Kirk (@KirkSeriousFace): While listening to The Starters, the NBA.com podcast, it occurred to me that there's a very real chance Dirk Nowitzki doesn't make the All-Star team. Prior to listening to the hosts make their selections, I'd considered Dirk a lock. The Western Conference is absurdly hard, though, and I could see him being the last man on or off the squad. That all said, do we even care? He's a first ballot Hall of Famer at this point, so it's not like he needs the additional resume boost.
Jonathan: I hope Dirk doesn't make the All-Star team. He's really old, he needs the rest, and doesn't really care about about all the BS. Look at the schedule after the All-Star break. Thing's get real, fast. This might be his last chance to take a breath.
Lisa (@LJRotter): The more I realize how incredibly hollow the All-Star title is (it's a popularity contest) the more I think it's silly that we get SO upset if our favorite/best player isn't the most popular. Kobe got voted in. Yao Ming got voted in that season he was hurt the entire time. Speaking as someone who has never ever been popular or voted for much of anything, I think casual fans are entitled to their excitement, but thinking of a player as better or worse than another based on all star appearances is asinine.
Jonathan: I totally agree with Lisa about whether an All-Star game selection matters to a player's legacy. For me, it's all about All-NBA selections.
Josh (@Boweman55): I'm not too worried if he goes. Yeah, it isn't the exact rest he needs, but it's not like he's going to be playing a lot of minutes in the game and the practices are basically light workouts. I guess the travel and circus of it is tiring, but I don't think it'll be that bad.
Andrew (@andytobo): I have mixed feelings. If the basketball season were important (like big picture, life or death important), sure, Dirk needs the rest. But is it more important than legacy? Isn't talking about someone's place in the game basically as important as actual basketball? And in that sense, another All-Star game on the resume is good.
On the other hand, I want him to rest AND the All-Star game has never been a good forum for him to show what he can do. Neither the All Star game nor the NBA season affects the course of human events in any real way, but I know that the perception of a player and team are often just as important as winning games is to legacy.
The case for Dirk Nowitzki's All-Star candidacy is easy to make, and has nothing to do with any kind of lifetime achievement award. He's 4th among Western Conference PFs in points (Love, Aldridge, Griffin) but among those, he's second in FG% to Blake Griffin; first in 3pt% which is two points better than Kevin Love. He has the best FT% by 8 points, over LaMarcus Aldridge. The fact that there's a different guy out of the four in 1st or 2nd in each of these categories, while Dirk is in 1st or 2nd in all of them is as good a sign as there is that what's always been true is still true: that Dirk is one of the best in the league. (He's also right behind Anthony Davis and Love in PER.)
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