Timberwolves guard Derrick Rose finished above Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard in NBA All-Star voting. Needless to say, it didn't sit well with fans in Rip City. Chris, Alex, Jake, and NBC Sports National NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh discuss on this edition of the Outsiders Blog.
The final votes and starters for the NBA All-Star game were announced on Thursday. While Portland's Damian Lillard wasn't announced as a starter, he did finish fifth amongst Western Conference guards. That would usually be just fine for Portland fans, but a certain anomaly has Rip City a little upset. Timberwolves guard Derrick Rose finished above him. Rose finished third amongst Western Conference guards, and second in the fan vote. While Rose has had a bounce-back season, it is nothing compared to the season Lillard is having. Rose is averaging 18.6 points, 4.7 assists, and 2.8 rebounds per game. Lillard is averaging 26.2 points, 6.3 assists, and 4.5 rebounds. Unfortunately, the All-Star Game isn't just about stats. How do you feel about Rose finishing above Lillard? Our panel gives us their thoughts.
Tom Haberstroh: The Derrick Rose phenomenon is one of the most surprising elements of the NBA All-Star vote. He is a cult hero in Chicago but there’s a huge dissonance between the fans (2nd among West guards) and players (3rd) versus the media (zero votes). Damian Lillard doesn’t have the benefit of the massive Chicago market, but there’s no question Lillard is having the superior season. Consistent excellence is boring, I guess.
Alex Haigh: I don't get it. I figured the fans would be stupid enough to vote Derrick Rose, obviously it was happening. But the players, too? Are we ignoring everything that has ever been said about this guy just for the comeback story? Go watch a movie if you love a comeback story that much. Don't give it to Derrick Rose.
Jake McGrady: I think the Derrick Rose "Stans" are the most obsessive fans in the NBA. I'm sick of it. He's doing what he's doing on the court. It's certainly a drastic improvement from the Derrick Rose that we've seen in the past. Taking it away from players that deserve it just because of the comeback story, the feel-good story... I know it's nostalgia. The NBA's like a fraternity, they're voting up their brother.
Chris Burkhardt: As country singer Toby Keith once said, "I ain't as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was." This holds true to Rose. For one night he turned back the clock, scored 50 points, and ever since there was been an odd fascination with Rose rising from the ashes. Don't get wrong, I understand. To see a player that has struggled for so long have a bounce-back season is nice, but let's be real here, he isn't having a better season than Damian Lillard. Rose fans tilted the vote in his favor cause they just love the dude. Players voted him in because a lot of them grew up idolizing him when he was with the Bulls. There is a very real nostalgia factor there. Honestly, this will blow over when Lillard most certainly makes the All-Star team. The All-Star Game is for the fans anyway, so let them have what they want. That's Rose. Rip City will take pride at the end of season when Lillard makes an All-NBA team and Rose doesn't. Nostalgia can only do so much.