Worst All-Star Ever
This man barely beat out The Cancer for Basketbawful's
highly coveted "Worst NBA All-Star Ever" award.

NBA All-Star voters: It's official: Allen Iverson is a starter on the 2010 NBA Eastern Conference All-Star Team. You, the fans, wanted it...and now you're gonna get it. I just need to know one thing real quick:

Why in the name of Spiderman's balls did you want it?

When I found out Iverson had been voted in, the first thing I thought was he may be the worst NBA All-Star, well, pretty much ever. Worse than B.J. Armstrong, Chris Gatling, Dale Davis, Jamal Magloire...I had to do some serious digging to find somebody I honestly think was less deserving of an All-Star nod than this season's version of The Cancer. I found one. One guy. His name was James Donaldson. He was a backup center (behind Hakeem Olajuwon and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) on the West team during the 1988 All-Star Game.

Don't feel bad if you've never heard of Donaldson. I was obsessed with the NBA in the 80s, and I had no idea who he was. During his sole All-Star season, J.D. averaged 7.0 PPG, 9.3 RPG and 1.3 BPG with a Player Efficiency Rating of 12.4. According to John Hollinger's reference guide, that PER puts Donaldson somewhere between "scrounging for minutes" and "in the rotation." By the way, in 1988, teams averaged over 108 PPG, which makes his meager 7 PPG average seem even more depressing.

Mind you, the coaches selected Donaldson. At least Iverson has the excuse of being voted in by the fans. Fans are stupid. Coaches are supposed to know the game. (Eddie Jordan, Mike Brown and Vinny Del Negro notwithstanding.) The only thing I can figure is that Donaldson's little girl had terminal cancer and her dying wish was for her daddy to make the All-Star team. And that's all imma say.

On the bright side, the David Stern did some last-minute ballet stuffing to make sure Steve Nash, and not Knee-Mac, got the second starting guard spot on the Western Conference team.

The Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakers are the reigning NBA champs. Do you have any idea what that's like for me? Let's just say I can totally understand what Superman felt like when stopping a volcano sent him to a parallel universe full of evil Super Friends:


On Christmas day, the Lakers were humiliated on national TV by the Cleveland Craboliers. It was a particularly humiliating defeat, not only because they were blown out at home, but because L.A. was outplayed and thoroughly outmuscled by what may be the only team capable of dethroning them in June. The regular season provides relatively few true single-game measuring sticks of a team's ability to contend for a title, but that was one of them for the Lakers.

Fortunately for them, they still had the opportunity for a rematch in Cleveland. Unfortunately for them, they lost that one too. The Lakers wasted a golden opportunity, too, because Mo Williams -- Cleveland's starting point guard and second-leading scorer -- missed the game with a shoulder sprain. (Williams will be out for at least a month.) L.A. started out hot, owning the boards and the paint, and taking a 27-18 lead after the first quarter. But after that, the Crabs got physical and slowly pounded the Lakers into submission.

Remember, this is the same Lakers team that got beaten down by a more physical Celtics team in the 2008 NBA Finals. Last season, they weren't forced to face an elite physical team in the playoffs. If they face the Crabs in the Finals, it could be a problem. Especially if Cleveland wins homecourt advantage, which will be easier now that they've swept the season series with L.A.

After the game, Kobe Bryant questioned his team's toughness: "The mentality has to change a little bit playing against [Eastern Conference teams]. These teams are physical, tough-minded, hard-nosed types of teams. That's not part of our DNA. We have to step up and match that and still play skillful basketball."

Of course, it's worth mentioning that Mamba was out-superstarred by King Crab. Bryant finished with a team-high 31 points, but he shot 12-for-31 and finished with more turnovers (3) than rebounds (2). James, on the other hand, had a game-high 37 points (13-for-25 from the field, 10-for-13 from the line) to go along with 5 boards, 9 assists, 2 steals and a blocked shot. LeBron wasn't perfect -- he had 4 turnovers and went 1-for-8 from downtown -- but he made a convincing argument for Best Player in the League status. And, more importantly, he also illustrated pretty clearly that Ron Artest isn't going to slow him down. Nobody is. He's that good. Imagine what he'd be like with a real coach who ran actual plays.

Kobe bristled at the idea that the Lakers and Crabs have a rivalry -- "No," Mamba said before the game, "not at all." -- but Cleveland has taken seven of their last games against The L.A. Team. You know that has to get under Bryant's skin. Speaking of which...

