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Best of the Week: All-Star weirdness, wild rumours, and memorable soundbites

In the first article of a new series: taking a look at some bizarre All-Star selections and other news.

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NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the first edition of a new series that will showcase a few of the best stories from the Spurs and NBA over the past week. I will be scouring Twitter to find some of the funniest and hopefully insightful tweets over the previous few days and highlighting them in each article, which will hopefully keep fans up to date with recent news in an enjoyable way.

Before we get started, I’d like to credit this idea to the late great Jason Botchford, who was a respected reporter of the Vancouver Canucks. When he worked for The Province, Jason started a series called The Provies as his own way of writing postgame recaps. Following his move to The Athletic, Jason continued the series and renamed it The Athletties, which is now called The Armies and is currently being covered by Harman Dayal, Thomas Drance, and Wyatt Arndt.

Without further ado, let’s dive in.

Best DJ All-Star watch

The All-Star starters from each conference were announced on Thursday afternoon, and DJ had a weighted score of 8.75 among Western Conference guards. In total, he was 6th in player votes, 5th in media, but just 12th in fan votes, which isn’t a huge surprise given the degree to which the general public loves to talk about the Spurs.

The final results come out next Thursday, so expect #AllstarDJ to continue trending for another week.

I’d feel for DJ if he wasn’t selected since players do really care about these accolades as it validates all the hard work that they’ve put into their craft. But I don’t care much about who makes the team since the Spurs have always been a low-key organization that thrives off of the lack of attention that they’re given. It’s also been proven countless times that being named an All-Star is really just a matter of popularity, which we’ll get into now...

Best “what the heck?!” moment

To be completely honest, I said something a lot worse than this section’s heading when I saw Andrew Wiggins named as a starter, and it gave me flashbacks to when this almost happened.

I honestly did a double triple take when I saw Wiggins’ name pop up and checked that it wasn’t April 1st. It almost seemed like someone had selected him based on a set of criteria nobody knew existed.

In all seriousness, I’m happy for Wiggins, who’s undeniably having a really good season. It’s too bad that many fans will likely attack him for being selected instead being upset at the voting system, which is to blame.

On another note, it’s interesting to compare and contrast Wiggins and DJ. Both players are sub-All-Star level contributors who have so far been underqualified as the first or second option on playoff-level teams, but the level of exposure that Wiggins receives playing in Golden State vaults him into another stratosphere when it comes to public attention.

I don’t think either player deserves an All-Star nod over the likes of LeBron, Curry, Jokic, Morant, Booker, Paul, Mitchell, Gobert, Towns, Doncic, or Green. That’s 11 players right there, leaving only one spot left, and that’s before the guys on the fringe such as Davis, George, Ayton, or Edwards.

In my mind, the answer is a definitive no. But then again, the All-Star game is just a popularity contest put on for fans, and we’ll know whether or not DJ made the final cut in less than a week.

Best comparison (x2)

Best screenshot

Can we start a petition to make this the NBA’s new logo?

Best outrageous rumour

Ok, there’s a lot to unpack here. Just because two teams show interest in a player from the opposing side, doesn’t mean that said players will be traded for each other. And unfortunately, it’s a lot likelier that the Hawks trade for White than the Spurs acquiring Collins since the latter is a much more valuable piece.

Whenever fans see a rumour attached to their favourite team, it’s easy to think of trade scenarios only from their point of view. However, it’s much more realistic to try and look at it from the opposing angle, and if I’m the Hawks, the first player I’m asking for from San Antonio in exchange for Collins is DJ.

Before you start laughing, hear me out: Atlanta’s biggest issue right now is their (lack of) defense, and they certainly don’t need Jakob Poeltl when they already have Clint Capela. That naturally points them to DJ, whose value is also the closest to Collins amongst all Spurs players. Like DJ, Collins is another sub-All-Star level contributor who might be able to make one or two All-Star teams in his career if everything breaks right, a la Murray this year. So if I’m Atlanta, why would I trade Collins for anything less?

That is, of course, San Antonio offers a package that includes a few roster players and one or more unprotected first-round picks, and there’s absolutely no way that happens given the direction that the Spurs are trending towards.

So I’m sorry to inform you, Spurs fans, but it’s unlikely that Collins will be joining the team anytime soon. Unless you’re willing to part ways with DJ, which is probably the last thing most want right now.

Best stat

Ho-hum, Poeltl’s been awesome the entire season, but even more so recently. However, the one thing that really holds him back is his free throw shooting, as he’s only making 44%, which should be flagged as NSFW.

Perhaps Pop should call him out again like he did last year since Poeltl’s percentage actually skyrocketed after that. Or maybe he should just get a running start whenever he goes to the line so that he’s shooting floaters; he’s making those at a higher clip anyways.

Best Primo update

Remember folks, he’s only 19 — same as Jayson Tatum!

Best soundbite

Edwards also finished the game with 0 assists; somewhere in Boston, Jaylen Brown just started nodding approvingly.

Jokes aside, Ant has got to be one of the most entertaining players both on and off the court. Remember this legendary interview?

Best feel-old moment

Speaking of Primo (and 20-year-old Edwards), fellow 19-year-old Jonathan Kuminga threw down one of the best dunks of the week on Tuesday night.

Just knowing that a literal teenager is making highlight-reel plays on an NBA court sure gives me an existential crisis.

Put another way, I’m a few years older than Kuminga and still work to tie my shoes properly.

That’s all for this week! Let us know in the comments what you think of the new series and what you’d like to see more of in the future.

Also, be sure to tweet at me or the Pounding the Rock Twitter page anything Spurs or NBA-related; I’d love to showcase more content from everyday fans moving forward.

Thanks for reading everyone!