The short answer is yes – Allen Iverson should be a 2010 NBA All-Star. Iverson has his share of critics. He always has. This year his critics say that he is not playing at an All-Star level therefore he should not be on the All-Star team.
His supporters, and I am one of them, point to the many great players in NBA history who have been voted on to the All-Star team well after their prime years were over.
Allen Iverson will be making his 10th All-Star appearance this year. A winner of two All-Star game MVP awards, Iverson is more than equipped for the caliber of play in this fan-driven game. Despite his injuries of the 2009-2010 season, Allen Iverson is a prime-time, showcase player in the NBA.
Though his scoring average is down this year to less than 18 points per game, and his minutes too are down, he is reportedly getting healthy going in to the All-Star break.
If he numbers are not where they once were, his game will be there when it counts – when the fans tune in to see a game featuring the NBA’s most talented and dynamic players.
Some deserving players have been left off the All-Star team and, though this is a bit sad, it happens every year. Not every deserving player makes it to the All-Star game. In a league with a few hundred players, there are maybe a few dozen players who have skills and style to make them stand out. Only two dozen players are invited to play each year in the All-Star game; 12 players from the Eastern Conference and 12 players from the Western Conference.
That is it.
Because the number of players invited to play in the All-Star game is so small, the selections can sometimes seem severe.
Fans might argue that an up-and-coming NBA talent should be given a chance to stand in the All-Star spotlight instead of an aging hall-of-famer. Fans might argue that there should be a numerical selection process whereby the best statistical performers in the league are invited, despite issues of popularity and the team a player might be on. Small market players are at a disadvantage just as centers are when it comes to being noticed.
Scorers get all the kudos in this league. Centers get to quietly do the heavy lifting.
Allen Iverson is one of the NBA’s all-time great scorers and he has played for teams that were frequently featured on national television. His play is one of the reasons those teams received notice, but playing in a basketball city like Philadelphia didn’t hurt either.
This year Allen Iverson will be an All-Star – not because of how well he is playing – because of how well he played for his first 13 years in the NBA. Climbing to number 19 on the all-time scoring list has its advantages, as it should.
Iverson will play this year like Jordan did when he made his come back with the Wizards. Past his prime, but loved by many; popular and historic players, these two are handed the All-Star jersey because of what they provided to the league: years of exciting basketball.