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NBA Fact or Fiction: Should Kyrie Irving represent the NBA in the 2023 All-Star Game?

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Each week during the 2022-2023 NBA season, we’ll dive deeper into some of the league’s biggest storylines, trying to determine whether the trends are based on fact or fiction.

[Last week on Fact or Fiction: Does the NBA have a load management problem?]

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Brooklyn Nets defenseman Kyrie Irving enters the final weekend of fan voting for the NBA All-Star Game with the highest record of his position in the Eastern Conference, which has turned into a starting performance every time since the league took 50% of this decision. from the fans and split it between the media and the players in 2017.

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In other words, a player who promoted anti-Semitism and repeatedly refused to apologize or denounce him—to the point that the Nets determined him “currently unfit to associate with them” and the Anti-Defamation League wouldn’t do that.accept his donation with a clear conscience“- could very well be head-to-head with the NBA’s best and brightest on the world stage just a few months from now.

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It is my understanding that he apologized in an Instagram post, which he subsequently deleted, although he never explained “the specific beliefs in the documentary that I agreed with.” It is my understanding that he appeared remorseful at the press conference prior to his return from an eight-game suspension, although he refused to condemn a few hours later. a group of his supporters outside the Barclays Center who expressed the same antisemitic beliefs took place in the film.

That got him back on the court, where he averaged 25.8 points (48/35/91), 4.9 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 33 games this season. Neither the forced apology nor his performance guarantees him an All-Star spot, starter or not. Raising him as the face of the league right after he perpetuated “hate speech” sends a much worse signal than telling him he can’t be in this show.

The All-Star Game is an honor, not a right. I would listen to the argument that he should participate if his future earnings are related to his choice, but this is not the case, and even then I may not support his candidacy. (I’m also not among the 100 members of the media voting for All-Stars. It’s just a strong opinion.)

It’s unclear if Irving deserves an All-Star nomination based on his on-court performance this season. It’s clear that he doesn’t deserve a starting spot, and the statistical evidence that he’s fully on the roster is relatively simple.

Take this season’s top 10 defensemen in the conference – a list that doesn’t even include recent All-Stars Dejonte Murray, Zach LaVine, Bradley Beal and LaMelo Ball – and ask yourself the following questions…

How often are they available (games played, minutes)?

  1. Jalen Brunson (43 GP, 1466 min)

  2. DeMar DeRozan (42 GP, 1515 min)

  3. Jaylen Brown (41 GP, 1460 min)

  4. Donovan Mitchell (40 GP, 1445 min.)

  5. Trae Young (40 GP, 1429 min)

  6. Tyrese Halliburton (40 GP, 1336 min.)

  7. Darius Garland (37 GP, 1331 min.)

  8. Jrue Holiday (34 GP, 1107 MIN)

  9. Kyrie Irving (33 GP, 1211 min)

  10. James Harden (30 GP, 1106 min)

How many points they bring (points per game + auxiliary points created)?

  1. Trae Young (27.2 ppg, 23.9 ppg)

  2. James Harden (21.5 ppg, 29.2 ppg)

  3. Tyrese Halliburton (20.2 ppg, 27.2 ppg)

  4. Darius Garland (21.5 ppg, 19.2 ppg)

  5. Donovan Mitchell (28.4 ppg, 12.2 ppg)

  6. DeMar DeRozan (26.1 ppg, 13.2 ppg)

  7. Jalen Brunson (22.6 ppg, 16.6 ppg)

  8. Jrue Holiday (19.4, 19.1 APK)

  9. Kyrie Irving (25.6 points per game, 12.5 points per game)

  10. Jaylen Brown (27.2 ppg, 8.7 ppg)

How effectively do they do it?player efficiency rating, percentage of accurate hits)?

  1. Donovan Mitchell (23.3 PER, 62.3 TS%)

  2. Tyrese Halliburton (23.3 PER, 61.3 TS%)

  3. James Harden (22.5 PER, 61.0 TS%)

  4. DeMar DeRozan (22.0 PER, 59.6 TS%)

  5. Trae Young (21.8 PER, 56.7 TS%)

  6. Jalen Brunson (20.4 PER, 57.5 TC%)

  7. Kyrie Irving (20.1 PER, 58.9 TC%)

  8. Jaylen Brown (19.8 PER, 59.0 TC%)

  9. Jrue Holiday (19.7 PER, 58.0 TS%)

  10. Darius Garland (18.5 PER, 57.6 TS%)

How do they act defensively?Created by DPM, defensive real plus-minus)?

