Billups, Lee headline NBA’s All-Snubbed team
Denver Nuggets guard Chauncey Billups(notes) has turned his attention from Dallas to the sun and beaches of Mexico.
That’s what happens when you go from All-Star to All-Snubbed. While many of the NBA’s top players will convene in Texas for the Feb. 14 All-Star Game, Billups now plans to take his wife, Piper, and probably head south of the border.
“I’m good with it,” Billups said Thursday. “Everyone who made it deserves it. Every year there are situations where people deserve it and do not make it, especially at the guard position in the Western Conference. There are always two, three or four guys that didn’t make it that could’ve. There are not enough spots. I would definitely say that in the Western Conference, the guard position is toughest without a doubt.
“I’m going to find some good weather and relax.”
Billups’ numbers certainly merited consideration; he’s averaged 19.2 points, 5.9 assists and 1.2 steals. But after Kobe Bryant(notes) and Steve Nash(notes) were voted starters by the fans, the West coaches chose Chris Paul(notes), Deron Williams(notes) and Brandon Roy(notes) as reserves. The eight games Billups missed because of injury probably didn’t help his cause.
“I’m sure it played a role,” Billups said. “We have the second-best record in the West. If I didn’t miss the eight games we could be vying for the best record, the first spot. If we had the best record in the league, it could be different.
“But I’m all about the team. We are where we need to be as a team. I’m also feeling great. No ailments. The rest is probably most valuable for me.”
Here’s the rest of Yahoo! Sports’ All-Snubbed team:
G – Monta Ellis(notes), Golden State Warriors: Averaging 26 points a game, Ellis ranks not only as the NBA’s sixth-leading scorer, but also as the top-scoring All-Star snub.
Ellis also averages 5.3 assists, 4.2 rebounds and an NBA-high 42 minutes. The biggest knock on him is that he is playing for the NBA’s third-worst team – the Warriors are just 13-31 – and is averaging a league-worst 4.1 turnovers. Ellis had hoped that because New Jersey Nets guard Devin Harris(notes) and Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger(notes) made last season’s All-Star Game, despite playing for teams with losing records, he, too, would have a chance.
The problem: Harris and Granger play in the East. Ellis makes his living in the deep West.
So … Golden State’s All-Star-less streak continues. The Warriors haven’t had someone play in the game since Latrell Sprewell in 1997.
F – David Lee(notes), New York Knicks: Knicks fans are likely wondering how Lee could be left off the East team when he’s averaged 19.4 points, 11.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists. The East coaches also could have put Lee on the roster at center, but instead opted for the Atlanta Hawks’ Al Horford(notes), who is averaging j13.6 points (fourth on team) and 9.8 rebounds.
Even though the Hawks are one of the league’s top teams and the Knicks began Thursday in 10th place in the middling East, it’s curious that Horford would gain his first time All-Star appearance over a guy averaging a double-double.
Lee was also hurt by the fans voting the Boston Celtics’ injury-plagued forward, Kevin Garnett(notes), onto the East team as a starter. If Allen Iverson(notes) or any other East player is forced out of the game because of injury, expect Lee to be named as a replacement.
F – Josh Smith(notes), Atlanta Hawks: With all due respect to Horford, if there was any other Hawk who looked deserving to join Joe Johnson(notes) in Dallas, it figured to be Smith.
Smith could even be viewed as the Hawks’ Most Valuable Player. His all-around stats show off the depth of his talent: 15.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.2 blocks and 1.5 steals per game.
How can the East coaches explain Smith’s omission? They’ll blame it on the fans who voted Iverson and Garnett as starters.
Smith’s chances of being named as an injury replacement also could be hurt by the fact that two of his teammates already represent the East.
C – Chris Kaman(notes), Los Angeles Clippers: Among the snub-ees, no big man in the West is more deserving of a roster spot than Kaman, who is averaging 20.2 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.1 blocks.
The Clippers’ record (20-25) didn’t help Kaman’s case. Nor did the Clippers’ co-tenants at the Staples Center. Kaman had said he thought he was more deserving than Los Angeles Lakers forward, Pau Gasol(notes), who had missed 17 games this season because of hamstring problems.
The West coaches, apparently, didn’t agree.
Honorable mention: Utah Jazz forward Carlos Boozer(notes); Washington Wizards forward Antawn Jamison(notes); Memphis Grizzlies guard-forward Rudy Gay(notes); Lakers center Andrew Bynum(notes); and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Mo Williams(notes). And if any rookie deserved to appear in this season’s All-Star Game – and few usually do – it was Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans.
For the record, Monta was second highest ranked snubbed, right after Billups
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