How is Yao Ming an all-star having played only five games this season? A messed up system, that's how. Put the fans in charge of picking the all-stars and it turns into a popularity contest.
The NHL, on the other hand, has figured out how to do the all-star game right. Two captains will select their teammates—pickup game style.
What if the NBA adopted this method for selecting the all-star teams? We would have more deserving players in the game, that's for sure.
Who would make the NBA All-Star Game in 2011? Here's my list.
Los Angeles Lakers' G Kobe Bryant
Kobe is the preeminent player in the NBA. In terms of ability, versatility and experience, he is the best there. It pains me to say that, but I can't deny it. He receives the captain nod, hence, Team Mamba.
Oklahoma City Thunder F Kevin Durant
Durant leads the league in scoring at 28.6 points per game. He is breaking into discussions about the best players in the league. He rebounds, plays defense and is the lifeblood of the Thunder. Team Durantula is born.
Team Mamba: Chicago Bulls G Derrick Rose.
We can put a cap on the whole "Who's the Best Point Guard In the NBA" discussion. Rose is as explosive of player as there is in the NBA right now. He could average 30 points per game but backs his own scoring off to distribute the ball and keep the Bulls competitive through major injury.
Team Durantula: Orlando Magic C Dwight Howard.
Howard teased us through the first six seasons of his career with supreme athleticism and defense. He always led us to wonder "what if" when it came to his offense. Finally his game is complete. Howard is averaging a career high 22 points per game.
Team Mamba: Los Angeles Lakers F Pau Gasol.
Team Mamba needs some size and they turn to the most skilled big man in the game today. Dare we say ever? Gasol is close. He can score, rebound, defend and flop with the best of them.
Team Durantula: New Orleans Hornets G Chris Paul.
Somebody's got to run the point. Why not CP3, who has serious beef with me calling Derrick Rose the best point guard in the NBA. Quick in the lane and leading the league in steals at 2.62 per game.
Team Mamba: Miami Heat G LeBron James
Kobe gets LBJ for his front court. James is the most complete player in the NBA. This means no Bryant/James square-off. But watching them play together would be just as fun.
Team Durantula: Miami Heat G Dwyane Wade.
Sorry boys, but you don't get to play together. James and Wade will have to break up temporarily in this fantasy NBA all-star scenario. D-Wade takes the two-guard role for the Durantulas.
Team Mamba: Boston Celtics F Kevin Garnett.
Garnett is still one of the best defenders in the league and is the ultimate glue guy. His numbers aren't off the charts but he does a little bit of everything. Lakers and Celtics unite. Los Angeles and Boston fans aren't sure how to feel about it.
Team Durantula: New York Knicks F Amar'e Stoudemire.
Stoudemire is having a career year as the main man for the Knicks. Stoudemire is averaging a career-high 26 points per game to go along with nine rebounds and a career-high 2.7 assists per game.
Team Mamba: Los Angeles Clippers F/C Blake Griffin.
Lost in all the highlight reel dunks is that Griffin can play ball. He's averaging 22.6 points and 12.8 rebounds per game. Griffin is the runaway leader for Rookie of the Year.
Team Durantula: Minnesota Timberwolves F Kevin Love.
He's a rebounding machine. Love is leading the NBA with 15.7 rebounds per game. He's also scoring 21.6 points per game. I'd love to watch he and Griffin come in as the sixth men for their teams.
Team Mamba: Oklahoma City Thunder G Russell Westbrook.
Bryant snaps up Durant's running mate. Westbrook is blooming into one of the premier point guards in the NBA. He's fast and has great vision. Wonder how Durantula would feel watching Westbrook lob alley-oops to someone else?
Team Durantula: San Antonio Spurs F/C Tim Duncan.
The Big Fundamental continues to produce. The numbers are down, but the brains and experience are at an all-time high. Any team bringing Tim Duncan off the bench has some serious talent.
Team Mamba: Denver Nuggets F Carmelo Anthony.
Strange to think of Anthony as the 15 player taken in this draft, captains included. Anthony is one of the best scorers in the game even in the midst of constant trade rumors.
Team Durantula: Utah Jazz G Deron Williams.
Williams' size is rare at point guard. One of the most fun things to watch in basketball is when D-Will posts up a smaller guard and shows him what's up. His crossover is one of the best in the game.
Team Mamba: Miami Heat F Chris Bosh.
The Heatles get their final all-star in and but tonight he teams up with Kobe and Bron Bron. Bosh has been very effective for the Heat. He's taken on his role as No. 3 very well. He could still use some better defense but an all-star nonetheless.
Team Durantula: Dallas Mavericks F Dirk Nowitzki.
The seven-footer still has one of the most reliable mid-range jump shots in the game. He's scoring 23.1 points per game. Without Nowitzki and Jason Kidd, the Mavs aren't close to being a playoff team.
Team Mamba: Boston Celtics G Ray Allen
Kobe adds the purest shooter in the game. There's not a better go-and-stop shooter in the NBA coming around two or three screens. Allen is creative with his use of picks and has an exceedingly quick release.
Team Durantula: Golden State Warriors G Monta Ellis.
Durant counters Kobe's shooting guard pick with one of his own. Ellis is scoring is averaging 25.8 points per game while shooting 46.7 percent from the field. That's pretty good for a two-guard with such a heavy scoring burden.
First of all, we all win. We get the right players in the game. No Yao Ming entries, or Shaquille O'Neal. These are the true all-stars.
Team Durant wins. If this was an actual pickup game and none of these players had teams to return and played defense then the "W" would belong to Team Mamba with Bryant, Garnett and Gasol. But Team Durant has some of the best scoring in the league.
Chris Paul dishing to Durant, D-Wade and Stoudemire is fantastic. Dirk comes of the bench for scoring. Duncan and Love come off the bench for defense. Deron Williams provides versatility to the lineup. I would try to get him and Paul on the court at the same time.