Every year, deserving players get left off the NBA’s All-Star game, and this season is no different, but just because it is a constant in the league doesn’t mean that it always makes sense.
Trae Young, for example, had a solid case but didn't make it. The Hawks are in 10th place in the East, however, and the team’s bad record tarnished Young’s numbers. Record seems to matter for several voters, making it even more mind-blowing that the Sacramento Kings did not get an All-Star.
The Kings are the only team in the playoff picture of either conference without an All-Star, even though both De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis are putting up worthy numbers.
Sabonis leads the league in rebounds and double-doubles and ranks seventh in assists while putting up historic numbers and breaking franchise records. Fox, meanwhile, ranks 10th in scoring in the league and third in steals, marking significant improvements as a defender and three-point shooter.
The Kings were baffled that they didn’t get an All-Star
In the Kings organization, several people expected at least one of Fox and Sabonis to be headed to the All-Star Game in Indiana. When the voting results came out, and that bubble burst, Kevin Huerter took to X/Twitter and voiced his disbelief.
Coach Mike Brown was just as baffled by the decision.
”Everyone knows that they’re more than deserving of getting a nod for the game,” he told The Fresno Bee. He added in the same interview, “It should be surprising for anyone. You’re talking about historic numbers. Not only that, I think we might be the only top-six team in both conferences to not have an All-Star, and I ain’t that good of a freaking coach. I got no magic dust to put on these guys. I’ve got fricking players and that’s what baffles me.”
Malik Monk had a different take on the situation, saying that he wasn’t surprised because people kept disrespecting the Kings. Fox and Sabonis both didn’t voice any frustration on their own account, putting their focus on winning instead.
It’s not just the Kings who are surprised by the snub
It wasn’t just Sacramento that was blown away by the announcement of the All-Star reserves and the glaring absence of a Kings player. On the latest episode of the Hoop Collective, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Tim Bontemps, and Tim MacMahon all voiced their surprise that neither Fox nor Sabonis made the cut.
Andrew Schlecht on The Athletic NBA Show mentioned the Kings not getting an All-Star, in particular Sabonis not making it, as the biggest snub, and said that the Kings’ big man should definitely be the first choice if there is an injury replacement.
Stephen A. Smith likewise lamented De’Aaron Fox’s omission from the All-Star squad.
“We saw what Fox did in the first round of the playoffs last year. This is a star in the making right here,” he said, later adding that Fox should have been an All-Star even if it meant leaving Karl-Anthony Towns off the ballot.