LaMarcus Aldridge, the leading scorer and superstar forward for the Portland Trail Blazers was snubbed from All-NBA team honors this season. A panel of 119 broadcasters and sportswriters throughout the United States and Canada determined the three All-NBA teams. Leading the way at the forward position were LeBron James (Miami Heat) and Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder) earning first team All-NBA honors, Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks) and Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers) on second team All-NBA, and David Lee (Golden State Warriors) and Paul George (Indiana Pacers) earning third team All-NBA accolades.
Blazers fans understand how pivotal a role Aldridge plays on the roster. Per ESPN, he was the teams’ points (21.1ppg) and blocks (1.2bpg) leader this season and as a two-time All-Star (2012, 2013) he brings acclaim to the city of Portland. Yet, he failed to receive All-NBA honors this season. From a statistical standpoint, Aldridge compares favorably. He averages more points per game than Griffin (18ppg), Lee (18.5ppg), and George (17.4ppg) and has the second most rebounds with 9.1 per game. Only Lee with a remarkable 11.2 rebounds per game has more. He also has the second most blocks per game at 1.2. Kevin Durant just barely edges him out with 1.3 blocks per game. All other forwards earning honors range from .3 blocks (Lee) to .9 blocks (James). By looking at the numbers it is clear that Aldridge deserves recognition.
So why the snub?
The number one difference between Aldridge and these six other players are their teams. Portland finished with a dismal 33-49 record this season. All the other players’ teams headed to the playoffs. Should playoffs matter? Should a player be penalized for their teams’ lack of success? Perhaps not, but teams with losing records receive less airtime and less media exposure than winning teams. When honors like this are voted on by broadcasters and sports journalists, media exposure becomes key and superstar players on poor teams can unfortunately be overlooked.
Photo Credit: Keith Allison/Flickr
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