Gilbert Arenas Surprised Zion Williamson Was Ahead of Devin Booker in NBA All-Star Voting

Published 03/01/2021, 6:30 AM EST
Feb 26, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) shoots against Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine (8) during the first half of an NBA game at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports


The NBA All-Star voting divides a lot of opinions. When the results were announced for the All-Star reserves, fans were furious to find out that Devin Booker was snubbed. The Phoenix Suns star has been having a great season so far. His team is also reflecting his form and is fourth in the strong Western Conference.

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The NBA eventually ended up naming Booker as a replacement for Anthony Davis, who is going to miss the All-Star game because of injury. This is now the second year in a row that Booker has made it as a replacement. While he still qualifies as an All-Star as a replacement, many believe he should have directly made it to the list. Among the people arguing for this is former NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas.

Feb 13, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) and Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) celebrate during the second half against the Philadelphia 76ers at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Arenas had two important questions to ask regarding the voting: “How did Booker get left off, but the guy who passes the ball to Booker is in?” and “How does Zion Williamson get in and his team is 11th?”

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While there is still a strong argument for Chris Paul making the cut, the same cannot be said for Williamson. According to Arenas, since Booker and Williamson have similar numbers, the Suns’ position should have been the deciding factor.

Arenas believes the NBA’s format cost Devin Booker a spot initially

The NBA’s format requires a certain number of backcourt and frontcourt players in the reserves as well. That is one reason Zion was selected since there are no forwards with better stats than him. One could make a case for Spurs’ DeMar DeRozan, but Zion averages six points more than DeMar per game.

Feb 27, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward DeMar DeRozan (10) dribbles in against New Orleans Pelicans guard Eric Bledsoe (5) in the first half at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

According to Arenas, this format needs to be changed. He believes this format prevents the best reserves from being getting a spot while less deserving players get in. The best players should be selected irrespective of position. If these rules didn’t exist, Booker would have made it directly, because he is arguably the third-best reserve player in the West.

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Similar to Booker, Pacers’ Domantas Sabonis was also snubbed initially. But Kevin Durant withdrawing his name gave him his second All-Star appearance.

Dec 27, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis (11) celebrates his game winning shot and a foul in the fourth quarter against the Boston Celtics at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The All-Star Game is on March 7, and Atlanta will be the hosts. Booker will aim to do his best to prove to all those who initially didn’t vote for him that they made a mistake.

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Aaron Mathew

1556 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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