"It’s like a dream come true for me. When you’re playing basketball as a kid, you envision yourself making it to the NBA. And once you make it to this level, you work so hard to get to an All-Star level. It’s just a blessing for me to take part in this game."Joe Johnson:
"It means a lot to me to be selected as an All-Star again. It’s really a tribute to the Atlanta Hawks organization, and my teammates and coaches. I’ve put in a lot of hard work over the years, and over the summers, and it’s always nice to see it pay off."See if you can spot where in this quote Stan Van Gundy gives a tacit admission that he and I don't hang out and talk about basketball:
"I think he's a really good player, and everybody agrees he's pretty much a power forward that's playing center. He's learned to use his quickness. I don't think there's any negatives with him."John Hollinger (HT: TrueHoop):
Horford and Johnson made the All-Star team and Josh Smith didn't. I guess nobody actually watched the Hawks this year.Always with the attendance jokes.
Got no problem with Joe Johnson. Got no problem with Al Horford. They’re both deserving. But they’re no more deserving — maybe not as deserving — as Josh Smith.The Human Highlight Blog:
And I’m not the only one who’s disappointed. Here’s co-owner Michael Gearon Jr.: “Josh Smith is an All-Star and he deserves to be there. He deserves to make that team as much as any of the players who were selected. He is an All-Star, and he’s the heart and soul of our team. He deserves to be there.”
From general manager Rick Sund: “There area lot of players in the NBA who put up All-Star numbers, and then there are players who are All-Star players. Josh is an All-Star player.”
Looking at the numbers between the two and you can see why they are compared to each other. Why then Wallace then over Smith, hypothetically?Drew at Peachtree Hoops:
One reason could be that Wallace's raw stats are better, more points per game, more rebounds per game, etc--a product of his (9) MPG advantage over Smith. Basketball has come some way in appreciating the finer aspects of the game rather than just looking at PPG, but not all the way, and if coaches were looking at Wallace's stats over Smith's, a difference of (3) PPG and (3) RPG might have tipped the scales for the Bobcats' first All-Star.
But that line of reasoning doesn't compute when you look at the selection of Horford over David Lee. Lee's advanced stats and raw stats are higher than Horford's, but so is his overall Usage Rate. Still, if raw numbers were what led to the selection of Wallace over Smith, why wouldn't Lee have been selected over Horford?
No, what I believe what ultimately led to Smith's exclusion this season, in addition to the smaller things already listed, was Smith's perpetual demeanor on the court and to his head coach.
If Al Horford is the rower, the guy who always will keep the team moving through sheer force of will, and Joe Johnson is the motor who consistently powers the team through at a steady pace. Well Josh Smith is the sail. When the wind is blowing right for him, this team flies, and it looks effortless. And this season, it has been a constant damn wind gust. Josh Smith takes over games. He changes games. Josh makes horrible games worth going to. He almost single-handedly makes Mike Bibby and Jamal Crawford's defense a non factor most nights. Read that sentence again. It is true. Josh Smith is having a career year, and he should be an all-star. Hell, the all-star game was created for people like Josh Smith. God is not happy. In the end, the fans voting for KG screwed Josh. Lets hope he takes that anger out on Friday.Also at Peachtree Hoops, Bronn makes the case for Josh Smith over Paul Pierce:
While Paul Pierce does one thing very well-score, and score efficiently-it's tough to build an argument based solely on that for his All-Star inclusion.