Former Wizard Jared Dudley is crying foul after news broke that Carmelo Anthony would replace the injured Kevin Love in the All-Star Game this weekend.
Dudley, now with Phoenix, believes that Bradley Beal deserves the nod over Melo, but that "politics" played an unfair role in denying Beal.
He unleashed a tweet storm last night over the matter, arguing that the Wizards' superior record (33-21) should put Beal ahead of Anthony, who plays for (and is in some measure responsible for) the sputtering Knicks (23-34).
Wow!! @NBA I just found out they choose Carmelo over Bradley Beal for the All Star game! SMH! This is the definition of Politics!— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) February 16, 2017
The @NBA tells us players that winning matters! Wizards are the hottest team in the NBA! Bradley Beal is healthy and balling! Damn shame— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) February 16, 2017
I don't hate him! He's a good player but the Knicks aren't even in the playoffs as of today! Wiz are the 3rd seed! He's more deserving https://t.co/pkB7vRrR2P— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) February 16, 2017
He always balls but the Knicks haven't been good in years and that should matter https://t.co/VKtOlDQ4v9— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) February 16, 2017
They def do! Playing for the Knicks! Melo is a star! But Beal is more deserving! I had to say something cuz no one else would! https://t.co/R9HS2diPx1— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) February 16, 2017
Dudley finished by speculating that the NBA has an interest in promoting players that will attract more media attention. Anthony certainly has done that this season, whether intentionally or not is another question.
You see, he and the Knicks are in a chicken-or-the-egg situation. Both the team and Anthony were flint for controversy prior to uniting in 2011. So when there's drama involving the 10-time All-Star, it's tough to know who's most responsible.
One of the NBA's big stories this year has been Anthony's contentious relationship with Knicks team president Phil Jackson. It's a well-reported open secret that Jackson wants to trade Anthony and isn't a fan of his game; however, that can't happen unless Anthony waives his no-trade clause.
When Jackson tweeted a veiled shot at his star player, press speculated that he was trying to make Anthony want to waive the clause.
Then, the Charles Oakley debacle happened at Madison Square Garden, dominating the recent NBA news cycles. That brush fire burns on with the latest reports that Oakley is still "hurt" over the Knicks insinuating that he has an alcohol problem.
There's also the fact that Anthony is one of the league's most recognizable players and happens to be close friend with LeBron James, arguably its biggest and most influential star.
So yeah, it's probably an understatement to say reporters would love to trail Anthony with cameras and ask him prying questions for a whole weekend.
But is directing the media glare at a dysfunctional franchise actually in the NBA's interest? Commissioner Adam Silver tried to broker a truce between Knicks owner James Dolan and Oakley earlier this week, so maybe not.
Dudley is of the opinion that instead of chatter, the All-Star Weekend should celebrate winners. It's hard to argue.
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