By Tom Minear
This is the worst decision ever.
No joke. No exaggerations.
This is a legitimate fact.
Carmelo Anthony was not picked for the All-Star game.
No, I am not kidding you.
Personally, I am still in shock. I flicked to NBA.com to see that Amare Stoudemire, Tony Parker, Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash, Shawn Marion, Allen Iverson and Carlos Boozer were selected by the league’s coaches to come off the bench for the Western Conference team.
They will back up Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and Yao Ming, who were selected by the fans to start for the team in the annual NBA showcase game.
But no Carmelo? You know, the small forward with Denver?
Someone made a mistake, right?
They must have counted the votes wrong, or typed the wrong name on the media release.
No. The NBA’s leading scorer will not play in the game designed purely for scoring.
This is the biggest oversight in the history of the game.
You think I am going a bit overboard? Not a chance.
Check out Carmelo Anthony’s resume:
This year, his averages are 31.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4 assists and 1.4 steals, and he has career high numbers in every category except rebounds.
Shooting a career high 48.9% from the field.
Named USA Basketball’s Male Athlete of 2006/07.
Unanimous NBA All-Rookie First Team selection.
Made the most game-winning shots in the NBA from the beginning of the 2003-04 season to the end of the 2005-06 season.
Averages 23.7 points per game on his career.
Numerous Player of the Week and Player of the Month honours.
Second youngest player in history to score 5000 points
Do you want me to continue? Mention his top-50 rankings in nearly every statistical category under the sun? Or maybe we could talk about his college career – NCAA Champion with Syracuse and the National Freshman of the Year?
Come on – don’t tell me he’s not one of the very, very best players in the world.
I’m not saying that every basketball fan should have voted for him. I know he was suspended for 15 games, and that the West has the two locks for the Hall of Fame at the forward positions.
But the coaches didn’t think to add him? Huh?
I mean, I love Parker, Boozer, Marion and Stoudemire as much as the next guy. They are having exceptional seasons, and no doubt deserved All Star consideration. But Carmelo is better than all four of them.
He can score, he can create, he can defend, he can rebound.
He is clutch.
Carmelo is exciting – he is built to play an All Star game. But in his four years in the Association, he never has.
Surely that is enough reason to give the Denver Nuggets’ franchise player a spot.
No wait – there’s more.
Have a look at the West roster – see any pure small forwards? Shawn Marion and Tracy McGrady play the position, but the Matrix is more of a four and T-Mac plays mainly at the off-guard.
So we have the best small-forward in the West. Maybe even the league. And he can’t get a spot on this roster?
I will be so disappointed if this major, major snub has anything to do with Anthony’s suspension. No doubt David Stern was very disappointed with the young star, and he punished him very harshly.
But he can’t be robbed of his natural right – yes, his natural right – to play in the All Star Game.
Stern can fix this. Yao Ming and Carlos Boozer are under serious injury clouds, so the League Commissioner will get to add two replacement players.
Carmelo is the man. He has to play – he deserves it.
Make sure you follow the game from Vegas with close attention if he gets on court. Carmelo will be a very angry man, and will be looking for some Hibachi-style revenge.
Believe me. Carmelo Anthony should be the definition of an All Star.