When I was a coach I always took the All-Star reserves vote very seriously. I felt the Game was a great honor for players. So it was important for me to take the time to carefully consider the leading candidates and get as close as possible to picking those most deserving of the opportunity – which only rolls around once for some guys.
Every season when it came time to vote I would hold a meeting with my staff. We’d review player statistics and we’d look at team records. I’ve always felt that winning counts and that guys with winning records should get extra credit for contributing to their teams’ successes. But of course there are exceptions – sometimes a guy on a losing team has an extraordinary year and deserves to get the All-Star nod.
Tonight the 2010 All-Star reserves will be revealed. In a league teeming with talent, coaches had to make some tough decisions to fill out the seven remaining spots on each team. I think they had four clear-cut choices for both the East and the West. For the East, guards Joe Johnson and Rajon Rondo and forwards Chris Bosh and Gerald Wallace make the cut hands down. For the West you have to go with guards Brandon Roy, Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups along with forward Dirk Nowitzki.
But now look how difficult it becomes for coaches to round out their selections – a process further complicated by having to achieve the right position balance. In the East you’ve got guys like Perkins, Lee, Lopez, Granger, Shaq, Smith and Rose. And In the West Durant, Randolph, Brooks and Ellis are having standout seasons in addition to the usual suspects Williams, Gasol, Kidd and Parker. With only three openings on each team, inevitably some worthy stars are going to get left off the roster. In any case, we can look forward to watching many of our league’s finest put on a great show in Dallas next month.