Is the prestige and adulation of the NBA All-Star Game just not your thing? Would you rather spend your time looking into new hair-care products or making poorly timed trade demands? No need to conjure up a mysterious hip ailment or get caught urinating in a Wendy's dumpster, here are a few proven, sure-fire ways to get completely ignored every January. Rest up, your team has three busy months of losing to worry about.

You are The Man...The 6th Man. As long as Gregg Popovich is alive, Manu Ginobili will never go to the All-Star Game again. Popovich always insists on keeping Manu's minutes down, presumably to keep him fresh (i.e. he gets so amped at times he may spontaneously combust), but to the casual fan this means a lack of talent. But if someone hid the Mentholatum vapor rub, rendering Michael Finley, Brent Barry and Bruce Bowen unable to move, you'd see that Ginobili is quietly having an insanely good year. Sit down for this: 4th among shooting guards in assists (per 48 mins), 3rd in points and 2nd in steals, while shooting 40% on threes and an NBA Jam-like 74% in the clutch! Kobe Bryant, you can't do that.

But practical-minded coaches can be the downfall of many a great player. What if Phil Jackson decided to keep Michael Jordan "fresh" during the 90's? Pigeons would be pooping on a Scottie Pippen statue in front of the United Center. I trust that Ginobili will be tossing back some brews with guys like Ricky Pierce, Detlef Schrempf and Toni Kukoc, and having a good laugh. Because exhibition games are for suckers.

Your Teammates Suck. Al Jefferson is having the break-out year many people expected, but there was no doubt whatsoever that Al would be completely ignored. Great players on crappy teams are largely overlooked because people are fully aware of the "Ugly Friend" effect: you might look awesome only because your teammates are terrible.

Believe it or not, Zach Randolph was a completely respectable player as recently as last year. But a 24 point, 10 rebound campaign was nowhere near enough to hide the fact that the Blazers were working on 50 losses (and Zach had outstanding warrants). And Shareef Abdur-Rahim goes without saying (a steady 20 point, 9 rebound, 50 loss guy in Vancouver for 5 seasons).

The "Ugly Friend" effect was so effective back in 2001, it even fooled Bulls GM Jerry Krause, causing Elton Brand to be traded for pennies on the dollar. Those pennies being Tyson Chandler, then PJ Brown. And yes, I'm still bitter.

You have no endorsements and magazines ignore you. Make no mistake, the All-Star Game can be a shameless popularity contest, and if you don't market yourself, the NBA won't market you. The tide turned when BJ Armstrong started alongside Kenny Anderson back in 1994. Now, at this point in time, is Jason Kidd, with his advanced age and sub-37% shooting, a better option than Michael Redd?

Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony were voted as starters this year, but the last two league MVPs had to be named as reserves. Think about that.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Good to see that not all of you are anti-spurs/ginobili

he's easily one of the best in the game

Blogger aeneas said...
anthony as he is one of the three best offensive players in the league and iverson who plays very entertaining basketball are not a good example.

I wonder if Wade will get dismissed from the all-star game by the ugly-friend effect for the rest of his contract.

Anonymous shrugz said...
I understand melo starting great offensive player (sometimes suspect on D)
AI uh.....Chris paul? Nash? I'm glad that he beat out T-Mac (gawd he's terrible this year) but Chris Paul's wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy better than AI

Anonymous OptimusPrime said...
Baron Davis got screwed, more than any player this year. Look at his numbers, the playoffs last year, and their record this year. He should be an All-Star!

Blogger Basketbawful said...
anonymous: We've never denied Manu's talent. Hell, I thought he should have been Finals MVP in 2005. But we aren't a fan of his flopping antics.

aeneas: But Carmelo is basically a scorer and nothing else. He's not a great passer (3.4 APG versus 3.5 TOs) and his defense is slipshod. He's also a little lacking in the "making teammates better" department.

Wade will get a free pass for the next year or two because he's a champion and because the NBA has marketed him aggressively.

shrugz: Oh, yeah, no question...AI can still throw it in, but he couldn't hold Paul's jock at this point. Chris Paul is hide-my-eyes good.

optimusprime: Baron's numbers are great, and he has had some freaky good games (although you've gotta throw out last year's playoffs; this is the 2008 All-Star game). But, he has had games this season where he just hasn't brought it. The 2-pointer versus Detroit, the 4-pointer versus Portland come to mind. They've been few, and they were partly the result of Don Nelson pulling the plug early, but games like that stick in peoples' minds. Plus, I think that NBA coaches by and large see the Warriors as a chaotic, undisciplined group of players who aren't committed to defense. And that peception counted against Baron.

Blogger djnumbers said...
If you remember me, you may know why I'm saying this: BAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINN!!!!

Think of the trade like Sauron getting his ring back and ruling Middle Earth with a heavy hand. you know what, thats a great analogy. Lords of the Ring(s). Again. i love this game.

Blogger Ben Q. Rock said...
You forgot "Be Hedo Turkoglu."

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Al Jefferson is way below average on defense. Same for Zach Randolph. Don't look for either of them to have a winning team anytime soon. Even if they each average 30 pts, 12 rebounds.

Marcus Camby - 14 rebounds and 4 blocks! - still never made the all star team.