NBA Meme Mania: 2016 All-Star Rosters Edition

Dan Favale@@danfavaleFeatured ColumnistJanuary 30, 2016

Dan Favale/Bleacher Report

What's better than the 2016 NBA All-Star rosters becoming official?

The memes that follow, of course.

Starters, reserves, notable snubs and future Goliaths are the muses behind this edition of #MemeMania. Blake Griffin and San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich may even make cameos. (They totally will.)

So, as always, let's meme.

R.I.P. Starting Centers

Original photo: NBA.

Big men are still important cogs in the NBA's makeup, and there are plenty of towers who will get burn during Toronto's exhibition.

But not one of them will be starting, because...screw positions, right?

Here's hoping Kevin Durant and LeBron James are cool with jumping center to start this year's superstar pageant.

The Many Faces of Kawhi

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Congratulations Kawhi Leonard on earning your first All-Star appearance and start.  You deserve it.

You also deserve to smile, leer, scream or show any kind of emotion whatsoever every once in a while. Just thought you should know.

Three Cheers for Byron!

Dan Favale/Bleacher Report

Leonard isn't the only superstud making his first-ever All-Star start. Russell Westbrook will be joining him, and he has Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott to thank. 

Most of Kobe Bryant's minutes are coming at the 3, and he was subsequently voted into the All-Star tilt as a frontcourt starter. If not for that position change, he would be repping the backcourt with Stephen Curry, forcing Westbrook into the reserve pool.

And from there, Westbrook would have booted one of James Harden, Chris Paul and Klay Thompson. So, really, at least two Western Conference All-Stars owe their spot to Scott.

What a time to be alive.

Damn You, Byron

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Unfortunately, not everyone is happy with good ol' Byron. 

Throwing Kobe into the frontcourt fray no doubt played a role in displacing Anthony Davis from starter territory—which could prove costly for the New Orleans Pelicans wunderkind in the long run.

"Selection as a starter in the 2016 All-Star Game for the second time would have triggered the Rose Rule," David Fisher of The Bird Writes explained, "pushing AD's contract extension from $120 million in total value to $143 million...He could be out about $23 million if NBA writers choose to leave him off the All-NBA team (selection to any of the three teams will suffice) in May."

If it makes Davis feel any better, he barely ranked in the top 10 of Western Conference frontcourt voting. He should exhibit more disdain toward Enes Kanter and Zaza Pachulia apologists than Scott.

Mom Knows All

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Draymond Green is another one of the many studs who generated more fan support than Davis. He eventually lost the popularity contest to Leonard but was able to sneak in as a reserve.

His mom was pretty excited.

Which left Green pretty confused.

Comcast SportsNet set it up so Green's mom, Mary, could inform him that he was named an All-Star reserve...on television. The moment was surreal and awesome and all kinds of crazy:

OK, that settles it: This wins everything.

No Rest and Relaxation for Pop

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If Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr never returned to the sidelines, his associate head honcho, Luke Walton, likely would have been guiding the West's All-Stars.

That honor goes to the coach steering the conference's best team. Here's the thing: You can't pilot an All-Star squad in consecutive years, and Kerr was in charge during the 2015 spectacle.

By returning to the Warriors on Jan. 22, he guaranteed Popovich would be sent to Toronto—which, apparently, was all part of his evil plan, per Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group:

Diamond Leung @diamond83

Kerr: "It's the only reason I'm (back) is to make Pop spend his AS break at the game instead of on some beach with a mai tai in his hand."

Sorry, Pop. It looks like you'll have to wait until the offseason to break out that Speedo.  

Legends Vacation

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You know who doesn't have to wait for some fun in the sun?

Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Dirk Nowitzki.

While Bryant is spending the tail end of his twilight working through the NBA's holiday, his Hall of Fame-bound peers will, presumably, be sending him postcards from their group beach vacation.

Life's a Beach

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Missing time with a partially torn quadriceps tendon may have cost Griffin a reserve selection no matter what. But fracturing his right hand when he punched the Los Angeles Clippers' assistant equipment manager ensured he wouldn't be a coach's choice.

How will he ever get over missing his second straight All-Star game?

Something tells me he'll manage.

Wait For It...

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Incumbent All-Stars beware. 

Rookies Kristaps Porzingis and Karl-Anthony Towns plan on making it to the 2017 All-Star festivities in Charlotte, and they might be bringing 2016 snubs such as Jae Crowder and Reggie Jackson with them.

Beats By Dame

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Damian Lillard was snubbed from the West's All-Star roster again, and unlike last year, there's no guarantee he'll go to Toronto as an injury replacement.

Don't worry, though. He's totally over it:

Trail Blazers @trailblazers

"If you guys couldn't tell, I was prepared for this. I was expecting the worst." - @Dame_Lillard on All-Star snub https://t.co/PUDojJEtzi

Or is he?

Imaginary sources provided Bleacher Report with a photo of a crumpled napkin that Lillard was apparently using to brainstorm rap ballads.

Expect his next snub-inspired joint to drop any day now.

(Special thanks to Bleacher Report Associate NBA Editor Bryant Knox for his lyrical majesty.) 

You're Invited!

Dan Favale/Bleacher Report

Lillard isn't the only star lamenting his exclusion from the Toronto showcase. And, like I assume they do every year, these slighted talents will gather together over the All-Star break to swap frustrations and trade tales of "What If?"

Zaza Pachulia, for the record, is not invited.

KD and Steph, Together at Last

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If you can't beat Stephen Curry's Warriors, you might as well daydream about joining Stephen Curry's Warriors.

Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com and are accurate leading into games on Jan. 28 unless otherwise cited.

Dan Favale covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @danfavale.


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