Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 2/9/12
Remember how Pau's brother Marc was included in the deal? And remember how everyone thought the Grizzlies sold their souls in giving up Pau? Well, guess which Gasol made the Western Conference All-Star team? By now, you should know. Marc Gasol is an All-Star. Pau is not. Advantage Grizzlies. I know what you're thinking. It's just a meaningless game that features no defense and even less teamwork. And you're right. But to the players, it means something. Especially when it comes to the reserves, who are actually selected by NBA coaches -- as opposed to the starters, who are voted in by 13-year olds or those fans in other countries who rarely see an actual game. So being a starter is nothing special. Being a reserve, however, means you're really catching the eyes of the people who count. Mostly, the fact the coaches selected Marc Gasol over Pau tells you we shouldn't be so quick to judge a trade. While Pau and the Lakers still have the better team (not by much), Marc and the Grizzlies seem to have the brighter future. If nothing else, this vindicates the Grizzlies for making a deal they thought was best for their future -- and a deal for which they took an overabundance of grief. Anyway, now that we've settled that, let's take a look at a few other All-Star issues. No Nuggets? Denver has struggled lately, but got off to an impressive start. So where are Danilo Gallinari or Ty Lawson? Granted, Gallinari is hurt, and the Nuggets have been winning as a team in the truest sense. Even coach George Karl may have hurt their All-Star chances when he confessed the Nuggets have no stars. But Lawson has been incredible as the little machine that makes the Nuggets go. He deserved it as much as Phoenix's Steve Nash. Eastern Dilemma It's hard to argue with the Eastern Conference reserves. Although Boston's Paul Pierce, Indiana's Roy Hibbert and Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala may not even be the best player on their own team. But just like the coaches should have done with the Nuggets, they had to select a representative from the Pacers and Sixers. My choice for the Pacers would've been Danny Granger. He's shooting poorly (37 percent) but the Pacers wouldn't be close to where they are without him. Hibbert is good, but replaceable. As for the surprising 76ers, I would have gone with guard Lou Williams. Yes, he comes off the bench -- but he also leads the team in scoring at 15.7 points per game. Roster Inflation Maybe it's time to expand the All-Star rosters from 12 per team to 14. Right now, each side consists of two centers, four forwards and four guards, with two wild-cards. Let's go with four wild-cards. After all, it's hard to justify snubbing Atlanta's Josh Smith, New York's Amar'e Stoudemire and Cleveland rookie Kyrie Irving. In fact, Irving is having nearly as good of a season as New Jersey's Deron Williams (who made it) -- and Irving's team is playing better. Final Word The All-Star game truly is meaningless, and shouldn't really determine whether or not a guy is having a great year. It's also for the fans, so they should indeed have a say in who goes. But Lakers center Andrew Bynum might not be a starter in the West if he played in a market other than LA. Same goes for New York's Carmelo Anthony in the East. The Knicks have played below par and Anthony has been injured. So why not break up the voting into two parts -- with half the votes from fans and the other half from players? Because as much as the game belongs to the fans, it also has a lot to do with the men in high tops and baggy shorts. And they might be even more honored if their peers had a say in it. Especially if one of those peers, as is the case with the Gasols, is your brother.
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