For those of you not in the ATL, Josh Smith was passed up for an All-Star spot for the second year in a row yesterday (see list here).
He had the numbers to get in (17 pts, 8 rebs, 4 assts, 2 blks, 1 stls).
He even had the team success coaches like to see…..
The Atlanta Hawks are currently 24-18, much better than anyone predicted back when they traded franchise player Joe Johnson in the offseason. For a good part of the season, the Hawks were 3rd in the East behind Miami and New York.
‘Smooth’ is now the face of this franchise, something he welcomed back in August. The hometown Smith proudly accepts that this his team.
So how was he passed up?
The talking heads on television point to Smith’s controntation with head coach Larry Drew in practice last week, something that got him suspended a game.
So that’s it? The competitive Smith lost his cool one time and it erases more than a year’s worth of good play?
The day before the incident, Atlanta only scored a record-setting 58 points at Chicago. Everyone was on edge the next day, not only Smith. I’m pretty sure coach Drew wasn’t the easiest guy to deal with in practice either.
Why is ‘Smooth’ being crucified for this transgression? It’s not like he went Sprewell-on-Carlesimo from back in the day, or even pulled a Lake Havasu excursion like my man Cedric Ceballos.
Coaching fraternity or no coaching fraternity, this is a crumby way to treat one of the NBA’s better all-around players. Head coaches should be promoting a guy who doesn’t ‘iso-motion’ everythime he touches the ball. Atlanta is a more unselfish team this year and that is a direct reflection on Josh Smith.
Chris Bosh got into the All-Star game, despite being the 3rd best player on the Miami Heat. Playing center this year, he’s had more open looks than ever before (being guarded by bigger players). A lot of guys could’ve averaged 17 & 7 alongside Lebron and Wade. Bosh was voted in based on resume as much as anything else.
Then we have the Chicago Bulls, who have 2 players representing them in Houston next month. But they’re 25-16, only a game and a half better than Atlanta who has no All-Stars. ‘Coach Tibs’ is riding his starters hard this year while Derrick Rose rehabs his knee, so numbers are up for certain individuals (see Boozer’s revival). I’m all for Joakim Noah being rewarded for his tough play, as he’s been a snub in the past just like Smith. But Luol Deng? He’s leading the league in minutes played and only has 17 ppg to show for it. He got in last year based on similar sympathy. Josh deserved that spot in 2013.
I’m not a Hawks fan or a Bulls/Heat hater. I just firmly believe a player like Josh Smith should’ve been rewarded for years of playing the right way.
Joe Johnson got into the All-Star game for years playing isolation ball and scoring points.
Maybe Josh should just shoot more…..