Kobe Bryant, quote machine: When asked whether he was going to talk to his team about the loss, Mamba said: "They know I'm pissed. I don't have to say anything right now." He also "joked" about strangling "every single one" of his teammates. Again, he shot 12-for-31. I'm just sayin'.

Update! Pau Gasol, the Spanish Marshmallow: As Anish noted in the comments: "how can you not mention Pau's buckle at the end of the game. He couldve tied it up, but decided to miss both free throws and on the next Lakers possession, Kobe passes it to Pau for an almost uncontested layup and manages to get blocked. Quality sequence from the big man in the fourth quarter." Cortez described Gasol's performance thusly: "He was playing like a sheet of damp (with urine) 1 ply toliet paper in the late stages."

Kobe pissed
Pictured: Kobe blaming his teammates.

The Cleveland Cavaliers: Before the Crabs (and the media) get too happy about this win, somebody should pose the following question: If the hometown Crabs won the rebounding battle and held L.A. to 38 percent shooting, why did the Lakers still have a chance to steal this game going into the final minute?

Mike Fratello, unintentionally dirty quote machine: Submitted by a hammered BW in Cleveland: "Pau doesn't get it up strong enough."

The Los Angeles Clippers: Despite pulling out a close win over the Bulls at home on Wednesday night, Thursday night's 105-85 loss to the Nuggets in Denver proved that the Clippers are indeed who we thought they were. Actually, this was probably a case of the dreaded back-to-back syndrome. The Other L.A. Team kept things close through the first two quarters -- they were actually up by a point at the half -- but got outscored 34-17 in the third quarter. That was pretty much the game.

Mind you, the Clippers were playing without Eric Gordon (sprained left big toe) and Sebastian Telfair (groin), both of whom got injured during the Bulls game. Not exactly the situation you want going into a season-long eight-game road trip.

Weird fact: The Clips went 1-for-17 from three (tired legs) but outscored Denver 48-28 in the paint. The Nuggets went 11-for-22 from downtown and had a 37-19 advantage in free throw attempts, which I'm sure had nothing at all to do with home cooking.

Lacktion report: Phil Jackson singlehandedly ensured Chris would have some lacktion to report:

Lakers-Crabs: Sasha Vujacic climbed up the Deadly Towers for a 13 second Mario, while DJ Mbenga countered a board with a foul and turnover for a 2:1 Voskuhl in 1:34.

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34 Comments:
Blogger Dan B. said...
Who did James Donaldson have dirt on? Because blackmail is my only explanation.

Blogger Ash Haque said...
I'm just glad Steve Nash made it instead of TMac, that woulda been 10x more ridonculous

Blogger Beez Kneezy said...
If you follow stackmack on twitter, she RT'd a quote by Mo Williams calling a college QB soft for letting a shoulder injury impact his appointment. Mo has the same injury.

Also, Men's Health coverboy Reggie Miller told Pau to hit the weights when he was getting bullied by Shaq.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
To be fair, the East guard spot was pretty weak this year. I mean, next up was Vince Carter, then Ray Allen's decaying corpse.

But since it's already a popularity contest anyways, I couldn't care if a guy got voted in as sort of a Career Achievement vote, or if a guy got in from a stellar first half of the year.

Blogger stephanie g said...
I don't know why the Cavs don't play JJ more. Every time I see him get minutes he brings the sexy. And he's actually an athletic finisher to help LeBron. Aside from him it's just Moon. Everyone else plays below the rim.

I find it difficult to believe Cleveland is gonna win a title with LeBron holding onto the ball for 22 seconds and chucking up horrific 20 footers in the 4th. If they ever get any sort of structured offense (more than 4 plays) or if LeBron decides to actually get a consistent post up game they'll be scary.

Shouldn't Artest and Odom be playing up on Lebron when he keeps draining those shots btw? Then use Gasol and Bynum to protect the paint. Instead of giving him 5 feet of airspace? That's what LA did the last time they beat them.

An LA-Cleveland finale would be too hard to predict because Odom-Artest-LA's entire bench is so random -- either amazing or shockingly terrible it seems. As are Mo, West (yeah, remember him last night? Me neither), and Z. And to a certain extent Shaq.

For the WOTN, what about in the last 2 minutes where Gasol missed a layup, got blocked like 2x, and bricked two FTs?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"And as usual, you can marvel for days about the performances of James (37 points, nine assists) and Bryant (31 points, four assists), neither of whom separated himself from the other in the league's MVP race. But that's only because they were both so good."

