Kaman deserves spotBarry Stavro
Los Angeles Times
Some younger players always get overlooked while some antiques make it based on past reputation ( Allen Iverson, Kevin Garnett). Granted, it's always easy to forget about the Clippers because they are a chronic disappointment, and Chris Kaman admitted the Clips' losing record hurt his All-Star chances.
But let's look at Kaman, a true 7-foot center. He's left-handed but can go either way with the ball, and he's honed his mid-range jumper. Now in his seventh season, he's also finally learned to shoot quickly instead of always pounding the ball in post moves, pretending he's Kevin McHale.
Kaman's numbers are a career-best this season: 20.1 points, 9.2 rebounds. In fact, there is only a trio of big men this season averaging more than 20 points and 9 boards a game. The other two, Zach Randolph (20.8, 11.6) and Chris Bosh (24.2, 11.4) will both be in Jerry Jones' palace for the All-Star Game. Kaman deserves a ticket too.
Overlooked ClipperK.C. Johnson
I know he gets hurt here and there, and I know he plays for Los Angeles' forgotten team. But Chris Kaman should have been an All-Star over his Staples Center counterpart Pau Gasol, who missed significant time early.
Kaman has been steadily productive for a Clippers team that traded Zach Randolph and lost No. 1 pick Blake Griffin to injury.
Heck, if Kaman played the Bulls every game he'd be in the Hall of Fame, not the All-Star Game.
Where are the Cavs?Ira Winderman
No, Mo Williams won't be back from his shoulder injury in time for the All-Star Game. And, yes, he already was injured when the reserves were named.
But the result is the most egregious omission of the entire process:
Just one berth for the league-best Cavaliers.
At a time when the middling Suns have two starters and the trailing Celtics have three All-Stars, Cleveland at least deserved recognition that its season is based on more than the mere MVP-in-waiting success of LeBron James.
The right thing would have been to select Williams, then have Commissioner David Stern name a replacement.
While it now is too late for Williams, it is not for the Cavaliers.
Shaquille O'Neal is playing his best ball; there is still time to make that call.
A starring roleBrian Schmitz
In this upcoming NBA All-Star Game, the real star is the building, Jerry Jones' NFL joint in Dallas. So the players don't matter much for once. They're props. But a guy who should be there, but got snubbed is center Chris Kaman.
Kaman is averaging 20 points and nine rebounds per game. Problem is, he plays for the Clippers. That shouldn't be held against him. You never hear about the Clippers because people recognize only one pro basketball team in L.A.
Once known largely for just his Hulk Hogan-like hairdo, Kaman has grown into one of the league's better bigmen.
As if being a Clipper hasn't been enough, Kaman has overcome ADHD and bad hair. He deserved a break - and an All-Star berth.
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