  1. Jrue Holiday (1.5 CDPM, -0.05 DRPM)

  2. James Harden (0.7 CDPM, 1.40 DRPM)

  3. Jaylen Brown (0.5 imp/min, 1.60 dr/min)

  4. Donovan Mitchell (0.3 CDPM, 2.52 DRPM)

  5. Darius Garland (-0.1 CDPM, 0.82 DRPM)

  6. DeMar DeRozan (-0.3 CDPM, 1.27 DRPM)

  7. Kyrie Irving (-0.4 CDPM, 1.59 DRPM)

  8. Tyrese Halliburton (-0.7 CDPM, 1.29 DRPM)

  9. Jalen Brunson (-1.3 CDPM, 1.68 DRPM)

  10. Trae Young (-2.3 CDPM, -1.61 DRPM)

How much do they affect winnings (winning stocks, wins above substitution?

  1. Donovan Mitchell (5.7 VS, 4.7 WAR)

  2. Tyrese Halliburton (5.5 VS, 5.7 WAR)

  3. DeMar DeRozan (5.1 VS, 4.1 WAR)

  4. Jalen Brunson (5.0 WS, 4.5 WAR)

  5. James Harden (4.7 VS, 5.3 WAR)

  6. Darius Garland (4.0 WS, 4.4 WAR)

  7. Trae Young (3.6 VS, 5.1 WAR)

  8. Jrue Holiday (3.3 VS, 4.7 WAR)

  9. Kyrie Irving (3.3 VS, 4.2 WAR)

  10. Jaylen Brown (3.2 VS, 2.3 WAR)

Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving has not been named to the All-Star Game in two of the last three seasons.  (Dustin Sutloff/Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving has not been named to the All-Star Game in two of the last three seasons. (Dustin Sutloff/Getty Images)

I’m not sure what argument you can make in favor of Irving as an All-Star starter other than a purely reputational argument, which would be nice for someone who did a decent job of destroying him this season.

I also can’t be sure what motivated the fans to make Irving the leader among guards in the East. He garnered 1.2 million votes, a number that has continued to rise since he last made the All-Star team two years ago, when he had a much better statistical resume (and had not yet served time in opposition to the mandate for vaccine against COVID-19).

I am I’m sure you can make a case for at least nine other Irving quarterbacks, including Brown, whose extended numbers don’t properly reflect his contribution to the league’s top team (and who defended the rights of his former teammate in accordance with the collective agreement as a trade union member). We don’t even need to appreciate how much Brooklyn’s fortunes fluctuate when Kevin Durant isn’t paired with Irving.

Brown, along with several other deserving candidates, has participated 20% more in his team’s games this season than Irving. Why? Because he wasn’t suspended for three weeks for fomenting anti-Semitism in front of millions of people – many of whom still defend him for it – and repeatedly refusing to apologize for it..

Four All-Star spots are guaranteed to defensemen from the East, two of which will be determined when the media and player ballots due Saturday are averaged and added to the fan vote. The coaches select two more east backs as reserves. They also have a couple of wild cards and it’s a tough decision to make when recent East All-Stars Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jason Tatum, Joel Embiid, Jimmy Butler, Pascal Siakam, Bam Adebayo and Julius Randle are among the worthy candidates for six guaranteed places. seats in the front.

Irving’s All-Star advantage should be minimal were it not for the voices of the fans that remind us of his impact. The reserve for Irving, the sports ambassador, should be invisible. The NBA doesn’t set official All-Star Game criteria, but I’ll remind the media, players, and coaches who decide the roster that one of your tiebreakers could be the fact that no one else has made anti-Semitism their platform this season.

Definition: fantasy. Kyrie Irving is not expected to play in the NBA All-Star Game this season.

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Ben Rohrbach is the Senior NBA Columnist for Sportzshala Sports. Any advice? Email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter! Follow @brohrbach


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