That's what the Game Story on NBA.com says.
Not even a blind, deaf and dumb Kobe-Fanboy could "marvel for days" about Bryant's 31 points on 31 shots performance.

Blogger Junior said...
Mike Fratello, unintentionally dirty quote machine: Submitted by a hammered BW in Cleveland: "Pau doesn't get it up strong enough."

that comment it's even dirty because PAU means dick ou a stick of wood in portuguese

Blogger Anish said...
how can you not mention Pau's buckle at the end of the game. He couldve tied it up, but decided to miss both free throws and on the next Lakers possession, Kobe passes it to Pau for an almost uncontested layup and manages to get blocked. Quality sequence from the big man in the fourth quarter.

Anonymous BW in Cleveland said...
@Steph G.

I've been saying your second point for about 4-5 years. Lebron's line looks efficient (13/25 for 37) but when you go 1-8 from downtown, you're stifling the offense and getting everyone out of rhythm. For as much as I love the Cavs and LeBron, his ego and stubborness to dominate the ball when the offense is working drives me batshit crazy. There was no excuse for that game to be as close as it was. Cavs should've ran away in the 2nd half after their defense clamped down but LeCrabDribble reverted to LeIso and many ill-advised shots and turnovers happened.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Yeah, sorry, I totally should have included Gasol. My bad. If any of my co-editors would like to add an entry for the Spanish Marshmallow, that would be great. I'm getting shelled at work right now.

Blogger Cortez said...
" But after that, the Crabs got physical and slowly pounded the Lakers into submission."

Yeah, Kobe shot the ball like Hans Moleman but Gasol was even worse. He was playing like a sheet of damp (with urine) 1 ply toliet paper in the late stages and Artest looked as if he was purposely avoiding Mr. Crabs as if he had SARS.

"Let's just say I can totally understand what Superman felt like when stopping a volcano sent him to a parallel universe full of evil Super Friends"

Thank you, kiind sir.

The memories of Saturday morning cartoons is priceless!

Anonymous Matt Beahan said...
I gotta stick up for James Donaldson here - the year before he'd played out of his skin and helped lead the Mavs to within a game of the finals. The ASG nod was basically rewarding him for that. Plus the guy was born in Britain, making him technically the only British All-Star...

Blogger chris said...
Jamal Maagloire, he of the lacktion report residency, was an ALL-STAR?!?!?!

SRSLY?!

Anonymous BW in Cleveland said...
@Chris

How about the dynamic duo of Lafayette Lever and Rolando Blackmon playing for the west in '90? Here's some name dropping: ANTHONY MASON - starting PF for the East squad in 2001.

Blogger Ash B said...
Yeah, Jamal, was one of the worst. I think Wallyworld was worse, personally, but whatever. They can all share in the badness with AI.

Also, I kind of wish Knee-Mac made the All-Star team. Think about it... he would finally get to play and showcase if he has anything left in the tank, and it would have been the biggest joke of an All-star game, ever (AI and Tracy? Please!). That would have provoked Stern to change the stupid format.

Anonymous kazam92 said...
Big Cat was a 14/10 guy which is solid for its time but BS that he made the team.


and hey! Anthony Mason was a decent player for Miami that year. I dont know how the hell he got in but....


overall the NBA needs to adopt the way the NFL picks pro bowlers

Anonymous BW in Cleveland said...
If the hometown Crabs won the rebounding battle and held L.A. to 38 percent shooting, why did the Lakers still have a chance to steal this game going into the final minute?

Bawful asks, B-Dubs answers. Cavs pounded the defensive glass but gave up a staggering 15 on the offensive glass. They also loss the TO battle 13-8 which led to 13 Laker pts. This combined for 12 more opportunities on the offensive end for the Lake-Show. Even more baffling is that the Lakers went 15-24 from the charity stripe and still had a chance.

Blogger Will said...
getting shelled on a Friday? does your boss have no soul?

Blogger Cortez said...
By the way...

A few months ago I dismissed the relative importance of number of all star appearences when comparing players.

Thank you karma, thank you very much.

Anonymous DKH said...
BW,

I wouldn't put too much stock in the offensive boards. The Cavs still pulled down more rebounds than the Lakers overall. Note that the Lakers had a lot more chances for offensive boards, as they missed 51 FGAs while the Cavs missed 37 (Kobe didn't miss 19 FGAs, he just had 15 Kobe Bryant Assists!).

