Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum is starting in the 2023 NBA All-Star Game, and some NBA bigwigs are not happy about it. The Eastern Conference frontcourt will feature Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Tatum, leaving out MVP-hopeful and Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid. While Embiid will surely be named an All-Star reserve, some considered his exclusion from the starting five a snub, especially Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey.
On 97.5 the Fanatic, a Philly sports radio station, Morey voiced his anger over the decision and who he ultimately blamed for it:
“Joel Embiid completely hosed once again,” Morey announced. “This time the perpetrators of the crime were the shameless media…the shameless Boston media is way overrepresented. They shoved Joel low enough so he’s not an All-Star starter. It’s crazy.”
This season, Embiid is averaging a whopping 33.4 points per game (a career-high) to go along with 9.8 rebounds per game. Additionally, his stellar play has helped propel the Sixers into second place in the Eastern Conference after a mediocre 12-12 start to the 2022-23 campaign.
Unfortunately for Embiid, the All-Star Game’s emphasis on positions makes it so only a select number of frontcourt players can start, even though the league has become less and less position-oriented. According to the official All-Star voting results, Embiid was third in player voting, third in media voting, and fourth in fan voting.
The #NBA Released the Voting Results #Sixers Joel Embiid got 4,900,482 total votes & came in 4th for the All Star game Starter
The Top 3
Giannis Antetokounmpo got 6,761,032
Kevin Durant got 6,525,199
Jayson Tatum got 5,221,720#NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/6zs1H6EymR
— David Malandra Jr (@DaveMReports) January 27, 2023
Meanwhile, Tatum was first in media voting, third in fan voting, and fourth in player voting. That first-place media voting finish for the 24-year-old Celtics forward likey inspired Morey’s rant, however, Tatum didn’t necessarily have tons of Boston reporters on his side:
There were 6 voters from The Ringer and 2 from Boston Globe.
That does not, however, mean they did/did not vote for Embiid. That also might not be that heavy of a representation compared to other markets’ media representations in the vote. But, I’ll look into that.
— Austin Krell (@NBAKrell) January 27, 2023
Regardless of Morey’s feelings, the Celtics, who have the first seed as of today, are represented by one All-Star starter while the fourth-place Brooklyn Nets have two: Durant and Kyrie Irving. The fact that Embiid wasn’t named a starter is interesting given his career year, yet he can still win an even greater award in the MVP as he moves up the ladder.
https://t.co/wWGNmWoaNH’s updated MVP ladder:
1. Nikola Jokic
2. Joel Embiid
3. Jayson Tatum
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo
5. Luka Doncic
6. Kevin Durant
7. Ja Morant
8. James Harden
9. Domantas Sabonis
10. Julius Randle
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) January 27, 2023
As for Tatum and the C’s, they’ll look to drown out the All-Star talk and focus their attention on the rival Los Angeles Lakers, who come to town Saturday.