Is it just me or is this the time of year when NBA players and coaches begin to sound like overbearing soccer moms as they relentlessly plug their peers for a chance at an All-Star reserve slot?
Come mid-January, everyone and their mother suddenly feels it's a crime against humanity that the "heart and soul of their team" wasn't voted to play in a glorified pickup game in Houston. Well you know what? We at SB Nation encourage this sort of public All-Star panhandling and so we've decided to go out of our way to aggregate every endorsement we could find. Enjoy:
Here's Blake Griffin's best attempt to get Crawford to join him and Chris Paul in the Lone Star State: "He's got to be the leading scorer off the bench in the NBA. He's been as big a part of this team as anybody. He should be an All-Star." (Via CBS Sports' Zach Harper)
Mr. Big Shot himself joined in on Crawford's campaign in the article: "I absolutely think he's Sixth Man [of the Year], and he should be an All-Star this year," teammate Chauncey Billups said after the game. "I really do. If you look at the role that he's playing on our team and we're one of the best teams in basketball, so it's not like he's just playing well and it doesn't matter. He's making a huge effect on a good team."
Blazers head coach Terry Stotts feels that Aldridge gets no respect: "He's the core, he's the foundation. I don't think he's necessarily unappreciated but I think a lot of people take what LA does for granted. He's our most consistent player on both ends of the floor." (Via NBA.com)
Batum feels the same way...about himself: "I should be in consideration for the All-Star team," Batum told CSNNW.com. "I have improved a lot from last year. I'm not the same player I once was. And with all the small forwards in the Western Conference, I think I deserve to be mentioned. Maybe I make it this year, but in the next four years, I have to be in the All-Star game." (Via CSN's Chris Haynes)
Lillard, on the other hand, isn't so confident: "Steph Curry, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul - I think they are all definite All-Stars. It will be tough for me being a rookie and those guys putting in so much more time than I have...The league is about seniority sometimes and they've all done what I am doing now." (Via Yahoo's Marc J. Spears).
But in the same article, Kings head coach Keith Smart went out of way to hype up Lillard's All-Star worthiness: "Any time a rookie is playing at the level he is playing at with the poise that he is playing with, it's going to grab everyone's attention. Are all the Western guards playing at a great level? Chris Paul is at a super level. [Russell] Westbrook is in there. All those guys keep moving up. Can [Lillard] possibly be there based on where he is right now? Maybe, maybe not."
After the Warriors' dynamic duo combined for 55 points earlier this month against the Clippers, head coach Mark Jackson tried to persuade voters with this tidbit: "If my two guys didn't make a statement, I don't know what else they have to...Maybe I'll hold my own game if these two guys aren't in there." (Via the AP's Antonio Gonzalez)
David Lee also took a quick second to claim that the Warriors' record should be enough for him and his partner in crime Curry to get in: "A lot of that comes down to politics and at this point, my biggest arguments for myself and Steph [Curry] making it is that our team has won a lot of games and we're going to continue to do that over the next few weeks. I think winning is our greatest argument to getting in the game." (Via CSN's Chris Haynes)
Although the rest of the world probably doesn't agree, Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins feels his point guard deserves an invitation in spite of his not-so-flashy numbers: "I mean there's some guys that score a lot of points because that's their role. There are some guys that get a lot of assists because they have the ball and that's all they do. But you know, its organizing your team, facilitating the ball. A lot of times Mike Conley will do what he's supposed to do and throw it into Marc Gasol and Gasol throws the ball for the assist. But he's done his job. He defends, he gets steals. I think he's a very good point guard." (Via NBA.com's Jeff Caplan).
Smith seems to be at a loss for words: "I don't know what I can do to get the eye of the national fan. All I can keep to is playing the way I've been playing, progressing as an individual and as a player. I'm not really worried about what's going to happen, but when it does, it will definitely be well appreciated." (Via SB Nation's Scott Sargent)
Hawks head coach Larry Drew concurs in the same article: "I don't know what more [Josh] can do to get the recognition he deserves," said Drew. "He guarded all five positions through the course of a single game. Not many guys in the league can do that."
Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau considers Deng to be a lock: "I think coaches will look at what a guy brings to the team overall. Have they done it consistently? And then some guys it's a buildup too. I thought two years ago Luol deserved to make it and didn't but then he made it last year." (Via the Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson).
Here's also shared his feelings on Noah: "I think Joakim started off great, sort of tailed off with the flu, but is picking it up again." (Via ESPN).
And Boozer: "...Carlos has been steadily getting better from the start of the season to where he's playing great right now. I think all three deserve consideration. But those things are so political, you can make the case for all of them. I think when you win it helps and winning is the most important thing."
If the number of players that guard you have to do anything with the quality of your resume, then Johnson feels he's more than deserving: "Definitely, if they're going to keep doubling and tripling me as hard as they doing." (Via the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy)
Williams' decided to channel his inner Wayne's World and claim he's not worthy: "I just think there's people playing better than me." (Via ESPN New York)
Paul George - Indiana Pacers
Pacers head coach Frank Vogel had nothing but good things to say after George's monster 31-point effort against the Rockets: "Paul George, I think, solidified it tonight. I don't think there's any doubt. ... All they have to do is look at this game." (Via Mike Wells of USA Today)