NBA / Oct 30, 2009 / 3:50 pm

Don’t believe the hype: 6 hopefuls who won’t be All-Stars

Josh Smith

Josh Smith

Every NBA season begins with a bloated numbers of players dreaming All-Star dreams. Over the summer and in the preseason, you hear guys with All-Star talent promising this will be the year they break through, or guys who are barely impact players vowing to make the leap to All-Star status. Or more often than not, it’s a coach or a teammate who runs the campaign for them. Either way, each October there’s 50 “potential” All-Stars, some of whom won’t even be mentioned in the All-Star discussion come January, and some who will fall just a bit short. Who’s on that list this year?

NENE — During Nuggets/Jazz the other night, they showed an interview with George Karl where he defended Denver’s lack of big offseason moves, arguing that they’d added Carmelo “as an MVP candidate,” then casually saying they’d added Nene “as an All-Star.” Like it’s a no-brainer. True, the crop of Western Conference centers has been weakened without Yao and Shaq, but Nene is far from a lock. He’s a solid starter on a contending team, and I’d put his ceiling at about 16 points and nine boards this year, but after ‘Melo and Chauncey get their preordained tickets to Dallas, will the coaches really give the Nuggets three All-Stars if they don’t have the best record in the League? If any West center will complete a three-man bid for his team, it’ll be Andrew Bynum going with Kobe and Pau Gasol.

JOSH SMITH — Going into the Hawks’ opener against my Pacers, I made a point to specifically watch Joe Johnson to make sure I wasn’t crazy ranking him 12th on my list of go-to guys. Even though J.J. scored 25 points (almost a “quiet” 25), the ATL player who left the biggest impression was Josh Smith (18 pts, 8 asts, 5 stls). You know he’ll make the highlight reels with his dunks and catch-from-behind blocks, a few of which he unleashed on the Pacers, but Smith still showed issues with decision-making. One time in the fourth quarter when the game was still close, Smith put the blinders on and decided to take a contested, fallaway jumper where his defender was in his shirt; a predictable airball. Smith is going to be good this year, and the Hawks will be good, but he’s not there yet. Plus, the East is stacked at the forward spots.

GERALD WALLACE — Love the guy, great player, hard worker, fearless competitor. Even though Crash is earning something of a national profile and you’re starting to hear his name mentioned by national media more often, there’s a very good chance his team will be horrendous.

RUDY GAY — I didn’t want to believe all the critics who said the Grizzlies won’t be able to function with just one basketball, but watching them get waxed by Detroit, it was easy to see where Rudy (who isn’t a natural-born alpha dog) is going to struggle to stand out with O.J. Mayo, Zach Randolph and eventually Allen Iverson on the court. Rudy got 12 shots against the Pistons, and while he made seven (16 pts), I doubt he’s going to keep shooting close to 60 percent all year. Add in that the Grizzlies could also severely stink, and even 17-18 points per game from Rudy won’t be enough to translate into an All-Star debut.

LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE — Don’t read too much into his 36 percent shooting through the first two games; that will eventually come around. But LMA still doesn’t appear to have improved as a rebounder and has never been known as a great defender. Portland felt they had to pay him the big contract extension to keep the core of Aldridge, Brandon Roy and Greg Oden intact and happy, but they shouldn’t expect an All-Star return on that investment. At least not now.

RAJON RONDO — He’s proven to be just as invaluable to the Celtics as any of the Big Three, he deserves a long-term extension like Aldridge, and this will be the year everyone realizes Rondo is a star in the making. Just not an All-Star. Rondo can average close to a triple-double (with 2-plus steals on top of that), but he’s got a tough group of guards to crack in the East, not to mention three near All-Star locks on his own team.

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  • chris

    ah, all star politics….can’t have 3 allstars from the same team, even tho’ parity is becoming just as bad in the nba as the nfl/mlb…. celtics, spurs, lakers, magic, could each have 3 or even 4 all-stars, if choice is based on calibre of play, not politics or stats. i hate it if rajan gets slighted cos pierce, garnett, allen are on the same team.

  • control

    I’m going to be consistent. Fuck Rondo, he ain’t no All Star, not even close. He’d be a less deserving All Star than Mo Williams or Jamaal Maglioure (or wtf you spell his name, he’s not even worth me looking it up).

  • Sanssasin

    where’s andrew bynum on your list?

  • AdvancedMind

    Right next to Eddie Curry…

  • sh!tfaced

    Fuck Mo Williams. He wasn’t supposed to be an All-Star in the first place, and he’ll never be one again. Just goes to show you how much pull LeBron has on Stern’s (and the NBA’s) ass.

