Now that the All-Star selections have been finalized for the starters and reserves from each conference, it goes without saying that this year’s NBA All-Star Game will be one for the history books. Having said that, there’s also been a fair share of superstars that were left out of this year’s thrilling showcase that were more deserving of a selection. With NBA All-Star Weekend fast approaching, we’ll now take a look at the seven biggest snubs from the Western Conference.
Western Conference NBA All-Star Snubs
7. Russell Westbrook
Even though his tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers has shown mixed results and he still hasn’t quite meshed well with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook has still found a way to put up All-Star numbers this year. Especially with nine triple-doubles and season averages of 19.6 points, 8.3 assists, and 8.1 rebounds per game.
Westbrook has continued to make an impact on the Lakers in a multitude of ways. After a slow start to the year, Westbrook is back to his old ways and is back to filling out the stat sheet once again with a series of big games under his belt. These accolades just further go to show that the Brodie was very much deserving of an NBA All-Star selection this season.
6. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has made another leap in his young and blossoming career as a floor general and the star of a young team with season averages of 22.5 points, 5.5 assists, and 4.7 rebounds per game. With his continued growth and development it goes without saying that SGA is a rising superstar that’s bound to be a NBA MVP one day.
Which is another reason that he was so deserving of a spot on the Western Conference All-Star team this year. He may not be able to earn a place over the likes of Luka Doncic and Donovan Mitchell, but Shai is bound to nab an All-Star appearance some point in the next few seasons. In the meantime though, he’s shown that he’s plenty worthy of gaining superstar recognition for all his persistence and limitless potential.
5. Mikal Bridges
Mikal Bridges made a name for himself as one of the best two-way players in the league and his relentless efforts and stellar play on both ends of the court has been vital to the Suns’ success this season. Phoenix has been a force to be reckoned with all year long and Bridges has played a major role during their current hot streak.
Whether he’s lighting it up from 3-point land, finishing strong at the rim, or playing lockdown perimeter defense, Bridges has been having a career year in Phoenix and definitely has proven his worth as an All-Star in this league. As a do-it-all hustle player for the Suns, it’s safe to say that Bridges was definitely snubbed during this year’s NBA All-Star game selection process.
4. Jaren Jackson Jr.
He’s quickly become one of the premier big men in the NBA, and with the Grizzlies elevating their play on both ends of the floor and becoming legitimate challengers to the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns for the Western Conference crown, it goes without saying that Jaren Jackson Jr. has played a crucial part to their recent run of success.
As a dynamic and mobile combo big that brings tenacity and aggression to Memphis’ frontcourt with a consistent dose of shot blocking, rebounding, interior defense, and a well-rounded offensive game, Jackson Jr. has staked his claim as an NBA All-Star, and the Grizzlies wouldn’t be nearly as dominant without the reliable two-way game of Jackson Jr. to keep them at bay.
3. Anthony Davis
Granted he was recently sidelined for five weeks with a sprained MCL in his left knee, but ever since Anthony Davis has returned to the Lakers starting line-up he’s been dominating in the paint and been their defensive anchor. His shooting hasn’t been phenomenal of late, but in due time he’ll be knocking down jumpers in the mid-range and from beyond the arc.
When fully healthy, Davis is undoubtedly a top-five talent in the NBA, and he’s shown just how valuable he is to LA’s success this season. They truly are a different team when he’s on the court and his strong play speaks for itself. So him not being chosen to play in this year’s All-Star game is absolutely egregious and absurd.
2. Dejounte Murray
Even though the San Antonio Spurs aren’t currently in the playoff mix, this hasn’t affected the play of Dejounte Murray in the slightest. Arguably having the best year of his career, Murray has posted season averages of 19.6 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 9.2 assists per game while knocking down several big shots and showcasing his clutch playmaking abilities.
In Murray, the Spurs have definitely found their next franchise superstar and people need to put more respect on his name by giving him his due as an NBA All-Star. Murray may not be the biggest name out there, but his play this season has been anything but average and it may not be too much longer before he leads the Spurs on their next title run.
1. Anthony Edwards
As the driving force behind Minnesota’s turnaround this season, Anthony Edwards has been one of the fun new surprises of the 2022-23 NBA campaign. His electric play has put the entire league on notice and he’s definitely on pace to become one of the all-time greats. Plus his killer on-court chemistry with Karl Anthony-Towns and the rest of the team has really changed the narrative for the Timberwolves.
Edwards has also made the Timberwolves one of the most exciting teams to watch. With so much more still to come from Edwards, not adding him to the Western Conference All-Star team was a huge mistake that should not be repeated. Edwards is a rising star and there’s no doubt that he’ll make his first appearance in an NBA All-Star game in 2023.