The Kings not having an All-Star is simply embarrassing 

Charlotte Hornets v Sacramento Kings
Charlotte Hornets v Sacramento Kings / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

Every year, the NBA All-Star Game showcases some of the best players in the league. The game itself has become somewhat laughable because no one plays defense and players just don’t care enough about winning. 

Being named an All-Star still has meaning in the NBA, however. It is about respect and acknowledging players’ accomplishments. This year, the Sacramento Kings were disrespected. Neither De’Aaron Fox nor Domantas Sabonis made the Western All-Star squad, making the Kings the only team in the top six without an All-Star.

Meanwhile, the ninth-seed Lakers have two. Legacy definitely is a factor in this because the numbers don’t support the Kings not having an All-Star. Most Kings fans didn't expect them to have two, but one seemed realistic. They are a winning team with two great players after all. 

Fox is having his best scoring season yet, showing immense growth as a three-point shooter and ranking ninth in scoring across the entire league. He is averaging 27.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.6 steals on the fifth seed in the West. 

Those are All-Star numbers but his path to the All-Star Game was abstracted by a stacked Western Conference backcourt. Luka Doncic and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander deservedly got the two starting spots. It is almost impossible to imagine an All-Star game without Stephen Curry, so he was a lock, and the Timberwolves deserved to have Anthony Edwards in the game.

That didn’t leave much room for other guards to make it, and a deserving player would have to be left out. It ended up being Fox. 

Domantas Sabonis deserved to be an All-Star

Domantas Sabonis not being an All-Star is a different story. He is averaging 19.9 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 assists per game, marking career-highs in field goal percentage, rebounds, and assists. 

He leads the league in rebounding and double-doubles with a streak of 29 consecutive ones, ranks seventh in assists, and has already recorded 13 triple-doubles. Only Nikola Jokic, the reigning Finals MVP, has more with 14. 

Sabonis is on track to finish the season with numbers we have only seen from Wilt Chamberlain and Nikola Jokic, two of the best bigs to ever touch a basketball. And yet, he didn't make the All-Star roster. 

The question obviously is, if Sabonis should make the team, whose spot should he take? Minnesota is the best team in the West and has been for most of the season. They deserved to get one of their big men on the roster. The Clippers have been great lately, and Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are the engine behind that. They have a solid case for having two All-Stars. 

The Lakers don’t. Anthony Davis is putting up All-Star numbers and is definitely a better defender than Sabonis. His team is not winning enough to have two All-Stars, however, making him the odd one out because LeBron James has to be on the team.

Seven teams got two All-Stars—the Suns, the Lakers, the Timberwolves, the Clippers, the Celtics, the 76ers, and the Bucks. The Lakers are the only team on that list not in the top six of their conference. 

Maybe Sabonis can still get in as an injury replacement, but he should be more than just a second thought in this conversation. The same goes for Fox, but the Kings don’t have a strong enough case to get two All-Stars, and Sabonis is putting up historic numbers. 

So, for now, Keegan Murray, who is competing in the Rising Stars Challenge, will be the only King going to Indiana and that is an embarrassing oversight. Mike Brown felt the same way.

“Every year there are deserving players left off the team but to me, this is truly a glaring wrongdoing,” he told Andscape.

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