There have only been three rookie reserves in the All-Star Game in the past 20 years, and Kyrie Irving will not be the fourth.
After rumors of Brandon Jennings and Rajon Rondo not being selected for this year’s All-Star Game, Cavaliers’ fans jumped to thoughts of seeing their Rookie of the Year contending point guard playing alongside the NBA’s best.
Those hopes were dashed by the announcement of Deron Williams as the one and only reserve point guard on the East team, presumably selected both on his early season performance and tenure in the league.
If the selection was made purely on stats, Deron might have the edge on a per game basis, but Kyrie is playing nearly ten fewer minutes per game than Williams. To even up the score, the comparison of stats per 36 minutes tells a different story.
Kyrie Irving - 21.8 PP36, 6.1 AP36, 4.2 RP36
Deron Williams - 20.1 PP36, 8.3 AP36, 3.4 RP36
But stats are stats, right? Deron is a veteran leader that is keeping New Jersey from being a much worse team.
On the contrary, Kyrie (along with the rest of the Cavaliers) has fueled the team’s slight improvement over the previous season through 24 games. The Cavaliers sit at 10-14, peeking at the eight spot in the East, compared to a record of 7-17 the previous year.
The Nets are 8-19 through 27 games, only a one game improvement over last year’s 7-20 record without Williams.
The snub might be a negative to fans now, but considering Kyrie’s current issue with concussion symptoms and a condensed season that could result in an even higher “rookie wall”, sitting back and relaxing during the All-Star game might be just what the doctor ordered.