By: Raynard Churchwell
This past Thursday, Atlanta Hawks Point Guard Trae Young was named as a starter in this year’s All-Star game. For various reasons, many people have expressed displeasure with the decision. Many state that since the Hawks have the 2nd worst record in the league at 11—35, his play hasn’t helped his team enough to garner an all-star selection. Here is a breakdown to show why Trae Young is more than deserving of his All-Star Selection and a future superstar in the National Basketball Association.
Reason 1: Numbers Never Lie
Even though the Hawks are one of the worst teams in the league right now, the last time I checked all-star selections are based on the play of the individual player and not the team. And when it comes to individual play, Trae Young has been unstoppable. Young is one of two players this year with his scoring and assists both ranking top-5 in the league. He’s averaging an eye-popping 29.1 points per game and 8.8 assists per game. The 29.1 ppg ranks as the 3rd highest in the NBA. The two players averaging more points are James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo, both being all-star starters and former league MVPs. Young’s 8.8 assists rank 4th in the league, with two out of the three players averaging more (Lebron James and Luka Doncic) earning all-star starter selections this year. Young has also cemented himself as one of the best shooters in the game. He currently ranks 7th in the NBA in 3-pointers made with 3.4 per game. Even though the Hawks are struggling, there is no denying that Young has been putting on a show this year. No one has matched his production. Here are the points per game and assists per game stats from the other top guards in the eastern conference this season.
Kemba Walker, Boston Celtics: 22.1 ppg, 5 ast
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards: 27.8 ppg, 6.4 ast
Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers: 16.8 ppg, 8.4 ast
Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors: 20.1 ppg, 7.4 ast
Derrick Rose, Detroit Pistons: 18.8 ppg, 6.0 ast
Reason 2: History is on Young’s Side
Throughout the history of the NBA All-Star game, players with outstanding stats have always been selected. One example of this was Tracey McGrady’s selection during the 2003-04 season. That season, the Orlando Magic had the worst record in the league at the all-star break and finished the season at 21-61. However, Tracey McGrady was at the top of his game. McGrady averaged a whopping 28 points per game, which ranked 1st in the league. He would go on to earn an All-Star starting position next to Allen Iverson in the 2004 game. Now in 2020, Trae Young is basically in the same predicament but receiving so much backlash. Just like in 2004, McGrady earned his starting spot because he was one the best players that season and Trae Young has shown himself worthy of the same recognition.
Reason 3: 2 out 3 voting groups named Young as a starter
The All-Star game voting is divided into three parts. 50% fan vote, 25% media vote, and 25% players vote. With the All-Star rosters being limited by position, only two guards in each conference get to be named as all-star starters. In the fan vote, Trae Young earned 443,472 votes, which is the most of any eastern conference guard. As for the media vote, Trae Young ranked 2nd behind Kemba Walker. Therefore, they also believed that Young deserved to be a starter. The players ranked him 3rd behind Kemba Walker and Bradley Beal, but it still shows that they felt he deserved a spot in the game as well. The All-Star game is all about entertainment, and Trae Young has shown himself as one of the best young talents and best players this season. He is an emerging superstar, and everyone knows that without superstars, the NBA would not flourish. If it weren’t for the fans, the NBA wouldn’t be what it is today. Therefore, it’s only right that the fans get to see who they want in the game.