New Rules Or No, Spurs’ Big Man Duncan Still Stuck Outside of All-Star Mix
By Fran Blinebury
HANG TIME, Texas — So much for the Tim Duncan Rule.
With voting changed to designate players simply as frontcourt or backcourt, eliminating the center position, the All-Star Game‘s new balloting process was thought, by some, to reignite the chances of the Spurs’ former two-time MVP to return to the Western Conference lineup. Duncan’s streak of 12 consecutive All-Star Game appearances ended last season when Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin beat him out in the fan voting. The poll of head coaches did not add him as a reserve.
Yet when the first returns for the 2013 NBA All-Star Game arrived on Thursday, there was Duncan on the outside of the West starting lineup again, while the Lakers’ center Dwight Howard held down a firm spot in the middle, flanked by the young guns Durant and Griffin
Tim Duncan is fourth among West frontcourt players. The first three make the starting lineup for February’s All-Star Game in Houston, Texas. — D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images.
Have the voters not bothered to notice that one of the main reasons the Spurs are off to an 18-5 start — the second-best record in the league — is because the 36-year-old Duncan is putting up the kind of numbers not seen since the last time he was an All-Star starter? While managing his minutes to just 30.5 per game, Duncan is averaging 17.9 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.6 blocked shots. San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich spent time at each stop along the way of the Spurs’ recent six-game Eastern Conference road trip trying to drum up appreciation and votes for the linchpin of the Spurs’ four NBA titles.
So what happened? In short, the Lakers. The Lakers are always the Lakers, no matter how dismal their 9-13 record, how many times they change coaches midseason or how often they get spanked by the likes of the lowly Cavaliers.
Imagine, the most underachieving team in the NBA would — with Kobe Bryant and Howard — have as many All-Star starters as the defending champion Heat (LeBron James and Dwyane Wade) and more than the league-best Thunder (Durant), East-leading Knicks (Carmelo Anthony) or Duncan’s Spurs. Duncan’s teammate Tony Parker is seventh among Western Conference backcourt players, more than 200,000 votes behind the hype machine of Houston Jeremy Lin.
Not that missing all of the hullaballoo and activity of All-Star Weekend would be something that Duncan regrets. As a 16-year veteran, he knows the value of rest and appreciated having a midseason break to relax with his family last year.
“I will not be campaigning,” Duncan told Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News. “I haven’t heard what Pop’s been saying, but I guess I’ve got to talk to him.
“I wouldn’t complain if I’m not on the (All-Star) roster. I want to play well and want to feel good about what I’m doing on the court, but I am not going to be unhappy if I don’t make it.”
Tim Duncan, as always, has his own rules.
Go Spurs FO Go! Grade A for key pick ups this summer!
Oh well, I am sure he could care less. He was an all star for years on end, not going to cry if I don't see him there and more rest for him.
Win or lose this is a game -
You could let it pick your brain for weeks and months, just replay it over and over, won't do you any good at all. When someone loses a loved one and they do that it only brings forth anguish. I feel acceptance is sometimes the key, it happened, now you have to react to it. Giving up is not an option.
Tim is so neutral on this ASG being such a Humble and open minded HOF!!!
TD would like to go if given the chances and if he goes a lot of fans (True FANS not those idiots who are NOT voting for him online) who attend the game would be so tickled in their "Heart" to see Tim Duncan there.
Considering how TD was Western Conf player of week once this season PLUS his Great level of playing this year so far, I think he should be voted in by coaches.
Tony Parker on the other hand with is playing at a such a high level might be Robbed if he did not go to the ASG this year. With Tony's team being top 3 seeds on the western conf.
And pop is campaigning for that Pop said on the post game conf that he thinks Tony is playing like an ALL STAR.
Oh well even if none of our Spurs players got to the ASG I am still fine with that.
Pop would actually rather that they don't go I am sure.
The big three have been there and done that already... I am sure they all want to win it all and hoist that Trophy more than anything else.
And honestly the SWEETEST reward would be if our Spurs focused on the second half and remained top seed in the WESTERN Conf and won it all!!!
Go Spurs FO Go! Grade A for key pick ups this summer!
My predictions for the All Star lineups:
Reserves:Chris Paul,Tim,Marc Gasol,Stephen Curry,Westbrook,Love,OJ Mayo
Lin shouldn't make it but likely will.
You could also make a case for any of the big three Trailblazers,but their record should keep them all out.
Reserves: KG,Chandler,Josh Smith,Deron Williams,Pierce,Monta Ellis,Jrue Holiday
Snubs: Kyrie Irving,Varejao,Brandon Jennings,David West,Luol Deng
Hey Fran (author of the article), I don't think TD gives a rat's a** whether he's in the ASG or not. I'm thinking he'll be content watching the game at home, cooling his hoofies on the couch with a cold brew with his kids and beautiful wife while Manu, his wife and twins come over with a HEB brisket. And the Spurs coyote may make an appearance just to round out the night. With the possible exception of TP, the entire Spurs crew will get a night or two off.
Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.
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