Should Kyrie Irving represent the NBA in the 2023 All-Star Game?

Each week during the 2022-23 NBA season, we’ll take a deeper look at some of the league’s biggest happenings in an effort to determine if the trends are based more on fact or fantasy moving forward.

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Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving enters recent weekend fan voting for the NBA All-Star Game with the highest tally for his position in the Eastern Conference, which has translated into a starting party every time since the league took 50% of that decision away from fans and split it up. between media and gamers in 2017.

In other words, a player who has promoted anti-Semitism and refused to apologize for it or condemn it on multiple occasions — so much so that the Nets decided he was “currently unfit to be associated with them,” and that the Anti-Defamation League would not “In good conscience accept his donation— he might be a forward-looking representative of the NBA’s best and brightest on the world stage just months later.

It is my understanding that he apologized in an Instagram post that he has since deleted, though he never explained “the specific beliefs in the documentary with which I agreed.” It is my understanding that he appeared remorseful at a press conference before his return from eight matches, although hours later he refused to condemn a group of supporters outside the Barclays Center who were expressing the same anti-Semitic beliefs in the film.

This got him back on the court, where he averaged 25.8 points (48/35/91 shooting splits), 4.9 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 33 games this season. Neither the forced apology nor his performance guarantee him a spot on the All-Star list, starter or not. Raising him as the face of the league so soon after he perpetuated his “hate speech” sends a much worse message than one telling him he can’t take part in this show.

The All-Star Game is an honor, not a right. I’ve been hearing the argument that he should participate if his future earnings are linked to his choice, but it isn’t, and even then I might not support his candidacy. (I’m also not among the 100 members of the media who vote for an All-Star rookie. That’s just a solid opinion.)

It’s not clear if Irving deserves an All-Star nod based on his play on the field this season. He clearly doesn’t warrant a starting point, and the statistical case against him over making the list is relatively easy.

Take the conference’s top 10 guards this season—a list that doesn’t even include recent All-Stars Dejounte Murray, Zach LaVine, Bradley Beal, and LaMelo Ball—and ask yourself the following questions…

How often is it available (games played, in minutes)?

  1. Galen Bronson (43 GP, 1,466 min)

  2. DeMar DeRozan (42 GP, 1515 min)

  3. Jaylen Brown (41 GP, 1460 min)

  4. Donovan Mitchell (40 GP, 1445 min)

  5. Tra Young (40 GP, 1429 min)

  6. Therese Halliburton (40 GP, 1,336 minutes)

  7. Darius Garland (37 GP, 1,331 minutes)

  8. Jrue holiday (34 GP, 1,107 minutes)

  9. Kyrie Irving (33 GP, 1211 min)

  10. James Harden (30 GP, 1,106 minutes)

How many points do they produce (points per game + help points generated)?

  1. Tra Young (27.2 PPG, 23.9 APC)

  2. James Harden (21.5 PPG, 29.2 APC)

  3. Therese Halliburton (20.2 PPG, 27.2 APC)

  4. Darius Garland (21.5 PPG, 19.2 APC)

  5. Donovan Mitchell (28.4 PPG, 12.2 APC)

  6. DeMar DeRozan (26.1 PPG, 13.2 APC)

  7. Galen Bronson (22.6 PPG, 16.6 APC)

  8. Jrue holiday (19.4, 19.1 APC)

  9. Kyrie Irving (25.6 PPG, 12.5 APC)

  10. Jaylen Brown (27.2 PPG, 8.7 APC)

How well do they do it (Player Efficiency Rating, True Shooting Ratio)?

