NBA All-Star game roster leaves out notable players

Eliot Fuller, Web Editor

When we think of the NBA, we think of the big names: LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Steph Curry and more. But after the fan online voting results for the 2019 NBA All-Star game were released, many prominent league players such as James Harden, Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis, were left out of the starting lineup.

Using the online voting system, the league is giving people the power to send athletes to the big game. By simply googling “NBA All-Star Voting,” fans are able to vote for up to 10 players a day. The fan vote accounts for 50 percent of how the All-Star starters are determined, while players and media make up the other 50 percent. The fan vote results–although full of the usual stars–featured lots of surprises and notable snubs, making this one of the most anticipated All-Star games ever.

Houston Rockets star James Harden is a current MVP candidate. He’s averaging over 36 points per game, and on Feb. 2, had his 26th consecutive game of dropping 30 or more points–something that has only been done once before in NBA history. Harden finished seventh in Western Conference fan voting, which has many people scratching their heads. New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis finished eighth, despite being a defensive player of the year candidate averaging 29 points per game, 13 rebounds and almost 3 blocks. Not to mention doing this all on 51 percent shooting.

To the shock of virtually nobody, Lakers star LeBron James topped voting in the Western Conference. Closely trailing James was Slovenian superstar Luka Dončić. The 19 year-old Dallas Maverick has averaged an impressive 21 points per game in the first half of his rookie season. Warriors guard Stephen Curry finished third in Western Conference voting, followed by Timberwolves star Derrick Rose, who at age 30, is trying to revive his career.

The once-prominent player has fallen victim to various injuries over the past few seasons, and is considered to have lost his relevance in the league. Despite the major setbacks, Rose has been putting up unexpected numbers off the bench this season–not to mention a dazzling 50-point game in late October. Rose, who was once the youngest-ever league MVP, is showing signs of his former self. The Chicago native is averaging 18 points per game on 48 percent shooting, sporting a comeback that is nothing but deserving of an All-Star spot.

On the other side of the league, Greek sensation and MVP-frontrunner Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks lead the Eastern Conference. Celtics guard Kyrie Irving followed, and after him was Kawhi Leonard of the Toronto Raptors. 76ers big man Joel Embiid finished fourth place in voting, and taking the final starting spot was Dwayne Wade, the 37-year-old veteran of the Miami Heat. Wade is currently playing the final season of his NBA career, and is putting up nearly 14 points per game on 43 percent shooting. Although the stat line isn’t as impressive as other players, Wade has been coming off the bench this season, and his All Star appearance is somewhat of a last hurrah to an immensely successful career.

Keep in mind that the fan vote does not guarantee the starting lineups, because the media and players still have to give their input.

The NBA All-Star game will be played on Feb. 17 at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C.