The NBA All-Star Game is a showcase for the league's stars, both established and new. One of this year's breakout stars has been Utah's Paul Millsap(notes), who has been terrorizing opponents off the bench for several years now. This season, with the opportunity to start, he's become one of the West's best forwards, averaging 21.5 ppg on 58.2 percent shooting, 9.5 rpg and 2.9 apg. On top of that, he has a signature moment, scoring 11 points in 28 seconds to complete the comeback against the Heat last week.
It's easy to imagine him playing a big role at All-Star weekend this February. Except, for some reason, he's been left off this year's All-Star ballot, released Thursday by the NBA.
How did this happen? As noted by NBA.com's Art Garcia, the ballot is selected by a blue-ribbon panel of some of the nation's best NBA writers, including Yahoo!'s own Marc Spears. Garcia has an apology for Millsap along with a bit of an explanation:
I listened and interjected where I could, trying to convince the group to give Millsap [his] rightful place on the ballot. I suggested placing his Utah teammate Al Jefferson(notes) at center, allowing Millsap space to swim in the forward pool.
The belief from at least one of the esteemed panelists was that Mehmet Okur(notes) was on the verge of return and needed to be included among Western Conference centers.
Yahoo Sports Blog
[ Edited by global_nomad on Nov 19, 2010 at 19:48:38 ]