Los Angeles dominated the All Star Voting for the Western Conference in a way that has never happened before. The Lakers seem to always have guys among the leaders. Now, with the emergence of the LA Clippers, the West All Star team will start 4 players from Los Angeles.
Joining Chris Paul and Blake Griffin in the starting lineup would be Kobe Bryant at guard, Kevin Durant at forward, and Andrew Bynum at center. DeAndre Jordan finished second in the voting for center. He was snubbed in the voting by coaches on who was to be added to the all star lineup. They went instead with Marc Gasol. DJ might have been a casualty of having to many Clippers in the lineup. Chauncey Billups received a lot of votes but finished 8th among guards.
Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are the first Clippers to start an All-Star Game since World B. Free of the San Diego Clippers in 1980. The last time the franchise had two players on the All-Star team was in 1976 when the Buffalo Braves had Randy Smith and Bob McAdoo in the starting lineup. The Clippers have now been represented in the All-Star Game 19 times by 11 different players. Besides Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, other All Stars include Chris Kaman, Elton Brand Danny Manning, Marques Johnson, Norm Nixon, World B. Free, Randy Smith, Bob McAdoo and Bob Kauffman.
Every year we all look at the All Star ballot and wonder who in the hek is making up the list of candidates. Every year there is a player on the ballot who hasn't played at all due to injury, or who is riding the pine due to lackluster play. This year we have Metta World Peace averaging 5ppg. Grant Hill is living it up with 8ppg. And Lamar Odom is having a disappointing season with 7ppg.
So who did they leave off the ballot? Caron Butler. Are you kidding me? He is a former All Star who is having one of his finest seasons for one of the most exciting up and coming teams in the NBA. And he doesn't even get a look. Averaging 15ppg, he is scoring triple the points Metta World Peace is producing. This is a travesty. Hopefully, Caron will be added by the coaches. But there are other small forwards who are deserving as well. Moreover, if he isn't added to the roster, it could be because the Clippers will already have 3 All Stars on the roster. But this doesn't change the fact that he should have at least been on the ballot.
Dwight Howard was the top vote getter with Kobe coming in #2. Andrew Bynum had a big lead at center in the West, while DeAndre Jordan finished with a slim lead over Marc Gasol.
If the Clippers get 3 players on the All Star team, it will be the first time it has ever happened. This is going to be a season with a lot of achievements that have never happened before. Western Conference Champions? Trip to the Finals? World Champions? Stay tuned. This is going to be a season to remember.
aka Don Allen