The NBA just named its All-NBA Teams and as usual, fans went irate on social media. The All-NBA First Team includes Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic, and Kawhi Leonard. The All-NBA Second Team is comprised of Damian Lillard, Joel Embiid, LeBron James, Chris Paul, and Julius Randle. Finally, the All-NBA Third Team is comprised of Bradley Beal, Jimmy Butler, Paul George, Rudy Gobert, and Kyrie Irving.
If this is the first time you’re seeing the list, then you’re probably scoffing at the names, too. Some players definitely deserve to be there. But there are also those who don’t. We’ll leave it up to the fans to pluck out the players who they feel are not worthy. But for this article, we’ll list down the All-NBA Snubs Team led by Devin Booker and Donovan Mitchell.
2021 All-NBA Snub Team
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker is the obvious snub here. The fact that Booker and the Suns are now in the Conference Finals speaks volumes of how the guard was disrespected in the voting. If you’re a fan of Booker, you’re well-aware of h0w he’s been snubbed for most of his NBA career. He’s been in the league for six seasons but he’s only been selected into the All-Star team twice. In the recent All-Star game, he was inserted into the team as a mere replacement. It’s hard to believe that a player like Booker — who’s been often compared to Kobe Bryant for his scoring prowess — is not being recognized time and time again.
It’s difficult to figure out why voters did not receive an ample amount of votes to be included in the teams. Perhaps much of it has to do with the Chris Paul narrative over the past two seasons. Last year, he guided the young Oklahoma City Thunder to the playoffs. This season, he took things up a notch by leading the Suns deep into the postseason. There’s no doubt that Paul is indeed the Point God. But sticking to this narrative disregards Booker’s accomplishments, not to mention the guidance of Monty Williams as well.
The voters must’ve been blind or weren’t really watching NBA basketball. The Utah Jazz are practically the best team of the 2020-21 NBA regular season. And contrary to All-Star Team selections which are based on a player’s popularity, a player gets selected into the All-NBA teams with respect to their team’s standing.
Mitchell caught the attention of analysts and fans since he entered the league in 2017. He came out the gates as an athletic guard with much offensive prowess. Now in his fourth year in the league, he’s continuing to play his style of basketball, albeit more sharp and mature in his decision-making. The results pretty much speak for themselves. Mitchell’s statistics has been pretty much consistent all these years. As noted, what’s more important is how he’s guided his team to the best record in the NBA. Apparently, these facts weren’t enough to please the voters.
Boston Celtics swingman Jayson Tatum is another name that was brought up by the legions of NBA fans upon the release of the All-NBA Teams. The man dropped 60 points in the regular season (tied with Bradley Beal for second-most points in a game in the 2020-21 season), as well as a couple of 50 and 40-point outbursts for good measure.
It was unfortunate that the Celtics didn’t perform that well though. They qualified for the playoffs as the seventh seed and got booted out in five games by the mighty Brooklyn Nets. However, this doesn’t take away the fact that Tatum should be in the All-NBA squad. Some fans believe that he should at least be a member of the All-NBA Third Team. In particular, Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler — given his inconsistencies all season long — should be booted out. Besides, Butler has never been the type of player who carries his team night in and night out — one of the major prerequisites to considered a member of the All-NBA Teams.
Atlanta Hawks center Clint Capela might be the odd-man-out here. After all, when we think of the Hawks, our minds drift to Trae Young and what he’s done this season. What the voters missed is how Capela has been instrumental in the Hawks’ offense and defense. The man led the league in rebounds with 14.3 per game. He also averaged 2.0 blocks per game in the regular season which ranked third. These types of statistics won’t grab your attention. But as mentioned, the All-NBA Teams are not so much a matter of popularity, but a matter of a player’s contribution to his team’s success.
As of writing, the Hawks are still battling it out with the powerhouse Philadelphia 76ers. They’re tied at 2-2 and from the looks of it, the Hawks have a real chance of upsetting Joel Embiid and crew. And if you’ve seen the games, it’s crystal clear that Capela has done a stellar job at defending the Cameroonian.
The NBA is pretty stacked with talented big men which have made it extra-difficult for the likes of Clint Capela and Indiana Pacers big man Domantas Sabonis to be selected into the All-NBA squad. Both players received six total points. Sabonis himself received three All-NBA Third Team votes (worth three points) and one All-NBA Second Team vote (worth three points).
Sabonis’ unfortunate case isn’t really his fault. To recall, the Pacers had to endure massive changes to their roster. They lost star guard Victor Oladipo to a trade, endured controversies involving head coach Nate Bjorkgren, among others. This pretty placed the Pacers under the shadows. But Sabonis himself had a pretty good season with 20.3 points and 12.0 rebounds per game. There’s no question he would be at least a member of the All-NBA Third team if it wasn’t for the Pacers’ misfortunes.