  1. Donovan Mitchell (23.3% 62.3TS%)

  2. Therese Halliburton (23.3 PER, 61.3 TS%)

  3. James Harden (22.5 PER, 61.0 TS%)

  4. DeMar DeRozan (22.0 each, 59.6 TS%)

  5. Tra Young (21.8 PER, 56.7 TS%)

  6. Galen Bronson (20.4 PER, 57.5 TS%)

  7. Kyrie Irving (20.1 PER, 58.9 TS%)

  8. Jaylen Brown (19.8 PER, 59.0 TS%)

  9. Jrue holiday (19.7 PER, 58.0 TS%)

  10. Darius Garland (18.5%, 57.6% TS)

How do they perform defensively (CraftedDPM, Real Defensive Plus-Minus)?

  1. Jrue holiday (1.5 CDPM, -0.05DRPM)

  2. James Harden (0.7 CDPM, 1.40DRPM)

  3. Jaylen Brown (0.5 CDPM, 1.60DRPM)

  4. Donovan Mitchell (0.3 CDPM, 2.52DRPM)

  5. Darius Garland (-0.1 CDPM, 0.82DRPM)

  6. DeMar DeRozan (-0.3 CDPM, 1.27 RPM)

  7. Kyrie Irving (-0.4 CDPM, 1.59DRPM)

  8. Therese Halliburton (-0.7 CDPM, 1.29DRPM)

  9. Galen Bronson (-1.3 CDPM, 1.68DRPM)

  10. Tra Young (-2.3 CDPM, -1.61 DRPM)

How does it affect the win (stock win, win over replacement?

  1. Donovan Mitchell (5.7W, 4.7W)

  2. Therese Halliburton (5.5W, 5.7W)

  3. DeMar DeRozan (5.1WS, 4.1WAR)

  4. Galen Bronson (5.0W, 4.5W)

  5. James Harden (4.7W, 5.3W)

  6. Darius Garland (4.0WS, 4.4WAR)

  7. Tra Young (3.6W, 5.1W)

  8. Jrue holiday (3.3W, 4.7W)

  9. Kyrie Irving (3.3W, 4.2W)

  10. Jaylen Brown (3.2W, 2.3W)

Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving has not been selected to the All-Star Game in two of his last three seasons. (Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

I’m not sure what argument you can make for Irving as an All-Star starter, other than one based purely on reputation, which would be great for someone who’s done a decent job wrecking it this season.

I also can’t be sure what prompted the fans to make Irving the leading vote-getter among the guards in the East. He’s added 1.2 million votes and counting since his last All-Star team two years ago, when he had a much better statistical resume (and has yet to sit in opposition to a COVID-19 vaccine mandate).

I Morning Sure you could make a case for at least nine other guards over Irving, including Brown, whose advanced metrics don’t properly reflect his contributions to the best team in the league (and who defended his former teammate’s collective bargaining agreement rights as fellow union leader). We don’t even need to assess how wildly Brooklyn’s fortunes can fluctuate when Kevin Durant isn’t paired alongside Irving.

Brown, like a handful of other worthy candidates, has been involved in 20% more of his team’s games this season than Irving has. why? Because he was not suspended for three weeks for exposing anti-Semitism to millions of people – many of whom still champion him – and repeatedly refusing to apologize for it.

Four spots on All-Star rosters are guaranteed for the East guards, two of which will be decided upon Saturday by ballots from the media and players and added to the fan vote. The coaches select two more East Coast guards as a reserve. They also have a couple of irregular positions, no easy decision when East All-Stars Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum, Joel Embiid, Jimmy Butler, Pascal Siakam, Bam Adebayo and Julius Randle are among the worthy candidates. For six guaranteed candidates. Front court patches.

Irving’s All-Star sideline must have been slimmer, if not for the fan votes reminiscent of his influence. For Irving, the sport’s ambassador, the margin should be imperceptible. The NBA provides no official criteria for all-stars, but I will remind the members of the media, players, and coaches deciding the roster that one of the tie-breakers could be the fact that no one else has made anti-Semitism their platform this season.

Determination: imagination. Kyrie Irving shouldn’t be an NBA star this season.

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Ben Rohrbach is a senior NBA writer for Yahoo Sports. Do you have advice? Email him at rohrbach_ben@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @brohrbach

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