When seeing the names missing from the 2011 NBA All-Star Game roster - notably Kevin Love, Steve Nash, Monta Ellis, LaMarcus Aldridge and Tony Parker - it's hard in good conscience to argue that Nuggets center Nene and his 15.3 ppg and 7.3 rpg belongs on the squad. And frankly, the little "Nene belongs in the All-Star Game" chatter that surfaced came exclusively out of the Denver sports media. Nobody who covers the NBA nationally ever thought Nene belonged on the team.
I'm not in any way trying to diss the great season Nene is having because he is, indeed, having a great season. But he's having a great season by his own standards and maybe the Nuggets standards, not the NBA's standards. And the days of Chris Gatling, Tyronne Hill and Jamaal Magloire making All-Star teams are long gone. Despite having too many teams, the NBA's talent pool is so deep that the league's leading rebounder and third leading scorer can't even make the All-Star team.
I believe that Love deserved a spot on the squad over the well respected but aging Tim Duncan and that Duncan would have made the perfect Commissioner's pick for the spot to be vacated by the injured Yao Ming. But hopefully NBA Commissioner David Stern will right the wrongs of his coaches (who voted for the reserves) and get Love on the team where the NBA's best rebounder since Dennis Rodman certainly belongs.
Here's a rundown of today's notable links...
Every NBA Slam Dunk Contest Video Visualization
THIS MIGHT BE THE GREATEST LINK OF ALL TIME: a breakdown of every NBA slam dunk contest (1984 to 2010) by dunk, year, and score. You can see video footage of the actual dunk by clicking on the circles. Unreal!
Nuggets' Nene misses NBA all-star reserve spot, but still has a chance - The Denver Post
The Post continues to live in fantasy land, thinking that Nene might get an All-Star nod courtesy of David Stern.
George Karl becomes calming leader as Carmelo saga continues - Ian Thomsen - SI.com
Carmelo Anthony is still in Denver and the 29-20 Nuggets remain a dangerous playoff team, which demonstrates the change in coach George Karl. In younger decades he might have reacted angrily to the season-long 'Melo-drama (as Karl refers to it) of whether or not his star will be dealt.
Carmelo Anthony pleased with the Nuggets organization’s communication | All Things Nuggets
That has not been the case in Denver, where Carmelo Anthony says he meets often with Nuggets executives Masai Ujiri and Josh Kroenke, who are constantly in his ear about developments in his status with the Nuggets.
Linas Kleiza of Toronto Raptors has microfracture surgery, could miss year - ESPN
Former Nugget Linas Kleiza could miss up to a year after the Raptors forward had surgery to repair cartilage damage in his right knee.
Ellis helps headline All-Snubbed team - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
Take your pick: Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Monta Ellis – they’d all make good All-Stars. Except they aren't, according to Marc Spears.
From the Archives (2009)...
Hornets' David West an All-Star, Nuggets' Carmelo Anthony not - ESPN
Carmelo Anthony gets passed over for a 2009 All-Star spot in favor of New Orleans Hornets forward David West. Melo had missed many games due to injury that season which was what primarily cost him the All-Star appearance. Melo would get his revenge on West later on when the Nuggets bested the Hornets in the playoffs.