WWDSD?

What would David Stern do?  It's something I ask myself in every day situations.  After I ask myself, I usually try to do the opposite.  Like for instance I did not change my cat to a micro-fiber cat this summer.

Although Elton Brand was understandably left off the list of Western Conference All Star reserves, he still has a chance to make the team.  It all depends on the commish.  

I say understandably, but I don't in fact understand it.  Tony Parker?  Over Elton Brand?  Really?  I mean, really?  Tony Parker, who scores less than Elton Brand and is 17th in the league in assists?  That Tony Parker?  Tony Parker is not in the top 15 in the league in ANY statistical category (unless they started tracking DHW's unbeknownst to me).  I mean, I know his 52.8% shooting percentage is really terrific for a guard, but Elton is shooting 56.2%

The West is friggin' loaded at the forward spot, a problem exacerbated by the fact that Tracy McGrady was voted in as a forward.  (Note to NBA All Star Game ballot makers - Tracy McGrady is a guard.)  But Tony Parker over Elton Brand and Carmelo Anthony is hard to figure.

But David Stern has a chance to fix this.  He has two spots to use, due to the injuries to Yao Ming and Carlos Boozer.  The decision is his alone.  Unfortunately, it would seem that there are three main candidates, all forwards, surprise, surprise.  Carmelo Anthony, leading the league in scoring, Elton Brand, and Josh Howard, whose resume starts (and ends) with 'second best player on the best team'.

So there are three candidates, and arguably three main considerations:

  1. Statistics
  2. Character
  3. Team performance
Carmelo wins category 1 - he's the leading scorer in the whole league for cryin' out loud.  But the 'character' issue is clearly the reason the coaches didn't select him.  

Josh Howard wins category 3 - or technically, I guess he's tied with the likes of Jason Terry and Austin Croshere.  And happily for him, he doesn't have any character issues, but his numbers don't really stack up to these other guys.  Not even close.  He aspires to Tony Parker's numbers.

Elton wins the character category, his numbers are still amazing, and frankly, you can make an argument on team performance as well.  Look at it this way - if Elton DOESN'T make the All Star team, the Clippers will be the only team in the top 8 in the West not represented.  I personally despise the argument (team success is it's own reward, and every player would rather make the playoffs anyway), but at least this year it's not working against Elton.  (It is however working against Zach Randolph and Ray Allen, who aren't even in this conversation, and it's already taken care of Joe Johnson and Emeka Okafor in the East.)

This will be really interesting.  Will Stern, the same man who gave Carmelo Anthony a 15 game suspension, leave the league's leading scorer off the all star team?  Will he succumb to the group think that says Howard is an All Star by association?  

There's no way he's not taking Carmelo.  This situation is a little present to the commish, wrapped up in a bow, that let's him say 'See, Melo?  It was nothing personal.'  Carmelo, the third leg of the tripod on which the NBA's future is built, is on the team.

That leaves Brand or Howard.  Obviously he will pick Howard.  Why is it obvious?  Because Elton has never gotten the recognition he deserves, and I don't expect this to be any different.  

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