Obviously, you're correct on the turnovers and LeBron throwing up bricks from downtown. He's now 1-16 from three-point land the last two games.

stephanie g,

I think Hickson is regarded as a defensive and mental liability at times. I'm glad to see him getting minutes and I like the way Brown is rotating Varejao and Hickson this season. It's clear he has some athleticism and ability, but he also has a tendency to disappear (he turned in 11/14 against the Lakers, but his five previous games were 8/7, 2/4, 4/6, 2/5, and 4/1 in 17.2 minutes; his PER is 6th on the Cavs with 13 [leaving out Danny Green's ridiculous 32.4 PER]). Also, I think any of his offense has to be generated for him.

I guess all I'm saying is, he's like every other young player that has ups and downs and needs to develop, and that probably means Mike Brown lacks the confidence to play him.

==========

Finally, fun with stats!

Interesting stuff I found out while looking up stuff for this post:

Danny Green leads the Cavs with a 32.4 PER in 19 minutes. He has team bests with 148 Off. Rtg. and 97 Def. Rtg., as well as a 20% ORB%. He currently has a 5.6% steal percentage, which would rank as the second best season ever in that category.

Coby Karl leads the Cavs in TRB% and DRB% with 24.1% and 46.1%, respectively. This is negated by his 100% TOV%, which results in an offensive rating of 0 (zero!), and a PER of -38.3. He only played 5 minutes over 3 games, and I think he is cut now. Amazingly, he earned 71 minutes for the Lakers in the 2007-2008 season.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
not only Magloire was in the all star game, he could have been awarded the MVP had East won, he was the leading scorer for the team :D

Blogger Basketbawful said...
getting shelled on a Friday? does your boss have no soul?

Most of my projects aren't driven by my supervisors. They're driven by development teams all over the globe who never contact our team to let us know a giant software relesae is about to go out on, say, today, and that they need 500 pages worth of user documentation rewritten, edited and formatted by, oh, way, today. Fuckers.

By the way, Chris Kaman is already bitching about Pau Gaso being named an All-Star even though it hasn't happened yet:



"I don't think Gasol should be in it at all," Kaman told FanHouse. "He's only played like 20 games (he played Thursday in his 25th out of 42 Lakers games) this year. I think there should be a number of games you should play. I think you should have to play like 80 percent of the games."

"It shouldn't be 50 percent (of games a player has logged) over a guy who plays 90 percent and who has better numbers. Not just me. Zach Randolph, a power forward, he has better numbers (than Gasol). But he's not on the Lakers."

Bitter much, Chris?

Anonymous BW in Cleveland said...
@DKH

Rack that on Hickson. Guy has a ton of potential, but is a liability on defense. Not quite Drew Gooden, but bad enough to send shivers down Roker's and the fans' spines. He has shown flashes of a great offensive game - spotting up 12-15 footers as well as posting on the low block, but still relies too much on his athleticism.

As for disappearing in games, I think that is predicated on the Cavs offensive scheme moreso than Hickson being unproductive. He is usually the 4th option and Brown rarely runs plays specifically to get Hickson the ball in the low post. As long as Lebron/Mo dominate the ball and the Cavs lack a true PG, it will be hard for Hickson to be a main piece on O. Rememeber, Mo's game is actually being underutilized with the presence of Lebron which is one explanation as to why they get in a funk so often.

Blogger Phil said...
I'm nominating John Hollinger's Power Rankings formula for worst of the day today. Last night the Cavs were number 1 and the Lakers number 2, and somehow a Cav victory caused the two teams to switch places. Wha????

http://espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/powerrankings

Anonymous kazam92 said...
"not only Magloire was in the all star game, he could have been awarded the MVP had East won, he was the leading scorer for the team :D"


Haha yeah. I think he put up a 16/7. Big cats a shell of himself but we in Heatland are clamoring for him to get minutes because he still rebounds like a maniac and finishes dunks :0 (only our coach is a retard.)

Anonymous DKH said...
BW,

Agreed with all that.

Phil,

That does seem to be a little illogical, but I expect that Hollinger's formulas include an adjustment for home court advantage, which can lead to the counter-intuitive conclusion that the Cavs (home) win wasn't "good enough". (Not saying that's right; just saying that could be why.)

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Kaman's right. Too bad he plays for a losing team. That seems to matter to a lot of people.

