The All-Star rosters are assembled by a combination of the fans (who vote in the starters), the coaches (who vote in the reserves), and the commissioner (who names any injury replacements).
But Nets head coach Lionel Hollins believes there should be an additional designation — a lifetime achievement award, of sorts, where someone like Kevin Garnett, who is playing in his 20th (and quite possibly his final) NBA season, gets to experience the midseason spectacle one last time.
Hollins is in favor of the current model, which includes both the fan vote and the coach’s vote, but said unprompted that he wants the league to expand even further, advocating for Silver to add three players for what appeared to be akin to a lifetime achievement award.
“I think that more than expanding the All-Star to a larger roster, is that you still have the fan vote, you still have the coach’s vote, and then the commissioner gets to add three guys,” Hollins said.
“I think a guy like Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett, who helped build this league and sustain this league, when they get to the end, they should have the opportunity to be a part of the All-Star experience.”
Two thoughts here.
First, the All-Star game is an exhibition that the league puts on for the fans, and nothing more. So, adding players like Garnett (or Dirk Nowitzki, etc.) is a fine idea, as long as they don’t take up a roster spot that would normally go to a player far more deserving.
The second part of this, however, is that Garnett probably wants nothing to do with All-Star weekend at this stage of his career. He’s not exactly eager to complete his day-to-day media obligations as it is, and All-Star is essentially three straight days of being whisked to multiple events and answering questions from hordes of people he’d prefer to avoid.
If the veteran players had the choice of accepting or declining the offer from the commissioner, and (again) it didn’t keep a more deserving player out, then Hollins has a fine idea that would seem to be a good one to implement under those specific circumstances.