Towns, LaVine Among All-Star Starters Snubs

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Karl-Anthony Towns
DECEMBER 01: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves looks to pass against Kyle Kuzma #33 of the Washington Wizards in the first half at Capital One Arena on December 01, 2021 in Washington, DC.

The NBA’s All-Star starters have been released after weeks of fan voting, and there are some arguably deserving names that were snubbed.

Karl-Anthony Towns

The centerpiece of the Minnesota Timberwolves is ranked by ESPN as the second-best center in the league behind the Western Conference starter and Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic.

Among the frontcourt players, Karl-Anthony Towns finished eighth in fan voting, seventh in player voting and fifth in media voting, which seems to be a disservice to how strong Towns has been playing this season.

The 26-year-old from Edison, New Jersey is averaging 24.1 points on solid shooting splits (51.6 percent from the field and 41 percent from three), 9.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.3 blocks in 40 games.

Towns has played a massive role in the Timberwolves’ push for a sure playoff seed this season and is being helped by sophomore star Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell in their bid to break Minnesota’s three-year playoff drought.


Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves
Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves
Photo: Getty Images | Will Newton

Chris Paul

A case can be made for Chris Paul’s bid for the MVP award this season as his Suns team currently sit atop the entire league with a record of 38-9 and are on pace for a 66-win season.

Paul comes second, and fifth overall, behind teammate Devin Booker in the Western Conference backcourt selection, with only Luka Doncic ahead of the pair.

Fans and observers alike have been arguing that team success should also be factored in to the All-Star voting process, and if that were to be the case this season, then either Paul or Booker would have been voted in over Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant.

Putting Paul in a head-to-head matchup with Morant based on their stats alone, and it is pretty clear that Morant gets the edge over the 11-time All-Star this season.


Chris Paul, Monty Williams
Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns talks with Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns during the first half of the NBA game against the Utah Jazz at Phoenix Suns Arena on April 07, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Photo: Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Zach LaVine

Probably the most criminal snub this season, Zach LaVine finished one spot shy of a starting nod behind the Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young.

This is one of those instances where fan voting and media voting overruled the players’ votes as LaVine had a sizable lead over Young among their peers, but the fans and associated media favored Young.

LaVine’s Chicago Bulls are among the top seeds in the Eastern Conference after their front office pulled off some moves to show that they were committed to gunning for the title this season with LaVine as their featured star.

DeMar DeRozan, LaVine’s co-star, was the top vote-getter among Eastern Conference guards this season thanks to his career resurgence--an affirmation of his impact in Chicago.

Young’s Hawks are currently out of the playoff picture, sitting at 12th in the East, which is why Inside The NBA personality Charles Barkley wished that LaVine would have gotten the nod instead.

However, the fans’ voices do matter in this situation and more fans wanted to see Young start over LaVine during the All-Star Game in Cleveland.


Zach LaVine
Zach LaVine #8 of the Chicago Bulls handles the ball in the second half against Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena on January 01, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Photo: Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Luka Doncic

In one of the most interesting turnouts of the All-Star selection, the Dallas Mavericks’ cornerstone in Luka Doncic was not able to garner a single vote from the media.

While no explanations have been leaked to the public yet, fans were certainly incensed about this as players like Damian Lillard and Dejounte Murray were able to get at least one vote.

Doncic ranked third in fan voting and fourth in player voting.

The Mavericks currently sit at No. 5 in the Western Conference and their success can be attributed to that of Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis jelling well together despite battling injuries.

Doncic’s apparent snub from media members will certainly be a discussion point in multiple forums in the coming days.

Fans interested to see how the voting went down may check out the full results here.


Luka Doncic
Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks dribbles against Anfernee Simons #1 of the Portland Trail Blazers during the third quarter at Moda Center on January 26, 2022 in Portland, Oregon.
Photo: Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

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