Feb. 09, 2015

Brandon Applehans
bappleha@uccs.edu

The National Basketball Association needs to expand the rosters for the All-Star game.

The 2011 lockout dispute for the NBA has been settled for over three years now, but a new issue has arisen regarding the 2015 All-Star game, to be held Feb. 15 in New York.

Basketball fans all over the globe huddle around the TV to see the top players battle in a lackadaisical highlight reel that only comes once a year. But this year, the number of all-star caliber players increased, leaving marquee names off the roster.

In his third season, Portland Trailblazers point guard Damien Lillard will not participate. Averaging 21.6 points, 6.3 assists and 4.6 rebounds per contest, those numbers were not good enough to get him a spot.

Fans vote for their favorite East and West players, naming the five starters for both teams, and coaches finish off by selecting the five reserves for each ball club.

This is an odd time in the NBA due to Hall-of-Fame players, such as Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, remaining in the league for an extended period. Young and talented players are being penalized due to their continued presence.

Bryant will not be participating in the 2015 All-Star game due to a shoulder injury. Lillard was a choice thrown around to complete the only 10-man roster, but league commissioner Adam Silver chose Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins.

Regardless of that decision, Silver should make the All-Star game a 12 to 14 man roster. Starters and reserves will continue to be the top players, but all deserving players should be able to participate.

Cousins is worthy of the spot. Averaging 23.6 points, 12 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game, there is no concern as to why he is on the team. It’s why more players aren’t on the roster.

When young talent enters the NBA, and rightfully competes with potential Hall-of-Fame veterans, they should not be snubbed out of the All-Star game just because of limited roster spots.

Silver has acknowledged the fault in the voting system and expects to expand the roster spots. The principle is the fact that both the West and East ball clubs have players missing the opportunity of a lifetime.

NBA players have a time limit on their careers, with each year posing the threat of injury, and they shouldn’t have to miss an opportunity like this due to a limited roster.

Next year is another season, and hopefully the NBA can solve this issue as they did the lockout.