The upcoming NBA All-Star Game is for favorites. First, fans select their favorite players to start, then coaches pick their favorites to make up the rest of the team.
So, in the spirit of glumness, here’s the anti-All-Star roster — a compilation of our least favorite players. And we’ve expanded to a 15-man squad.
» Ben Wallace. High-maintenance. Bad hands. No offense to speak of. Terrible foul shooter. Overpaid. Defense, like his intensity, has slipped.
» Steve Francis. Let’s see, Francis is not a great distributor, not a great shooter, not a good defender and not a very good teammate. Now, to Rick Adelman’s relief, Francis is out for the season with an injury.
» Ron Artest. Yes, when all is well, Artest can be a positive force. But when all is not well, which is often, Artest is a ball-dominator, a detriment in the locker room and an erratic presence on and off the floor.
» Jamal Crawford. Why does a terrible shooter lead his team in shots attempted? That’s a good question for Crawford, a high-volume hoister who is still waiting to play in his first NBA playoff game.
» Brevin Knight. He’s heady, can run a team and can make free throws. But he can’t make an outside shot, can’t penetrate and finish and is about as overmatched as it gets on the defensive end.
» Vladimir Radmanovic. We’ve never been a fan of one-dimensional players, and Radmanovic is as solo as it gets. And his one dimension (3-point shooting) isn’t all that noteworthy (37.8 percent career from beyond the arc).
» Casey Jacobsen: Another so-called 3-point specialist who has never been much of a specialist. This season, Jacobsen is shooting 23.5 percent from beyond the arc. If Jacobsen isn’t making 3s, tell me how he is helping.
» Kirk Hinrich. We’ve never quite understood all the bluster. He’s solid, for sure. But he’s not one of the best point guards in the league. Here are 10 better without even a lot of thought: Chris Paul, Tony Parker, Deron Williams, Allen Iverson, Steve Nash, Baron Davis, Jason Kidd, Chauncey Billups, Gilbert Arenas and Mike Bibby.
» Luke Ridnour. Any time a player who should be a backup complains about not being a starter, he makes this list.
» Joakim Noah. His next move in the low post will be his first. Worse still, his teammates don’t even seem to like him.
» Sasha Vujacic. He almost played his way off this team because he is a role player on a very good Lakers bench unit. Almost. Not quite.
» Othella Harrington. Over the years, Harrington’s low-post game always felt like an intrusion on offense. We forgot Harrington was still in the league until we saw him at the end of Charlotte’s bench. He’s a starter on our squad.
» Hedo Turkoglu. Admittedly, he is having a very good year in Orlando. But it’s hard to forget his selfish days in Sacramento, when he pouted about playing time. Turkoglu has come along way, but he’ll likely never be a favorite here.
» Anderson Varejao. Note to fans: “Energy” players tend to be unskilled.
» Tim Thomas. It’s OK if the 3-point shot is a part of a 6-foot-10 player’s game. It’s not OK if the 3-pointer is a 6-foot-10 player’s game.
Matt Steinmetz is the NBA insider for Warriors telecasts on Fox Sports Net.