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Domantas Sabonis named All-Star, De’Aaron Fox snubbed

Domantas Sabonis is the first Sacramento Kings All-Star since the 2016-17 season. De'Aaron Fox however was not selected.
By | 59 Comments | Feb 2, 2023

Jan 11, 2023; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox (5) and forward Domantas Sabonis (10) walk off the court during a timeout in the fourth quarter of the game against the Houston Rockets at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA announced the 2023 All-Star reserves today and to nobody’s surprise, Domantas Sabonis was selected to represent the Sacramento Kings.  This is Sabonis’ third All-Star selection and first with Sacramento, and the first for any Kings player since DeMarcus Cousins last made it in 2016-17.  It’s a well-deserved honor for a player who has played a huge role in getting the Kings to a 29-21 record thus far. The Kings posted a nice video of the moment Sabonis found out about his selection:

Unfortunately, De’Aaron Fox wasn’t selected despite being more than deserving as well.  Instead, the NBA coaches went with Ja Morant, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Paul George, Damian Lillard and Jaren Jackson Jr. to round out the Western Conference reserves.  Joel Embiid, Jaylen Brown, Bam Adebayo, Julius Randle, DeMar DeRozan, Jrue Holiday and our old friend Tyrese Haliburton were named to the Eastern Conference team.  Chimezie Metu made his feelings known quite quickly:

Fox could still make the team as an injury replacement, but it’s disappointing to see him not make the team outright, especially with how good of a season he’s having. Fox has improved in almost every area of his game, is one of the most clutch players in the entire NBA, and has also barely missed any time.  It’s a shame his efforts weren’t properly rewarded, and it’s another reminder that it’s about time the NBA simply expands the All-Star team from the current 12 per conference.

The Kings haven’t had two All-Stars in the same game since Brad Miller and Peja Stojakovic both made it in the 2004-05 season.  The Kings will also be represented at All-Star Weekend by Keegan Murray, who was recently named to the Rising Stars challenge.

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Dan Houlder
Dan Houlder
February 2, 2023 6:48 pm

Tough one for Fox. But then I’m thinking, which of the named All-Stars would he replace? Not a rhetorical question. I just don’t know.

But Fox has had a great season so far.

LOUiE
February 2, 2023 7:28 pm
Reply to  Dan Houlder

I’d probably say Lillard but I get why he was chosen. I might also say Paul George since he’s missed a lot of time. All the choices make sense though.

BuiltToSpill
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February 2, 2023 7:36 pm
Reply to  LOUiE

Lillard hasn’t exactly been an ironman this season, either.

Dan Houlder
Dan Houlder
February 2, 2023 7:43 pm
Reply to  BuiltToSpill

30.7 PPG over 39 games.

BuiltToSpill
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February 2, 2023 7:34 pm
Reply to  Dan Houlder

Hard to argue against SGA or Lillard on the merits of the numbers alone. But Kings players have been snubbed in the past for the simple crime of not being on a good team. It’s pretty frustrating to see the unwritten rules change. But Fox just doesn’t pile on the numbers like either one of those two. It’s not a major snub but it’s kind of bullshit, imo. His clutch numbers, FG pct, team leader status, and 3rd place all should have been taken into consideration. I feel bad that he was bumped but it’s a numbers game.

And JJJ? Excellent player but WTF?

Dan Houlder
Dan Houlder
February 2, 2023 7:36 pm
Reply to  BuiltToSpill

I’d take Fox over JJJ, but then there would be too many guards.

SuperShaka
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February 2, 2023 9:19 pm
Reply to  Dan Houlder

I disagree with it being too many guards. The reserves are 3 frontcourt, 3 backcourt, and 2 wild cards. Sabonis, Markkanen, and George are frontcourt players. Fox is more deserving than JJJ based on being as impactful to his respective team and playing 50% more minutes.

BeTheBall
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February 2, 2023 11:06 pm
Reply to  Dan Houlder

Paul George, no question. He got the sentimental vote.

richie88
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February 2, 2023 11:55 pm
Reply to  Dan Houlder

I’d probably replace JJJ.

AnybodyButBagley
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February 2, 2023 7:28 pm

Great to see Sabonis go back to the ASG as a King.

Fox is not realistically in that group. Fox needs a playoff run to solidify his standing in the NBA. Nobody fears Fox. Fox has a career of losing and being soft to overcome.

