The NBA on Thursday night announced the starters for this year’s All-Star Game. Philadelphia 76ers star center Joel Embiid, for the first time in six seasons, was not named as one of the starters for the Eastern Conference.
Kyrie Irving, Donovan Mitchell, Jayson Tatum, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kevin Durant were all named as the Eastern Conference starters. The Western Conference starters consist of LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Zion Williamson, Luka Doncic and Steph Curry.
It is possible that Embiid could become one of the Eastern Conference’s starters if Durant is not able to play. He is currently out with a sprained MCL and will be re-evaluated in two weeks. The All-Star Game is on Feb. 19, about a week and a half after Durant is reportedly getting re-evaluated.
It, unfortunately, is not surprising to see Embiid miss out on being named an All-Star starter. He was in fourth place among frontcourt players in the latest round of fan voting on Jan. 19. The fans account for 50% of the decision in who starts in the All-Star Game.
However, Embiid not being named one of the All-Star starters shows why things need to be changed in the NBA. He is second in the league in scoring, averaging 33.4 points per game. He anchors the fourth-best defense, according to points allowed per game, in the league. It is comical to have him be snubbed from being among the starters. There is a clear solution to avoid having this kind of situation happen again: Make the All-Star Game starters be positionless. The starters of the All-Star Game should just be the five best players or the five top vote getters regardless of position.
Embiid is a lock to be named as one of the All-Star reserves. He could be joined by fellow Sixer James Harden who is averaging 21.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 11.1 assists. The All-Star reserves are announced on Feb. 2.