If you haven’t heard by now, the Utah Jazz are not too thrilled that Rudy Gobert was snubbed as a reserve for the All Star game. Whether it was due to being overlooked for his defense, splitting votes with teammate Donovan Mitchell, or just plain disrespect, the Utah Jazz want to propose a plan to fix it.
The Jazz will present this All-Star reserve selection committee idea to NBA commissioner Adam Silver. The committee would consist of former NBA players, coaches, scouts, analysts and media using regular and advanced stats while factoring in a team’s record and players’ character.— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) February 2, 2019
Dennis Lindsey announces the proposal on @1280thezone. The GM, Jazz coach Quin Snyder, team president Steve Starks and Greg Miller, Utah’s rep on the NBA Board of Governors, are all in favor of this system. They adamantly believe Rudy Gobert is deserving of being an All-Star.— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) February 2, 2019
In summary this plan will form a committee of former NBA players, coaches, scouts, analysts, and media. They will then use basic and advanced stats mixed with I’d assume scouting reports and “the eye test” to select All Stars as a committee. This would prevent teams with two prospective All Stars from splitting the vote and leaving the team All-Star-less. It would also give the reserve selection validation.
The NBA is already doing some form of it for the starters selections with fans having some part of the vote.
Why is this a big deal?
All-Star selections are used synonymously with a players’ legacy and potentially future hall of fame selection. Many contracts have clauses tied to an All-Star selection. Adding more objectivity for something that can affects how a player is seen around the league and in casual fan circles can go a long way. It could potentially help small market stars who are not in the league’s forefront get the proper accolades they deserve.
It could also eliminate the “respect” selection. A lot of times players are not selected for the All Star game the first year they’re deserving because of the “respect” situation. Much like Rudy Gobert’s first year being one of the finalists for Defensive Player of the Year, he didn’t earn it until his second year due to the odd idea that you have to almost redshirt your first year of being deserving for an award in this league.
Removing current coaches from the equation also allows the league to open up transparency for their selections without it looking like a coach is trying to tamper by selecting a prospective free agent or favoring their own guy by voting them higher.
If the NBA ends up opening up the All-Star game to the best 24 players regardless of conference, a system that is more refined and objective using media and analysts with a good variety of subjective point of views through scouts, players, and coaches would elevate the importance of an All-Star. Being an All-Star would be more on par with being an All-NBA player than just being the most popular player to the casual fan.
It wouldn’t change that there are snubs. Selecting 24 players means there’s always going to be a 25th that’s left out and felt deserving. Hopefully this process allows the NBA to be sure they are selecting the top 24 players of the year to that point in the season rather than the top 20 players with a crapshoot of four players selected from #21-#30.
However, you feel about the proposal, it’s encouraging that the Utah Jazz front office is being so proactive about this. Instead of adding this snub like a chip on their shoulder like it’s a conspiracy, they’re actively trying to improve the system. Here’s to hoping Adam Silver likes it.