Conley and the All Star, the eternal controversy: "Maybe if we started 31-0, they give me some option ..."

Mike Conley has never played the All Star and this year his absence has been much talked about. Marc has come out in defense of his former teammate in Memphis.


It is normal for the All Star to unleash some kind of controversy. But there is always a common denominator in this regard: absences. And, among them, a man with great talent usually emerges, who likes everyone and is loved by the fans with overwhelming unanimity for a world like the NBA, always subjected to a scrutinizing gaze and nothing lacking in trials: Mike Conley. The base of the Jazz is left without an award that is absolutely deserved but one that he has never enjoyed during a sports career that spans almost 14 seasons. His exploits, first in the Grizzlies and now in Utah, are not enough for the general public to start him, since he is not a player with the star band that others have. But it is stranger than coaches, who look (at least, that is supposed) in details that voters do not, are reluctant to include someone of their talent, with their numbers and the team they are on, All Star.

Conley averages, with 33 years, 16.4 points and 5.6 assists, is the starting point guard of the best team in the NBA, shoots above 40% in triples and is a spiritual and moral leader within a young but enormous convictions, with a goal that begins in the game every night and ends with the dream of the ring. It is true that there is a lot of competition in his position (Curry, Doncic, Chris Paul ...), that there are many players who carry a star denomination that he lacks, and who favors a narrative always impregnated with highlights and paraphernalia. Also, that he is a discreet character, away from the show business and very close to his people. And that there are already two Jazz players (Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert) selected for the All Star. But all this does not quite convince, neither his teammates, nor his rivals nor the player himself, who has been quite sarcastic with your situation

"Man, it's been hard to take on. Really, I thought this was going to be the year. I joked with my teammates and told them I blamed them. We should have started the year 31-0. Maybe, that would me I would have given a chance. I don't know what else to do, "said the point guard, who has been supported by Marc Gasol, whom he has faced in the Jazz-Lakers and with whom he shared a team in the Grizzlies. "I was with him when he deserved to be an All-Star in Memphis for many years. He has always deserved it, but he has not achieved it. I think this year is a little more difficult because they have the best record in the League," said the Spaniard. , who has always defended his partner and left town shortly before him, heading for the Raptors and the ring.

Both Marc and Conley are idols in the Grizzlies, and with them the franchise recently experienced the best time in its recent history, with that Grit and Grind that played the Western finals in 2013 and had as All Stars Zach Randolph or Marc Gasol himself. Not so for Conley, who was ignored for the All-Star Game in an incomprehensible way and despite the fact that the franchise achieved 56, 50 and 55 victories from 2013 to 2015 and that the point guard himself averaged 20.5 points per game in the 2012-13. His highest distinction, in fact, is having been named in the Second Best Defensive Quintet in 2013, beyond being, on three occasions, the Most Sporty Player of the season (2014, 2016 and 2019) or getting the award for Companion of the Year in 2019. Something that rewards the fact that he has not been called a single technique in his entire career, but not his well-known talent.

Conley's case is quite striking, but it is not the only one of this style that has been seen in the NBA. In the past, the cases of Ron Harper, a leading scorer in the '80s for the Cavaliers, who later became a defensive expert in the second three peat of Michael Jordan's Bulls, were much talked about. Also that of Mike Bibby, who averaged more than 15.9 points per game from 2002 to 2007, with a top of 21.1 in 2005-06 and always exceeding 36% in triples. Others like Lamar Odom also missed out on the All-Star Game. A very long list in which players constantly enter and leave but in which there has always been a Mike Conley who adds and continues, one more year, without going to the All Star. Something difficult to explain in an NBA in which the Celtics, ninth from the East and with a negative record, the same players take the game as the Jazz, first. One more piece of information, among many others, for lovers of constant debate and controversy. That there are few.

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