Dan Houlder
Dan Houlder
February 2, 2023 7:35 pm

Okay. But I call BS on the “Nobody fears Fox” line.

I have seen so many comments littered throughout this website about how Fox isn’t this or isn’t that, about how he can’t do this or that, but when I watch the games, I see the opposing teams clearly and obviously adjusting for Fox, packing the lane when he has the ball, sagging back, because they fear him driving to the hoop, in which he is best in the league. Full stop.

To say that other teams aren’t afraid of Fox is patently ridiculous.

Amonk81
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February 2, 2023 8:03 pm
Reply to  Dan Houlder

I don’t think other teams see your fox yet. Once he does it in the playoffs we will see. To me it’s exactly like Jalen Brunson for the Knicks. He’s really good but now I’m scared of them yet.

Amonk81
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February 2, 2023 8:05 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

Obviously it’s supposed to say that teams don’t fear Fox yet.

I think with Luca out Fox may get the replacement call

Dan Houlder
Dan Houlder
February 2, 2023 8:32 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

Are you watching the games? I wouldn’t be able to watch 10 minutes of any game this season without pointing out how the other team is adjusting to Fox, especially his drives to the hoop.

The other teams see Fox. When other teams game plan for the Kings, they all have the same two questions:

What do we do about Sabonis? and

How do we prevent Fox getting to the hoop, where last I heard he leads the league in finishing?

AnybodyButBagley
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February 2, 2023 10:20 pm
Reply to  Dan Houlder

Which borderline NBA player can we put in the game to score career high numbers against Fox?

Don’t forget that question.

NorCalKingsFan
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February 2, 2023 10:31 pm

LOL...keep movin’ them goalposts man.

AnybodyButBagley
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February 3, 2023 6:08 am
Reply to  NorCalKingsFan

Nothing moved. Just added another question .

Is Fox a player that can shut someone down or is he soft on defense?

Amonk81
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February 2, 2023 10:33 pm
Reply to  Dan Houlder

Yes, I’m watching the games. I’m not saying anything egregious.

Fox will have to prove himself in the playoffs before he is “feared”.

Again, I’ll go to Jalen Brunson (I’m sure there are others)…. he can get into the lane and score, borderline all star but he’s not feared.

And I’m not hating on Fox. I like him and what he’s done to improve. I’m pointing out what May very well be true. Just because you don’t feel the same doesn’t mea. You need to try to be-little. “Am I watching the games?”

AnybodyButBagley
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February 2, 2023 10:19 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

Playoff appearances and wins get the fans to notice him and the rest of the NBA begins to forget that he was the guy everyone wanted to play when they needed to get right.

BeTheBall
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February 2, 2023 11:09 pm

On the bright side, defense barely exists in today’s NBA.

AnybodyButBagley
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February 3, 2023 6:10 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

Being considered a poor defender in a league where defense doesn’t exist isn’t good.

The bar is low.

Dan Houlder
Dan Houlder
February 2, 2023 8:33 pm
Reply to  Dan Houlder

Sometimes I think that Fox’s biggest critics are Kings fans.

KANGZZZZZZZZZZZZ
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February 3, 2023 8:12 am
Reply to  Dan Houlder

It’s probably cause Kings fans watch Fox the most. In the past couple years, if you just looked at the box score and counting stats his numbers would be far more impressive than how they looked in the actual games and the fact he’d have 10-15 game stretches where his motor wasn’t very high and his lack of defense. Even this year with his very hot start, he had the lull that was most likely due to a lingering ankle injury,and overall he’s been all-star caliber on offense, and literally the most clutch when games matter the most, but I don’t think it’s realistic to expect every fan who’s suffered 16 years of this poop show to totally turn off some skepticism after an overall very impressive 50 games. But it does feel at times some hate of that poop show gets taken out on Fox, I definitely agree with that take.

Kingsguru21
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February 3, 2023 8:53 am

Kangz(x12), I’m going to assume you watch other NBA teams and players besides just when the Kings play them.

Watch who Ja Morant defends. It’s not Darius Garland or Donovan Mitchell, it’s usually someone like Dean Wade (last night).

Damian Lillard doesn’t usually defend the other top offensive options, either. He’s being hidden like Morant is.

Shai isn’t usually defending those guys, either.

Booker doesn’t typically defend those guys.