As for Zach Randolph: yeah he's playing well from an outside, objective perspective. I just can't get past the fact that he's been a cover-model for Basketbawful most of his life. Maybe when I do I'll be able to subjectively consider him an All-Star. I'm just not there yet.

I personally think that the Center and P/F positions should be combined for all-star selection because so many great PF's are actually centers (like Tim Duncan), and many centers with any skill these days end up playing PF alongside a 7-foot stiff because it gives them more offensive freedom (like Tim Duncan playing with Rasho Nesterovic or Nasir Mohammad). If you are defending centers regularly, (like Tim Duncan does) you can be considered a center IMO. Just combine the 2 positions, and take the best four players who play either center or PF.

Other PF's who defended centers often and frequently played offense in the post like a center (besides Tim Duncan):
-Karl Malone
-Dale Davis
-Shawn Kemp
-Charles Barkley
-Charles Oakley
-Rasheed Wallace
-Kevin Garnett

Just off the top of my head. I'm sure there are tons more.

The question is: should Kaman OR Gasol be in there because they are a "true center" as opposed to a guy like Zach Randolph, a PF, who is playing better than either of them? I don't think so. Maybe that would mean that few "true centers" make an all-star appearance, but who cares? Put the best players in there. Swingmen dominate the off-guard position as it is. Why hold the center position sacred?

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful - With regard to what Kaman said, there's definitely some validity to it, and I'm sure Gasol's 17 missed games will count against him when it comes to whether the coaches decide he should be an All Star. At the same time, being that the Lakers have the league's best record they might want more than one Laker to be on the team this year, though I suppose they might pick Bynum instead?

Also, I don't have any concerns about the Lakers' toughness anymore. I think the key to team beating Cleveland (if the Crabs actually do make the Finals this year, certainly not a given) will be Bynum learning how to defend Shaq without getting in foul trouble, and Kobe actually getting healthy (though unless he takes time off, I'm not sure how that'll happen). Gasol did a great job defending Dwight Howard in last year's Finals, but Shaq actually knows how to bully his way to the basket (despite being nowhere near as good as Dwight is now). Also, this year's Lakers are not the same team that lost to Boston in 2008, seeing as how they've added Artest and Bynum to the guys that were on the floor for that series. I'm not concerned. The Christmas Day game was an aberration in my mind and last night coulda gone either way. We'll see come June, provided these two teams make it that far.

Anonymous AdriĆ  said...
Kaman's numbers are good, Gasol's are better except from scoring (20.4 vs 16.8).

Gasol was not All-star until his 7th year, despite putting far better numbers than Kaman in his best season (the present one), since his arrival to the league.

... Need more?

Blogger cjuana said...
Donaldson played on some offensively talented 50-win Mavs teams back in the day.

In 86-87 he avg 10pts and 11reb on a 56 win Mavs team.

He played with Augirre, Derek Harper, Ronaldo Blackman, Schrempf Tarply and Sleepy Eyed Sam Perkins that All-Star year.

So points wouldnt of been a massive priority.

The Mavs won 50 games his All-Star year, Iversons will be lucky to win 30.

The worst All_star selection ever was Kobe in his rookie year.

Blogger cjuana said...
also Ben Wallaces numbers in 2006 when he made the all star team are very comparable to Donaldsons.

Wallace probably would have a higher PER rating but PER is fairly flawed

Blogger Bing said...
Hey Wild Yams, would agree that Artest has been horrible since coming to LA?
He doesn't look like a star at the minute.
If we are honest, LeBron ate him up and then was overly-modest in the post-game interview.

I'm also a little concerned that Bynum can only put up 20-10 when Gasol is injured.

Anonymous kazam92 said...
cjuana kobe made the team his 2nd year. Yeah it was bad. Lakers had Shaq, Eddie Jones, Van Exel, & Kobe

Blogger cjuana said...
kazam92 thanks for pointing that out.

I would say the other three probably deserved their spot.

We didnt get many televised games in Aust. back then, at best once a week, so NBA Action was very popular.

So although I didn't see him play often I thought Van Exel was the man from all the highlights. I didnt realise he was ever an All-Star.




Who do you all think were some of the best players to never get an All-Star berth?

I'm going to nominate Rod Strickland for mine. Was happy to find out he'd been tutoring Derrick Rose.

btw that dunk was on some next level ish, I just hope he doesn't do that too often and pull a Penny on us and is careful with his ankles/knees.

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