The starters list for the 2023 NBA All-Star game has been released and it has been all the community has been talking about in recent times. Some of the names have not shocked us one bit, mainly because of how frequently we have witnessed them kickstart the All-Star game every year. However, some players’ inclusion, on the other hand, has sparked a huge debate online among NBA fans. With that said, let’s take a look at the starters for this year’s game.
⭐️ THE 2023 NBA ALL-STAR GAME STARTERS ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/9NXxjaYfW0
— ESPN (@espn) January 27, 2023
For the West, LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Zion Williamson, Luka Doncic, and Stephen Curry will be the starters. From the Eastern Conference, it will be Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, Donovan Mitchell, Jayson Tatum, and Kyrie Irving. LeBron and Giannis will be leading their respective sides this year. An interesting point to note is that most of these players, including the likes of Jokic, Luka, Jayson, and Steph among others are also included in the NBA MVP conversation.
What is fascinating is that a player who has performed exceptionally this year, and is also in the MVP conversation, was excluded from the starters list. It would be none other than the Philadelphia 76ers superstar Joel Embiid.
Does Joel Embiid deserve to be a starter for the 2023 NBA All-Star game?
Some believe that Embiid should have been included in the list, while some claim that what he got was deserved. Before we analyze the reactions from fans, it would be necessary to take a look at his statistics from the 2022-23 NBA season. Embiid has averaged 33.4 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 4.1 assists in 35 games this season. Together with that, he has played a pivotal role in the Sixers’ 31-16 record this season as well.
Fans claim that it was right that Joel is not a starter for this year’s All-Star game. A user even wrote, “Because he’s a FT merchant and a fraud. Not a fan favorite. Not surprising.”
Because he’s a FT merchant and a fraud. Not a fan favorite. Not surprising.
— Aq (@aqouraa) January 27, 2023
good. hes a ft merchant.
— 7️⃣ (@DurGoat_7) January 27, 2023
Fans don’t want to watch FTs in the all star game
— Matt ☘️ (@KarskiMD) January 27, 2023
He couldn’t flop his way to an All star starter this time
— Jace (@BasedJace_) January 27, 2023
Others joined in to take shots at Embiid for his free throws and claimed that he was a free-throw “merchant.” These claims come with good reason too, however. During the 2022-23 NBA season, Joel Embiid has attempted 11.7 free throws per game. He has made 10.1 as well. This certainly explains why fans believe that Embiid’s snub is justified. However, some have come to his defense as well. A Twitter user even demanded that the All-Star game’s selection should not be categorized according to positions.
NBA has to make the all-star game positionless bc in what world is joel embiid not a starter
— Molly Morrison (@mollyhannahm) January 27, 2023
Joel Embiid wasn’t named an All Star Starter….but is in the MVP convo. 😳 pic.twitter.com/Ik6Rz1PrBM
— NBA Retweet (@RTNBA) January 27, 2023
the voting system needs a major overhaul. no way in hell he should be on the bench
— Rodney (@lukatroncic23) January 27, 2023
Ngl .@JoelEmbiid not starting is nuts
— kuz (@kylekuzma) January 27, 2023
That was not all, even Kyle Kuzma labeled it as “Nuts.” For those who don’t know, the starters are decided through a series of voting polls, by fans, media personnel, and NBA players. According to the NBA website, the fan voting held 50% weightage, while players and media shared 25% of it each.
It was a shock that The Process was not named an All-Star starter. However, the selections took place according to the voting, which means it was mainly what the community wanted. Although it may not have been wanted, fans would still have to accept it and look forward to seeing Embiid make a huge impact off the bench on February 20.
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