  • RC

    This is a good article. But I have to disagree on Rondo not being an all-star this year. Maybe if he gets injured or gets traded then no. This kid is the main facilitator that runs a championship caliber team. You yourself mentioned that he can actually average close to a triple double. The only other player who does that is Lebron.

  • LakeShow84

    Josh Smith = Dumbest Machine ever assembled

  • dagwaller

    Austin, you have your analysis of Nene backwards!

    First of all, Billups ticket is hardly pre-ordained. Starting guards in the West will be CP3 and Kobe, and the coaches will have to choose among Nash, Kidd, and Billups as the “old guard” and Deron Williams, Tony Parker, and Brandon Roy as the “new guard”. So if ANYONE loses consideration because of his quality teammates, it’ll be Chauncey.

    Second of all, Nene is better than Bynum is anyway, which will probably mean more to the COACHES than all the “potential” that Bynum has.

    Do you want to add Greg Oden to the roster? Bynum still isn’t there yet.

  • LakeShow84

    @ Mind

    So when Bynum does make the all star team it wont be deserved??

    Cuz you know if he stayed on his tear before Kobe kamikazi’d his knee he wouldve been the back up last year.. Just so u know..

    and mentioning Bynum and Curry in the same breath?? That aint Advanced..

  • LakeShow84

    @ Dagwaller

    Greg Oden over AB?? did you mean it like that??

    im seriously asking tho..

  • D.H.

    I think Rondo will be an All-Star this year.

    I never nitpick, but you have a lot of grammatical errors involving the formation of plurals in your article.

  • Diego

    Another problem for Josh Smith is even if Hawks really crank it, with the dearth of centers in the East and Al Horford stepping it up a knotch, Al likely would end up joining JJ on the all star team before Smoove this year. (Smoove would really be smarting if that happened. Bye, bye chemistry 2nd half of season.)

  • Young Lebron 23

    Lamarcus is still soft???????????? Damn

  • Ian

    dont think billups will be in dallas paul and kobe start with roy parker and deron getting the other spots ahead of billups and nash.

  • http://www.petsocietyhelp.com Pet Society Help

    Rudy Fernandez, OJ Mayo, Jeff Green, Chris Kaman, Gerald Wallace, Manu Ginobli, Lamar Odom, and Coby Karl.

  • http://astrokidz.blogspot.com T.J.

    @Lake Show That dumb machine just became the youngest to get too 900 Blocks in history

  • janay

    Get the fuck outta here…..Rondo is a damn beast and will be an all-star….who the hell wrote this sucky ass list???

  • Some Guy

    “Rudy (who isn’t a natural-born alpha dog)”

    When did this happen? That was the biggest knock on him coming out of UConn, that he wasn’t assertive enough.

    This transition might make for a good the article.

  • justice

    I would be derrick rose gets more votes than rondo, they already have 3 all stars i doubt they get 4 in

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    Adam Morisson.

  • arisloco

    We got a bitter Laker fan here, ain’t that right LakeShow84?lol your AB won’t be making the All-Star this year.believe that! Stop being so positive about your team coz they won’t even win back2back just like you bandwagoners think.

  • BiG ShoT BoB


    Al Jeff

    Bench: Deron, Roy, TP, Duncan, Gasol, Durant, Stat


    D Howard

    Bench: Bosh, Joe Johnson, Vince Carter, Arenas, Iggy, Pierce, Danny Granger

  • BiG ShoT BoB

    Actually Arenas will probably start.

  • Luke Walton

    Hey, I’m not on this list. I’M GONNA BE AN ALL STAR, SUCKERS!

  • RobertGingebreadman

    WTF!!!!!! No Three All-Stars For The Nuggets. Da Pistons Had 4 In Da 04′ Season(Billiups,Halmiton,Sheed,& Prince)We Will Get NENE In That Damn All-Star Line-Up. And Josh Smith Will Also Get There To Maybe(20.0 PPG,9.0 RPG,&2.0 BPG)For J-Smooth. And I Feel You Luke Walton You Just Need A Team Where U Can Shine I’m Behind 100%.GO NUGGETS

  • mike manalo

    motherfucks! Arenas won’t be an all star. And enough with Duncan pleazzzeee!!!!

  • Dagtang Lason

    STFU Mike Manalo I know you hated Tim Duncan So Much But I’ma Let Yah Finish, But Tim Duncan is one of the Best Power Forwards of ALL TIMEE!!! All Time Baby!!! Better than Motha F*ckin KG!!!

  • CTP


    All I’m sayin is the dude has never made an all star team. Proof that the system is flawed. I know he has tough competition out west, but cmon… just because CP3 gets all the stupid ass deodorant commercials and bigger endorsements because he isn’t playing in Utah doesn’t mean he’s better…

    I would love to see D will in there, and not CP3… (I know that isn’t gonna happen)