Russell Westbrook and Kyle Lowry were famously “snubbed” from starting the 2017 NBA All-Star Game. On Thursday evening, however, both point guards were justly added to the reserve list to fill out the 24-player rosters for the East and West. That did not stop the league’s coaches from making a few missteps when compiling the rosters, though, and one was particularly jarring.
Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul entered the 2016-2017 season with nine All-Star appearances and he will end the campaign with the same amount. The veteran point guard is currently on the shelf with injury, meaning he would have forced a replacement choice under any circumstance, but Paul was unceremoniously left off the list despite averaging 17.5 points, 9.7 assists and 2.2 steals per game over 36 contests. Paul is no longer seen as the best point guard in the league thanks to the emergence of Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry and James Harden, but any list of the 12 best players in the Western Conference unequivocally includes the “Point God,” making this a bizarre omission.
Elsewhere, Rudy Gobert and Joel Embiid were both left off their respective rosters. Clippers center DeAndre Jordan made the cut ahead of Gobert, who many project as the front-runner for the Defensive Player of the Year award this season. Jordan is perhaps the more dynamic offensive threat, but Gobert’s rim protection and value to one of the league’s best defenses has been otherworldly and the choice was, at least slightly, controversial.