When Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love had knee surgery and New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony replaced him on the Eastern Conference All-Star squad, most NBA fans didn’t bat an eye.
However, Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal took issue with Love’s replacement, and for good reason.
Though Beal is averaging 22.2 points per game to Melo’s 23.4-point average, Beal’s Wizards are currently the No. 3 team in the East, while Melo’s Knicks are four games out of the final playoff spot.
In a Washington Post article on Thursday, Beal took care to praise Anthony, a player he clearly has a lot of respect for, but also said he was disappointed in his All-Star snub:
“I’ll never say a player doesn’t deserve to be on the all-star team,” Beal said. “For one, Carmelo is a great player. Hell, he’s been one of the best offensive threats in the league for years now, and I’m taking absolutely nothing away from him.
“But the process of it does not make sense. If they reward winning, then I don’t understand how the decision was made. It was kind of weird to me.”
Beal’s teammate, John Wall, will be making the trip to New Orleans, but Beal believes Washington’s 33-21 record at the All-Star break warrants more than one player on the Eastern Conference roster.
AP reporter Brian Mahoney said NBA commissioner Adam Silver simply went with the next player in the coaches’ vote rankings, which is why Melo got the nod:
However, until there is more clarity provided by the league into the process by which injury replacements are chosen, Beal has a right to question the current closed-door selection process.
If Beal keeps playing like he has this season, though, it’s only a matter of time until he earns a trip to the All-Star Game on his own.