Of all the various All-Star Games in professional sports, the NBA's version may be the most entertaining. The game is generally wide open, guys show off their dunking ability and—unlike the NFL, for instance—basketball is more entertaining when less defense is being played.
So what type of All-Star contest will we get this year? An open, up-and-down affair, or a battle down in the paint between elite post players?
You be the judge. Here are the starters for both the East and West, via Bleacher Report's official Twitter account:
Not surprisingly, the biggest surprise on Twitter was the exclusion of Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard as a starter, as B/R's Howard Beck suggests:
Meanwhile, Sam Amick of USA Today passes along the following video Howard made after the center position was taken off the ballot:
Amick also tweeted the reaction from the TNT crew in regard to the Howard snub:
The other issue to address here is that Kobe Bryant is injured and has already said he doesn't plan on playing, per Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports:
Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report adds more details:
And Bryant himself discussed exactly why he wants to sit this one out, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
But enough of those players who perhaps shouldn't have been voted in or those who were snubbed. ESPN Stats & Info shares this bit of information about the inclusion of Steph Curry:
Golden State Warriors fans are surely pretty pumped tonight. And so are fans of Paul George, a very deserving starter, according to Jason Whitlock of ESPN:
Meanwhile, it will be really interesting to see how the East approaches this game. With such a small lineup, will they simply look to run the West starters up and down the court? Will they spread the floor and space out a West team that will dominate on the boards?
Or will LeBron go all "Magic Johnson in Game 6 of the 1980 NBA Finals" and play center? Because given how freakishly talented James is, would it really be a surprise to anyone if he started at center and dominated?
No, not really. One way or another, it will be fun to see how both sides approach this matchup.