All-Star shame

I guess there are just not enough slots on the rosters for the All-Star game, but it truly is unfortunate to see so many talented NBA players get shafted from the honor of being an All-Star.

Carmelo Anthony, Michael Redd, Andrei Kirilenko, Marcus Camby and Jason Kidd are among several top NBA players excluded from this year’s All-Star game.

Maybe they should load up the rosters like they do in the Major League Baseball All-Star game.

Sure, it usually only means that a pitcher will play an inning or less and that the fielders are only out for a small space of time, but does the game really matter?

I don’t think so. All that matters is that the players that have played at a higher level get rewarded. That’s the whole point of the All-Star game.

Based on the choices of fans across the world, the starters for both conferences were chosen a week ago.

Shaquille O’Neal, Dwayne Wade, LeBron James, Jermaine O’Neal and Allen Iverson were voted to play for the East, while Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady, Tim Duncan, Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant were elected to represent the West.

On Thursday, the coaches selected the reserves, which added four Pistons-Rasheed Wallace, Richard Hamilton, Ben Wallace and Chancey Billups-as well as Chris Bosh, Paul Pierce and Vince Carter to the Eastern Conference All-Stars.

The West added Ray Allen, Tony Parker, Elton Brand, Pau Gasol, Kevin Garnett, Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki to round out their roster.

Later on, NBA commissioner David Stern chose Gilbert Arenas to replace the injured Jermaine O’Neal.

It would be a tough debate to say that anyone selected to the Western Conference roster shouldn’t be there (with the possible exception of Tony Parker), but I think there’s too much respect for the boys from Detroit.

Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace and Hamilton own spaces on this year’s roster that I think should belong to Arenas (from the beginning), Redd, Kidd, Chris Webber or Antawn Jamison.

It’s true that both Wallaces bring additional defense to the Eastern Conference, but not enough to match the play of those left out.

As for Parker, I think he’s done a good job for the champs, but maybe someone like Baron Davis is more deserving.

Davis averages similar numbers in both points and rebounds but dishes out 3.5 more assists a game than Parker.

I guess Parker’s unusually high field-goal percentage of 55 percent is what gave him the edge over Davis and his low 39 percent mark.

So the debate of who should and shouldn’t be in the All-Star game could go on forever, but I think if they extended the rosters there wouldn’t be as many regrettable snubs year after year.

With the number of those not acknowledged this season, they could probably make a completely new roster for each conference.

I think Webber, Jamison, Redd, Arenas and Dwight Howard could hold their own against the East, and Davis, Kirilenko, Anthony, Camby and Rashard Lewis could give the West a good battle.

There’s just not enough lovin’ to go around.

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