Chi) 76,400; Brook Lopez (BKN) 67,991; Jeff Green (Bos) 52,785.
East Backcourt: Dwyane Wade (Mia) 645,875; Rajon Rondo (Bos) 574,272; Deron Williams (BKN) 309,778; Kyrie Irving (Cle) 258,193; Ray Allen (Mia) 195,142; Monta Ellis (Mil) 71,287; Raymond Felton (NYK) 66,745; Jrue Holiday (Phi) 56,683; Jason Terry (Bos) 52,833; Brandon Jennings (Mil) 49,122.
West Frontcourt: Kevin Durant (OKC) 924,898; Dwight Howard (LAL) 616,150; Blake Griffin (LAC) 489,795; Tim Duncan (SA) 299,434; Pau Gasol (LAL) 197,377; Kevin Love (Min) 189,949; Omer Asik (Hou) 131,002; Rudy Gay (Mem) 125,562; Serge Ibaka (OKC) 111,963; Marc Gasol (Mem) 99,271; Zach Randolph (Mem) 97,778; LaMarcus Aldridge (Por) 97,090; Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 93,491; Metta World Peace (LAL) 85,279; Chandler Parsons (Hou) 78,235.
West Backcourt: Kobe Bryant (LAL) 977,444; Chris Paul (LAC) 542,564; Jeremy Lin (Hou) 496,133; James Harden (Hou) 283,691; Russell Westbrook (OKC) 232,074; Steve Nash (LAL) 166,262; Tony Parker (SA) 111,032; Ricky Rubio (Min) 96,466; Stephen Curry (GS) 78,380; Manu Ginobili (SA) 70,813.