Last Thursday, TNT announced the All-Star starting lineups for the Eastern and Western Conference squads. This week the reserves, as chosen by the coaches, will be announced. Later this week, we will undoubtedly see countless articles citing who got “snubbed” or who doesn’t really deserve to be there.
This list is a bit different. Throw your stats out the window. Throw every reasonable thing you know about basketball out the window. This team is going to be pure entertainment. Players earn their way onto the floor based on pure entertainment value, whether it’s high-flying monster dunks, or mental instability.
Without further ado, here is the Western Conference team. Come back Thursday for the Eastern Conference version.
Western Conference All-Entertainment Team Starters:
Chris Paul-Alright, so Chris Paul has been voted in as a starter by the fans, and undoubtedly deserves it. But he has earned his spot as an entertainer because he is the best at what he does-set people up for big plays in the most awesome way possible. As we move down this roster, you’ll see some of the tools that he will have at his disposal, and it will become more evident that he is the right man for the job.
Russell Westbrook-Russ is here because he does things that nobody else can do. Westbrook’s teammate, Kevin Durant, won’t be making this team for one simple reason: Durant can score in any way that you can imagine, but Westbrook is the one that makes my jaw drop nearly every game. Does he shoot too much? Maybe. Would he shoot too much in this game? Maybe. Would he make you shake your head numerous times because you just can’t believe what you just saw? Of course.
Kenneth Faried-Have you seen this guy play? Despite his lack of height for an NBA power forward, all this guy does is play above the rim. I almost put Andre Miller on this team just so that he could throw picture-perfect lobs to Faried all game long. You heard me right-this guy almost caused me to replace Chris Paul with Andre Miller. The Manimal doesn’t take plays off either, so the lethargic first three quarters of a regular All-Star game have just received a shot in the arm. This guy is ready to go from the opening tip.
Blake Griffin-I’m not the biggest fan of Blake Griffin, but how can you leave him out of a game like this? As far as entertainment value, his might be right behind LeBron James for the highest in the league. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, Blake Griffin does something that mere humans should not be able to do-just ask Pau Gasol, Kendrick Perkins, or Timofey Mozgov. They don’t even want a part of this game even though they’d be on the same team, just because Blake is here.
DeMarcus Cousins-This big man is talented, but let’s be honest-he’s a part of this game as much for the fact that he may kick a ref in the nether-region than for anything that he may or may not do on the court. He may strangle Gregg Popovich (who’s coaching this team as the league’s most entertaining coach). It’s possible that he punches Blake Griffin for no particular reason. You never know what to expect. And he’s a pretty good baller too…
Western Conference All-Entertainment Team Reserves:
Damian Lillard-Alright, maybe I’m putting him on this list because as a Weber State student, it’s really fun to see Damian Lillard tearing up the NBA. Outside of Paul and Westbrook, there isn’t another PG in the West that I’d like to see on this team. Also, did you see the dunk that he had last night? This kid’s got some skills that need showcasing, and this game is the perfect venue for him to show off a bit.
James Harden-Harden is one of the most unorthodox players of the current generation, and that makes him an absolute treat to watch. He moves a lot like Manu Ginobili, twisting and turning his way until he can find an open path or an open teammate. Plus he’s got a Bible-style beard that is quickly becoming one of the most well-known in sports. Other, less-manly beards aspire to be like his.
Anthony Davis-Did you see this guy play during the Olympics? Granted, the competition was inferior, but it was thrilling to watch this kid hit the floor with the best talent in the world and look like he belonged. His rookie season has seen it’s ups and downs, but he’s fun to watch. This team would be throwing down its fair share of alley-oops, and Davis would play a big role in that, but his defensive game is just as fun when he surprises smaller players with his length and quickness.
JaVale McGee-This, surprisingly, was the easiest pick of the bunch. Well-known for his boneheaded plays as a Washington Wizard, McGee has morphed into a different animal in Denver. One that may or may not be made of the same substance that Gumby is made of. And his celebrations put him over the top, whether it’s his “finger-lickin’ good” or fake signing the ball after a big block. He also sports the most well-known alter ego in the league. Pierre needs to be unleashed in this game.
Andrei Kirilenko-There was talk early on about AK making the West All-Star team. This guy has done everything to hold the Wolves together, mostly by being the only one that can stay on the court. When playing, he’s the rare kind of guy that can do everything, and would fit in well on this team. He wouldn’t play a ton of minutes, but we could see if he could play topless to show off that sweet back tattoo and make the other guys jealous.
Jamal Crawford-Crawford is the closest thing that we have to an And-1 streetball player in the NBA. There have been several occasions already this year when he pulls off an amazing play, and I have to wait to watch the replay about four times before I even know what is going on.
Ricky Rubio-We haven’t seen enough of him this year, unfortunately. And if he’s going to break John Stockton’s all-time assist record, like ESPN’s Chris Palmer seems to think he will, he better hope those ACL’s hold up and he doesn’t miss another game for basically his entire career. But when a guy can do this, he needs to be on this team (ignore Lou Amundson’s incompetence).
Bench Cheer Squad:
It doesn’t really matter who goes here, as long as Robert Sacre somehow finds his way onto this bench.
Which Western Conference players entertain you the most? Leave them in the comments or come find me on Twitter and let me know!