It probably was easier to accept being an NBA All-Star snub last year since the game was played in makeshift fashion in Atlanta in front of a limited number of fans due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But being a snub will sting this season as Cleveland is expected to have All-Stars rubbing elbows with the likes of Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson in celebration of the NBA’s history.
Twenty-four NBA stars will compete in the 2022 All-Star Game on Feb. 20 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland. There will be a replacement for Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant, who is expected to miss the game with a sprained knee, as well as Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, who said Thursday he’ll miss the game due to a lower back/disc injury. The weekend will be highlighted by the NBA honoring its 75th anniversary team, which includes All-Stars Durant, LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
With the NBA announcing its All-Star reserves on Thursday, The Undefeated once again presents its annual NBA All-Snub team — our squad of the most deserving players who didn’t make the cut.
BAM ADEBAYO, Center, Miami Heat
The Heat have three deserving All-Star candidates in Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro. Injury-plagued Miami also has one of the East’s top records, but the Heat’s recent slide and Adebayo’s long absence to injury kept him from being selected for his second All-Star appearance.
JARRETT ALLEN, Center, Cleveland Cavaliers
The old-school center with the league’s best Afro is averaging a double-double in points and rebounds and is an intimidating shot-blocker. The NBA All-Star Game is in his town. The stunning Cavs have one of the league’s best records. But that still wasn’t enough for the Eastern Conference coaches to give Allen the honor for the first time.
LAMELO BALL, Guard, Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets have been one of the fun up-tempo teams to watch in the NBA due in large part to LaMelo Ball. The 2021 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year also has one of the league’s hottest selling jerseys and is popular with the younger generation. Ball and his teammate Miles Bridges made a strong All-Star case for themselves, but were both snubbed.
JAYLEN BROWN, Guard, Boston Celtics
Celtics stars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum were both worthy of being NBA All-Stars. The Celtics’ disappointing record, however, has kept this franchise from deserving two. So, the East coaches picked only one in team scoring leader Tatum, keeping Brown from making his second straight All-Star appearance.
ANTHONY DAVIS, Forward, Los Angeles Lakers
Perhaps the most stunning omission this year is Anthony Davis, an eight-time All-Star who was named one of the NBA’s Top 75 players of all time. Davis is one of the league’s best all-around players who suits up for one of the most popular sports franchises in the world with James. The Lakers’ poor record and Davis’ lengthy injury absence likely caused the West coaches to believe that James was the only All-Star representative the Lakers needed.
ANTHONY EDWARDS, Guard,
Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards will play in the Rising Stars Challenge but had aspirations of suiting up for the All-Star Game, too. The No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft is one of the most exciting young players in the NBA. But with a record barely over .500, West coaches probably felt like it was best to wait on the 20-year-old.
DE’AARON FOX, Guard, Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento star De’Aaron Fox will remain one of the NBA’s best-kept secrets. The lightning-quick point guard is a proven scorer and assist man, but has not enjoyed a winning record in five seasons. The Kings’ lack of success makes it easy for the West coaches to overlook Fox.
KYRIE IRVING, Guard, Brooklyn Nets
An argument could certainly be made that Kyrie Irving deserved to be named one of the NBA’s Top 75 players. The seven-time NBA All-Star is still an unstoppable scorer and has the coldest dribbling skills in the world. But being a part-time NBA player due to his unvaccinated status likely caused the voting coaches to keep him from being selected.
DEJOUNTE MURRAY, Guard, San Antonio Spurs
Spurs star Dejounte Murray is having the best all-around season of his NBA career. Murray is not only averaging about 20 points, but also is in the top 5 in the NBA in assists and steals. But with the Spurs far out of the playoff picture, it made it easy for the West coaches to pass on Murray for his first All-Star nod.