There are four point guards representing the Western Conference on the All-Star team. Steve Nash is not one of them but Russell Westbrook is. Westbrook, who's had a very solid start to his third NBA season, was selected ahead of Steve Nash who is once again putting up numbers comparable to his MVP seasons while working with a collection of NBA role players (plus Grant Hill) while Westbrook benefits from all the attention Kevin Durant draws.
As Suns' Coach Alvin Gentry has said repeatedly, Nash wasn't selected because the Suns don't have a good record. This creates an obvious logic-flaw (one that benefited the Suns many times in years past) about what an All-Star is.
The criteria for MVP award is almost always debated with people arguing for or against the importance of team wins. Fair enough, we are talking about choosing one guy above ALL other guys. One star to lead them all.
But with the All-Star honor, shouldn't this really be ONLY about individual achievement? Statistics are not, nor should they be, the only measure of greatness. But if the stats are there and they are done on a team with less talent, doesn't that signify even more greatness?
This is especially true when we are talking about point guards. Rajon Rondo leads the league in assists but he's playing with four future hall of fame players and clearly benefits from feeding those guys the ball. Nash is second in the league in assists playing with only one guy who would even sniff a list of possible All-Stars, Grant Hill.
Kevin Durant seems to understand this.
"Steve Nash is having an All-Star year, of course. He's leading his team. People didn't think they would be up here in the race without Amare but he's doing his job. He's leading these guys," Durant said the day after All-Star selections were announced.
Unfortunately, Durant's teammate -- and the guy who rode Kevin's coat tails to his first All-Star appearance -- doesn't seem to understand any of this or even appreciate the guy who's place he's taken.
Question for Westbrook: Is there any special meaning or honor taking a place on the All-Star team that probably would have gone to Nash?
"Nah, I mean it's different years, different players do different things. This year my goal was to try and continue to get better and better and God's willing I made the All-Star team and hopefully, God's willing, I'll make more. I just try and continue to work and continue to get better."
Nothing? No recognition of Steve's great career? No props for a two-time MVP?
Kids, these days. No appreciation for their elders...and this case still betters.
Selection is what selection does and in the end one more or less All-Star appearance isn't going to make or break Steve Nash's legacy. It's just a shame his incredible performance this year in Phoenix -- arguably his best in a Suns uniform -- isn't receiving the recognition it deserves.