"Daddy, where do all stars come from?"


So I'm sitting here in my office tonight, watching someone else's team play basketball because my team was put on furlough Friday (and Saturday through Thursday) for the next several months. Stupid economy.

As I watched the games tonight, I came to the realization that there were quite a few 2009 NBA all stars playing. In fact, 7 of the 26 players that were named to the NBA all star team this year (including those that were injured and their ultimate replacements) were playing tonight (it would have been 8 with KG). It got me wondering as to how many all stars made the playoffs. The answer turned out to be 23 out of 26. Devin Harris, Amare Stoudemire and Shaquille O'Neal are the only all stars from this year's team currently fishing. Conversely, three teams are in the playoffs with no all stars - Philadelphia, Chicago and Utah, though I would bet that Derrick Rose, Andre Iguodala and Deron Williams will playing in an all star game sooner than later.

The next question posed was "Why in the hell are you in the office typing and watching basketball? The Kings aren't in the playoffs!" Ah, I can always count on Mrs. section214 for spot-on analysis. But the question that I asked myself (besides how long I could make this post before I wind up sleeping on the couch) was how did the current all star crop come to be? That is, were they all drafted, and if so, where did they go in their respective draft? In other words, where do all stars come from?

It turns out that each and every all star was indeed drafted, which is not exactly a revelation. Only two of them were 2nd round picks (Rashard Lewis and Mo Williams), and only four more were non-lottery picks - Danny Granger (17), David West (18), Jameer Nelson (20) and Tony Parker (28). Keeping in mind this is an awfully small sample size, it would appear that it is more likely that you will find an exceptional guard later in the draft than you would a big man. Of course, such small data samples change with the breeze, and the dynamic could be completely different in a couple of years. But the first two games sucked tonight, and I needed to find something to occupy myself.

77% of the all stars were lottery picks, 54% were top five picks. Six of these guys (or 23%) were #1 picks (AI, LeBron, Dwight Howard, Duncan, Yao and Shaq). Please note that the majority of #1's that have grown up to be all stars have been big dudes.

(Disclaimer - None of this is to suggest that Griffin is the pick over Rubio. In fact, a guy like Rubio might single-handedly skew these numbers. We'll soon see.)

This is not to say that the Kings pick will have a 54% chance to be an all star. But it is to say that statistically (again, using this thimble size sample data) the Kings pick is more likely to become an all star than (say) Spencer Hawes (2 all stars were selected 10th), Jason Thompson (no all stars at 12) or Kevin Martin (no all stars at 26).

Since I am way too lazy to do actual research and run this back over the past ten years, I'm going to pull a blind guess out of my arse and say that these numbers are probably pretty similar from year to year. Iverson will probably vacate the ranks of #1 picks to be an all star, but Derrick Rose may fill the void. There will be a Rashard Lewis or a Mo Williams or a Carlos Boozer or a MIchael Redd to represent the 2nd round. But the numbers suggest that this will be the Kings best opportunity to draft an all star (I don't count Pervis Ellison, since that was the dead ball era, you weren't allowed to dunk, and the games were played outside).

And with that, Deron Williams hit his shot, Kobe missed his, and I can wrap this up and go to sleep a happy camper. I bid you all a good...wtf?!? When did she drop my pillow and a blanket on the couch? I guess we won't be making any little all stars tonight.


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