That the face of the NBA is not LeBron James but a skinny, baby-faced three point shooting maniac named Steph Curry ought to be the most eye catching story line of the 2015-2016 season. That Steph’s team, the Golden State Warriors, is on pace to equal and perhaps top the league’s all time record for most wins in a regular season (72) should reverberate all over the world;after all this is the greatest league in the world. However, the aforementioned happenings in the league currently, strangely fall short of the expected hype that is normally associated with events of such proportions. The logical explanation behind this is a simple phrase; Steph and the Warriors are good. So good, watching them lay waste to the competition or hearing about them pummeling opponents into submission feels like dead news. Now to what does make news nowadays.

The announcement of this year’s All-Star roster did not raise any eyebrows-at least on surface value- considering this will be the very last time legend Kobe Bryant will lace his high tops in any locker room in the league. The 18 time All-Star will retire at the end of the season with his reputation as a no-holds gunner intact; Bryant scored 23 points in a 82-101 loss against the Charlotte Hornets-the team which originally drafted him in 1996 before trading him to Los Angeles Lakers- on an inefficient 8 for 18 shooting. Pretty sure worthy players who got passed over by fans and coaches for a trip to Toronto did cause a few ripples around the league. Damian Lillard, Marc Gasol, Mike Conley, Dirk Nowitzki and Al Horford will not be coached by Gregg Popovich nor Tyronne Lue.

Conversely, one player who will be coached by Tyronne Lue in the Eastern Conference setup will be Miami Heat’s Dwayne Wade. The Heat Lifer as he described himself in the aftermath of LeBron’s departure from Miami will make his 12th All-Star appearance. Voted in as a starter by fans, Wade did not need any lobbying from Eric Spolestra to his colleagues to get him into Canada as 941,466 fans decided to give him the bigger chunk of their votes. The voice of the people is the voice of God but if the basketball gods look down from their mighty thrones with Moses Malone sitting next to them, opinions will be split on Wade’s inclusion for the February 14 game.


Wade getting the starters nod ahead of Jimmy Butler at the Shooting Guard position still baffles me. Having been picked last in the first round of 2011’s NBA Draft, Butler has developed into a premier two-way player of great repute who gets his hands dirty on the less glamorous side of the court but basks in the eternal sunshine of the headline grabbing end. Butler is averaging more rebounds (5.3), steals (1.7 ), blocks (0.7 ) and points (22.4 ) than Wade (4.1, 1.0, 0.6 and 18.7) respectively. The only department, the 34 year old swingman has a superior number over Butler is in the assist category; Wade has 4.8 assists in 45 games. Butler on the other hand has averaged 4.0 assists in 47 games played so far. On the negative side of things, Wade has turned the ball over-2.6- more times than Butler (1.9 ) according to

Another player who had to make way for Flash in the starting line up is Toronto’s own DeMar DeRozan. The man who grew up in the warm south (Compton, Los Angeles) continues to make progress after every season to make a $9.5 million dollar annual average salary a bargain. His growth from an athletic wing and nothing else to an athletic wing do it all player stands as former Raptors President Jerry Colangelo’s decision to hand DeRozan a four year contract worth $38 million dollars with a player option for 2016-2017 season a master stroke. Currently, DeRozan has more points (23.3), rebounds (4.4) but less turn overs (2.3) than Wade. There are other players including Boston Celtics Isaiah Thomas best suited for a roster spot than Wade.

Many may mark the point raised above moot considering the All-Star game has over the past few years been nothing more than a highlight show. Production has been trumped by high flying dunks, slithering handles and fancy assists. That explains Lamar Odom’s conspicuous exclusion from the roster in 2011 which was held in Los Angeles. His spot was handed to high flying dunker Blake Griffin who believe it or not was in his rookie year. If this holds, Dwayne Wade has no place in Canada. Flash is far removed from his hey days running pick and roll with Shaquille O’Neal, slashing to the basket incessantly and bursting into the lane for gravity defying dunks. Currently a player who fits the “entertaining” bill is Kyrie Irving.


The Cleveland Cavaliers Point Guard has dazzled in three appearances at the All-Star game including capturing the 2014 Most Valuable Player award and his magnificent work on Brandon Knight in the preceding Rising Stars Challenge. Washington Wizards Shooting Guard Bradley Beal can also go upstairs with a couple of throw downs of his own. Detroit Pistons Reggie Jackson can also do same.

Wade’s selection is set to reflect on his CV but there is a high possibility the 34 year old might not make it to Canada. His well chronicled history of injuries particularly to his knees means another player can be called up to replace the Miami star before February’s game just as Anthony Davis replaced Kobe Bryant following the latter’s injury. Though Wade has been relatively healthy this season playing 44 out of 48 games, the veteran Shooting Guard is already in his mid 30’s (34) and well on his way down the proverbial hill.

Dwayne Wade should not have been selected into All-Star 2016 and that is a no brainer.


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