Why Lakers’ Anthony Davis Wasn’t Named All-Star Starter Despite Having More Fan Votes Than Pelicans’ Zion Williamson
Anthony Davis, Zion Williamson
Hans Gutknecht-Southern California News Group

The starters for the 2023 NBA All-Star Game in Salt Lake City were recently revealed and while the Los Angeles Lakers were represented, there was one big omission as well. LeBron James was the leading vote-getter in the entire league and was named a captain for the sixth consecutive season as a result. But his superstar partner Anthony Davis was not one of three Western Conference frontcourt starters.

Instead of Davis, it was New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson who took the third spot next to LeBron and reigning two-time MVP Nikola Jokic. From the first fan voting returns it was clear that the third spot would come down to Davis vs. Williamson and they are actually having similar seasons in terms of being completely dominant before going down due to injury.

When it came down to the fan vote, Davis maintained his slim advantage over Williamson, topping him by about 90,000 votes in the final fan returns, via NBA Communications:

However, in recent years, the criteria for determining starters has changed and it is no longer strictly a fan vote. Instead, fans count for 50 percent of the vote while the players themselves and the media account for 25 percent each.

Unfortunately for the Lakers star, he ranked sixth amongst the media voting and seventh amongst players and that ultimately cost him, via NBA Communications:

It seems as if Davis’ injury was held against him far more than Williamson’s even though they have played roughly the same amount of games. Zion has played in 29 games this season while Davis has suited up for 26 with the Lakers. Williamson went down with a hamstring injury around two weeks after Davis went down with his foot issue, but Davis is now back on the court for the Lakers while Williamson remains out for at least a couple more weeks. Additionally, the Lakers star averages more points, rebounds, steals and blocks than his Pelicans counterpart.

The question now becomes whether Davis will be named as a reserve. Sacramento Kings’ Domantas Sabonis and Utah Jazz’s Lauri Markkanen have had excellent seasons and were ahead of Davis in both the player and media voting. Despite his injury, it is hard to deny that Davis is more than deserving of an All-Star nod.

Anthony Davis felt ‘great’ in Lakers return vs. Spurs

While Davis would surely love to be acknowledged as an All-Star, he is more than happy just to finally be back in uniform for the Lakers. In his return game against the San Antonio Spurs, Davis finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks in a Lakers win.

Afterward, Davis said he felt ‘great’ in his return and that his foot felt fine as well adding that being back on the court was the ‘ultimate test’ for his foot. Now the Lakers’ big man will look to pick up right where he left off before the injury as the Lakers hit the road for a five-game trip.

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