Fox is asked to defend other PG’s on a consistent basis. He defends Desmond Bane, too. And other SG’s. It’s hard being a 2 way guy, and I don’t think his metrics will ever truly quantify his value to the team as a 2 way guy at his best.

It is what it is. I don’t expect the Fox detractors who claim they are Kings fans to get it. I never have. Like DeMarcus Cousins, De’Aaron Fox is quite often a Rorschach test. Just the difference in Fox’s case, I think he’s a Hall of Fame talent. I never thought that of Cousins. And I enjoy watching Fox play at his best, I never enjoyed Cousins in anything really.

it is what it is.

andy_sims
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February 3, 2023 9:39 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

My only quibble is that Cousins most certainly had HOF talent. Between his unfortunate injuries and self-sabotage, it won’t come to be, but I’d argue that he was the most talented and dominant player from this franchise since Oscar Robertson. Once he added a reliable three-point shot? Lawd.

There just aren’t very many players who can be completely unstoppable at times, but Demarcus Cousins was one of them. I wish he’d been able to get right and stay healthy, because with his size, agility, passing, and soft hands, he could have been one for the ages.

andy_sims
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February 3, 2023 9:30 am
Reply to  Dan Houlder

Facts. Because remember, when things were terrible, it was entirely his fault.

There isn’t a team in the league that wouldn’t be happy to pay Fox’s contract.

AnybodyButBagley
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February 2, 2023 10:17 pm
Reply to  Dan Houlder

5enNbA coaches and players do not fear Fox.

Collapsing into the lane to stop a guard is the equivalent to a fourth grade zone defense. That isn’t fear. Fox has his moments but he is not consistent enough to get that kind of respect from coaches and other players.

The ASG game is a popularity contest. Getting into the playoffs and playing well in the playoffs is going to get the fans to notice him. Consistently playing smart basketball and forcing teams to alter a lineup or game plan for him will help wih coaches and players. Oh…..and try to play defense.

Fox is a good player. I understand that. Take Sabonis away and Fox is a streaky, soft, loose playing guard on a team that struggles to win twenty games.

andy_sims
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February 3, 2023 9:40 am

Keep pushing that rope, chief.

RikSmits
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February 2, 2023 10:23 pm

I think it’s not realistic for a team that hasn’t made the play-offs for 16 consecutive seaasons to suddenly get two representatives when they have half a season of good play.

So the point about Fox’s lack of play-off exposure is valid. I mean, even SGA has been to the play-offs twice.

And fair or not, people will ascribe the resurgence of the Kings more to Sabonis than to Fox.

HoustonJP
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February 3, 2023 3:26 am
Reply to  RikSmits

They would, IMO, be making a mistake in doing so, he leads the league in Clutch play. Shaquille, Barkley, Kenny Smith to name several of many pundits all feel he is an All Star. He is the engine of a third seed team in the Western Conference, which every pundit says is the paragon of tough playoff ready NBA teams. He earned a place on the 2023 All Star team.

Last edited 1 year ago by HoustonJP
Inthestarz
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February 2, 2023 7:30 pm

100% deserved and forecasted. I’ll give props to Fox for having a better year than last year and his clutch play, but that low motor still isn’t impacting consistently at an all star level or even max contract level arguably. he’s still having off games, off quarters and can’t be counted on linearly. he still has to improve

Last edited 1 year ago by Inthestarz
Want2win
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February 2, 2023 8:20 pm
Reply to  Inthestarz

You also thought Franz Wagner wouldn’t even be a serviceable player..

Inthestarz
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February 2, 2023 10:32 pm
Reply to  Want2win

franz Wagner? really? thats an odd comment about something a few years back, and I dont think you even have the right person. To my recollection I thought and posted he was going to be solid.

NorCalKingsFan
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February 2, 2023 9:41 pm
Reply to  Inthestarz

he’s still having off games, off quarters and can’t be counted on linearly

What a ridiculous thing to say when referring to the most effective and “counted on” player in the entire NBA. #1 in clutch situations throughout the year.

Even if you irrationally argue your strange use of “linearly”, you again are referring to a player who has played in 47 of 50 games and is averaging 24/6/4.

Feel free to hate to Fox to your heart’s content, you do you. It’s sad that your viewpoint on Fox can’t evolve, I think it’s preventing you from enjoying some great basketball.

