The Dallas Mavericks are one of the hottest teams in the NBA right now. Since Luka Doncic returned from the health and safety protocols, Dallas has won 11 of 14 games, including victories over the Warriors, Bulls, and Grizzlies. The Mavs are back up to fifth in the Western Conference and no team is looking forward to facing Dallas down the stretch.
The NBA announced the starters for the 2022 NBA All-Star game on Jan. 27 with Stephen Curry and Ja Morant earning the selections in the Western Conference backcourt. Luka was snubbed in his quest for a third straight start, but he is likely to be selected for the team when the reserves are announced on Feb. 3.
Doncic deserved to start, but the way the league did the balloting held him back. Here is a closer look at why Luka should open the game in Cleveland and a change the NBA should make to ensure the best players get to start moving forward.
Luka Doncic deserves to be All-Star starter: Why the NBA needs to change the process
The All-Star Game is about the fans. It is why they get 50 percent of the votes for the starters. The media and players each get 25 percent to determine who opens the game. Doncic finished third in the fan vote and fourth in player ballots, but he did not receive a single media vote.
Dejounte Murray, Chris Paul, and Donovan Mitchell all finished ahead of Luka in the media ballots. The narrative went against Doncic as he started the season slow and was not in peak physical condition after a long summer of basketball playing in the Olympics. It was disappointing as Luka has superior numbers, but it was more a flaw in the voting that kept the 22-year-old superstar from earning his third straight start.
LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, and Andrew Wiggins are the three frontcourt starters in the Western Conference. Fans, media, and players were not allowed to select Doncic amongst the group. Luka deserves to start over Wiggins. Yes, the Mavericks superstar is their point guard and lead ball-handler, but LeBron is the Lakers' top playmaker. The league also put DeMar DeRozan in the backcourt in the Eastern Conference, despite him playing power forward for the Bulls.
The NBA needs to ditch the position distinctions in an ever position-less league. Fans should be allowed to vote for the five best players to start the All-Star game. LeBron has played minutes at the five for the Lakers this season, and Luka can play the four. The game is for the fans, and they should be allowed to pick the top players with no position limits.
The Golden State Warriors are back in title contention, and Andrew Wiggins is having a stellar season, but Luka Doncic deserves to start the 2022 All-Star game. Hopefully, the NBA changes the voting next season, so fans can select the five best players on their ballots. Stay tuned to see if Doncic gets the nod among the reserves on Feb. 3.