In a season full of downers for Kings fans, the announcement of the 2015 All-Star reserves was yet another one as star center DeMarcus Cousins was left off of the team by the league's coaches. Instead, James Harden, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Tim Duncan and LaMarcus Aldridge were named.
This is the second straight year that Cousins has been snubbed of an All-Star selection despite putting up All-Star numbers. This year he's averaging 23.8 points a game, 12.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.6 blocks in just 33.8 minutes a game. Those numbers are among the best in the entire league, yet it was not enough to secure an All-Star spot.
There is absolutely no doubt that the firing of Mike Malone and Sacramento's subsequent struggles played a major factor here. No Western Conference reserve was chosen from a team with a losing record, and Sacramento has gone just 5-15 since Malone's firing.
Cousins still has a chance to get in the game as an injury replacement. One will most definitely be named for Kobe Bryant, who will miss the rest of the season, but with Damian Lillard also being left off the team, it's not improbable that he is chosen ahead of Cousins for the spot. LaMarcus Aldridge is playing with an injured hand, and it's possible he'll miss the game, but he has chosen to keep playing through the injury so it's pretty likely that he'll also play in the game.
Yes, the Western Conference is deep and it's hard to say that someone who did make the team wasn't deserving. But dammit, DeMarcus Cousins was deserving too, and it's extremely disappointing to see that his dominance and growth continues to either not be acknowledged or respected by the league at large. If DeMarcus Cousins isn't an NBA All-Star, I don't know who is.