Timmy_13
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February 3, 2023 10:13 am
Reply to  NorCalKingsFan

This is ridiculous. Inthestarz is right. If he didn’t take quarters off, he’d be averaging 48 ppg on 60% shooting.

AnybodyButBagley
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February 2, 2023 10:22 pm
Reply to  Inthestarz

He has to turn it on and leave it on. His career is a long memory of high and low effort.

rockbottom
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February 2, 2023 7:43 pm

Fox deserves to be an All Star but can’t say the others don’t . Happy for Domas and great that he has been an All Star in both East and West .

NorCalKingsFan
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February 2, 2023 9:42 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

JJJ doesn’t deserve to be there, definitely good enough but he doesn’t deserve it.

Kingsguru21
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February 3, 2023 7:29 am
Reply to  NorCalKingsFan

I’m not that upset with JJJ being there, i’m more upset with Paul George personally. He got the legacy vote IMO.

But….it’s why I don’t take All-Stars seriously. It’s just a dumb process until they clean things up a bit.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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February 2, 2023 7:58 pm

Congrats to Sabonis. He’s earned it. It’s great to have a legit all-star again in Sac.

I can understand the Fox snub. The West is deep with talent. I have no problem with SGA or Lillard going ahead of Fox. Those two carry those teams while Fox has Sabonis.

I feel the only debatable one here is JJJ, but he is at the tops of the list for DPOY, and those types of players usually are all-stars. Truthfully, I’m shocked he is in over Anthony Davis. I totally thought AD would get in based on name and market, but I’m glad he didn’t with games missed and all.

Overall, Zion is the most unworthy, IMO. If he sits due to injury (the dude has only played in 41% of career Pelicans games) Fox should be the one who gets in. If for some bullshit reason AD gets the nob, we need to burn the league down.

NorCalKingsFan
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February 2, 2023 10:20 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I 100% agree with you about Zion, you need to play to be an All-Star (he’s only played in 56% of his team’s games), if there were an award for “Best 20-Game Stretch”, he and AD would be locks for annual contenders.

Paul George is also questionable (when compared to those who were snubbed), he’s averaging 20pts/6reb/4ast and has only played in 69% of his team’s games with LAC sitting well below DEN & SAC in the standings. Fox and Edwards both have better numbers.

Personally, I don’t think JJJ has played well enough to earn a spot over Fox, not too mention he’s only played in only 67% of his team’s games (16pts/4reb/1ast). I do think he’s more deserving than Zion and PG due to his defense (10% block rate is insane) and team record but it hurt to hear his name instead of the Fantastic Mr. Fox.

IMO – If there are injury replacements, it should be Fox, Edwards, and Gordon.

Kingsguru21
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February 3, 2023 7:28 am
Reply to  NorCalKingsFan

I think the replacement list in the West should be Fox, Gordon, Edwards in that order.

They all might get in, too. That would make the game interesting for me, at least. I have very little interest in the game as of now other than not seeing Domas hurt his valuable paw any more than necessary in a meaningless exhibition game.

andy_sims
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February 3, 2023 9:46 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I have no problem with SGA or Lillard going ahead of Fox. Those two carry those teams while Fox has Sabonis.

Using that logic, Fox should have been an all-star in ’20-’21, and perhaps other seasons. Additionally, JJJ suffered no such bias for playing with Ja Morant. And Portland is in 11th place, OKC 13th.

Last edited 1 year ago by andy_sims
HoustonJP
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February 2, 2023 8:21 pm

The association did this one other time in the franchise’s linear history, to Nate Archibald.

He went on a thermonuclear tear after the All Star game and lead the league in Assists AND scoring for the year. The only player to do so.

Third seed team, leads the league in Clutch shooting.

Nonsense.

Kosta
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February 2, 2023 8:43 pm

De’Aaron Fox has been a very big reason the Kings are in third place.

I am enjoying watching his offensive brilliance.

looking forward to seeing him perform in the playoffs and show off his clutch skills to a wider audience.

…and congratulations to Domas. Playing through this thumb injury at such a high level and making his teammates better is so huge for us.

TheBaker
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February 2, 2023 8:45 pm

I don’t understand Jrue being in…

UpgradedToQuestionable
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February 2, 2023 9:12 pm

Sacraments curse – pure and simple.

I’m surprised as the pundits have been naming Fox for the last few days in their reserve teams.

IMO, he’s deserving.

RikSmits
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February 2, 2023 9:39 pm

Whatever.

