Russillo Perfectly Explains the Anthony Edwards All-Star Snub

Photo Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Ryen Russillo came in hot on his latest podcast in an effort to debunk the idea that there are so many All-Star snubs. He was making an effort to highlight that making the All-Star team should be difficult, and that not every great player can make it.

He led into his rant with commentary on homer broadcasts. He’s a League Pass junky, and he says that some broadcasts have become over the top with their support for the local team. (As an aside, it’s worth noting that he’s a fan of Jim Peterson and Michael Grady.) Still, things get magnified in All-Star snub season.

This is snub week, and once the All-Star reserves were announced, you’re like, Okay, here we go. And whatever home broadcast feels like their guy got snubbed, it’s only done in this vacuum of, The world is out to get that guy, that team, and then they never run through the exercise of who are the rest of the reserves? Which I did this morning to try and help us along with this whole thing and find out if dudes are really getting snubbed.

And there’s different moments, too, because I think the weirdness with the talent and how much we all love it is that we are in an age of access to hate, which I’ve mentioned plenty of times, and that it is almost inescapable for people who are in the public spotlight, especially when you’re doing something as important as sports, to the people who care about it. Yes, in the grand scheme of things, we can get into the philosophical debate about sports, but you get my point. You’re doing something in the public spotlight that people really care about.

He reiterates that he’s a giant Anthony Edwards fan, and is just trying to contextualize why he didn’t make the All-Star team.

So the reaction can be really nasty, so then you can kinda have that creep into your old dome, and then if you’re Anthony Edwards and you don’t get selected – although I’m almost scared to mention anything about the Timberwolves after the episode a couple days ago. How anyone thought that was anti-Anthony Edwards is fascinating.

Anyway, no longer derailed.

He likes Edwards but felt his reaction to missing the All-Star team was a little over the top.

So Anthony Edwards had a quote about not making the All-Star team, not being named to the reserves, he said, quote, ‘That’s how it’s always been. I’ve never been the person to be chosen to be an All-Star. They didn’t want me to be the No. 1 pick.’

I love that guy. What? He just got in the league, I know they made the playoffs last year. I don’t remember people not wanting him to be – was anyone going, Don’t pick him? Don’t do it! I remember being uncertain about what he was coming out of Georgia. The miss on that would be, No, no, no, he’s just so gifted, and there’s enough there to build the basketball skills that he’s gonna be fine once he develops and is unleashed. Again, he’s probably one of my five favorite players to watch in the entire league.

But that was a downer of a quote, and I felt like he’s really feeling it. Like, This is the way it’s always been for me, and I’m like, Dude, you haven’t been around for years. And the No. 1 pick thing, maybe people suggested other options, but LaMelo or Wiseman. But I don’t know if anyone was actively rooting against you. But maybe he heard these things, so who knows?

But it wasn’t a prevailing, like, argument. No, you can’t pick him, you cannot pick him. I don’t believe that was the case.

According to Russillo, the reason why Edwards wasn’t in is that the West is full of worthy stars.

So you look at the reserves, we’ll run through it. Paul George, SGA, Jaren Jackson Jr., Dame Lillard, Lauri Markkanen, Ja Morant, and Domantas [Saboins]. There’s two pretty nasty omissions here, that’s how it feels. If you went into it, you’re like, How did Anthony Edwards not make it? Then you go through it all. How does De’Aaron Fox not make it? They’re the 3-seed.

Because at least with Minnesota, and it kinda depends on the day, like that 5- to 8-seed range, because of everything being just so congested in the standings. But if you look at Paul George, played 38 games. That’s a decent number, right? 23, 6, and 5. SGA, yeah, they’re the 13-seed in the West, but he’s fifth in scoring. And with some of the stuff he’s done this season, I don’t have an issue with that one.

If you’re strictly by the book, your record is your record, is your record, I would wonder, do you argue that every year, even when it’s gonna cost your favorite player a spot on the reserve? You probably wouldn’t.

Jaren Jackson Jr., he’s missed more games. But there’s also an issue in the West, if you look at it from a talent [standpoint], it’s a frontcourt, backcourt thing. The frontcourt is more limited, so I even think Sabonis, there’s an argument for him to be a starter. Lauri Markkanen, there’s an argument for him to be a starter.

I mean, Lauri, they’re an 8-seed today with Utah. You look at the numbers, he’s 28, 9, and 2. The shooting numbers are pretty good, but he’s actually getting better – 28 points per game the last month-plus.

Still, he probably should have gotten in over Paul George.

So the only one you could really pick at here would be maybe Paul George because he’s played less games, but the clippers throughout all of this are fighting the seeding battle. I mean, they’ve been really good from a seed based on, like, who’s playing tonight? And now that they guys are back, they’re a good basketball team. So 38 games for him.

If you’re looking at it with Anthony Edwards, the raw stats of it, I know I would probably rather have Anthony Edwards than Paul George, but then we’re getting into this positional thing of what are we doing with all of the positions?

And yet, Russillo feels De’Aaron Fox is more worthy.

The one that I think matters here is the Dame Lillard-De’Aaron Fox argument. Portland has been sinking here, they’re an 11-seed. Dame, 39 games. The counting stuff is really good, it’s 31, 7, and 4. He’s shooting 46 and 37 percent. But De’Aaron Fox has played 47 games.

So, honestly, if there’s a tiebreaker for me doing the reserves, I do, Well, Fox has played in more games, which isn’t always the most consistent thing. Because there’s other times where I’d go, Maybe that’s enough games for me. But the counting stats aren’t quite what Dame Lillard’s are, but Sacramento is a 3-seed, and I think Fox has meant a lot. I’ve liked the entire Sacramento thing more than I’ve liked Portland’s thing, which I think is painfully obvious.

So I think those are the only two you can look at. But I don’t know if any of that is egregious. Fox is more egregious than Anthony Edwards being left off. But Zion being named a starter, missing 24 games, that’s what screwed it up. That’s what really screwed it up for that extra spot.

Maybe Edwards overstated people’s position on him as the first overall pick. Still, he wasn’t seen as a sure thing. Many pundits preferred LaMelo Ball and James Wiseman over him. Others felt that the Wolves should trade down and get Tyrese Haliburton because of his high floor.

Gersson Rosas took his time selecting Edwards, looking at various trades before taking Ant. He was doing his due diligence, but that also wasn’t a ringing endorsement. So Edwards has a leg to stand on when it comes to his perception coming out of the draft, even if he may be exaggerating a bit.

Finally, Edwards stated that he wanted to be an All-Star earlier in the year, but he made it clear that making the playoffs was more important to him. He also said that he was more surprised at Fox’s snub than his own. Regardless of how you feel about Ant as an All-Star, he has good perspective for a 21-year-old superstar.

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