Just get Finals MVP and be done with it.

AnybodyButBagley
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February 2, 2023 10:25 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Yes please.

Kingsguru21
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February 2, 2023 10:15 pm

Kinda said my piece but i guess I’ll expand it a bit here.

Congrats to Domas, much deserved and much earned.

As far as the Fox snub, it was to be expected, and as long as you only have 12 All Star spots this type of buillshit will continue to happen. Paul George, Anthony Edwards and Jaren Jackson Jr did not have (or not have in Edwards case as an injury replacement) a better case than De’Aaron Fox. And so it goes, I guess.

It’s just another reason to ignore the All Star ‘thing’ because I’m not really going to waste my time watching it for Domas and hoping he only plays 2 minutes seeing as he’s busted his ass in actual games that actually mean something and has been playing with a broken paw for the last month plus. You shouldn’t have to play a dumbass boring exhibition game as your reward for being a top 15 player in the NBA this season.

I would bet that Fox ends up in the game as an injury replacement by the time it’s all said and done. But it’s just dumb that you get deserving players like Fox (and last year Jarrett Allen for another example last season) because they aren’t highlight reels, aren’t putting up video game stats. Everything that is wrong is about the NBA is highlighted in how they go about picking players to participate in a pointless exhibition game.

And so it goes. I hope opposing NBA coaches don’t get to pick when De’Aaron’s wife Recee delivers their baby, too. They likely would screw that up, also. Probably because giving Paul George a lifetime achievement award or Jaren Jackson the DPOY award despite not having played 1000 MPG on the season is far more important. And so it goes.

DutchKingsFanInUK
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February 2, 2023 10:20 pm

Congrats to Sabonis, his play has been nothing short of stellar this year and has surpassed all my wildest expectations. His play and most importantly his selflessness has had such a major impact on this team. I think Jerry has mentioned it a couple of times, but I feel like him going out of his way to give high-fives, throw an arm around someone, encourage, while at the same time being critical at times has raised everyone’s play. Such an easy guy to root for. Hope he’ll be in Sacramento for a lot longer.

Talking about a guy who’s easy to root for: I’m obviously disappointed by the Fox decision, but I don’t think it’s surprising. His case was simply not as strong as Sabonis’. I think he should’ve been in, but unfortunately the coaches chose otherwise. I hope he uses the ASB to rest up and shows the world just how good he is by getting the Kings back in the playoffs.

andy_sims
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February 3, 2023 9:59 am

For what it’s worth, Fox wasn’t competing with Sabonis for a reserve spot. There was no either/or with them.

DutchKingsFanInUK
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February 2, 2023 10:21 pm

Sabonis’ right thumb after hearing he has to get through ANOTHER game

comment image

GFunkClassic
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February 3, 2023 12:13 am

Sabonis sits out all star game with injured thumb, Fox gets all star call up. Easy solution. Double All Stars.

Hobby916
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February 3, 2023 4:22 am

I guess the only thing left to do is win the whole, fucking thing!

Kingsguru21
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February 3, 2023 7:14 am
Reply to  Hobby916

Jake Taylor’d.

ajonez81
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February 3, 2023 10:15 am

Good point the rosters should def be 15 players considering that is what NBA teams carry and also it seems there are always 2 or 3 guys on each side that are deserving but don’t make it. I actually appreciate the fact that coaches recognize how important defense is and how much good defensive players help teams win and be top seeds. Guys like JJJ and Jrue certainly deserve recognition, Fox does need to step up in that category. He did get robbed though, expand it to 15 players, simple fix and everybody wins.

LALakerHater
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February 3, 2023 12:39 pm

The secret to getting Fox an All-Star bid is to hire the right scorekeepers. It worked for Memphis and Jaren Jackson Jr.

Memphis Grizzlies scorekeeper posting fraudulent numbers
by u/AdMassive6666 in nba

andy_sims
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February 3, 2023 1:30 pm
Reply to  LALakerHater

Assists, in particular are greatly inflated around the league. The rule, I think, is that a pass leading directly to a bucket qualifies as an assist.

From that perspective, if a player receives a pass on the perimeter, dribbles to sidestep, then scores, that’s not an assist. The shooter made a distinct and separate basketball move between the pass and the shot.

I would certainly consider adding a hockey assist category, as long as they conform to the actual rule for assists: Pass–>score.

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