New Rules Or No, Spurs’ Big Man Duncan Still Stuck Outside of All-Star Mix

HANG TIME, Texas — So much for the Tim Duncan Rule.

With voting changed to designate players simply as frontcourt or backcourt, eliminating the center position, the All-Star Game‘s new balloting process was thought, by some, to reignite the chances of the Spurs’ former two-time MVP to return to the Western Conference lineup. Duncan’s streak of 12 consecutive All-Star Game appearances ended last season when Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin beat him out in the fan voting. The poll of head coaches did not add him as a reserve.

Yet when the first returns for the 2013 NBA All-Star Game arrived on Thursday, there was Duncan on the outside of the West starting lineup again, while the Lakers’ center Dwight Howard held down a firm spot in the middle, flanked by the young guns Durant and Griffin

Tim Duncan is fourth among West frontcourt players. The first three make the starting lineup for February's All-Star Game. -- D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images

Tim Duncan is fourth among West frontcourt players. The first three make the starting lineup for February’s All-Star Game in Houston, Texas. — D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images.

Have the voters not bothered to notice that one of the main reasons the Spurs are off to an 18-5 start — the second-best record in the league — is because the 36-year-old Duncan is putting up the kind of numbers not seen since the last time he was an All-Star starter? While managing his minutes to just 30.5 per game, Duncan is averaging 17.9 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.6 blocked shots. San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich spent time at each stop along the way of the Spurs’ recent six-game Eastern Conference road trip trying to drum up appreciation and votes for the linchpin of the Spurs’ four NBA titles.

So what happened? In short, the Lakers. The Lakers are always the Lakers, no matter how dismal their 9-13 record, how many times they change coaches midseason or how often they get spanked by the likes of the lowly Cavaliers.

Imagine, the most underachieving team in the NBA would — with Kobe Bryant and Howard — have as many All-Star starters as the defending champion Heat (LeBron James and Dwyane Wade) and more than the league-best Thunder (Durant), East-leading Knicks (Carmelo Anthony) or Duncan’s Spurs. Duncan’s teammate Tony Parker is seventh among Western Conference backcourt players, more than 200,000 votes behind the hype machine of Houston Jeremy Lin.

Not that missing all of the hullaballoo and activity of All-Star Weekend would be something that Duncan regrets. As a 16-year veteran, he knows the value of rest and appreciated having a midseason break to relax with his family last year.

“I will not be campaigning,” Duncan told Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News. “I haven’t heard what Pop’s been saying, but I guess I’ve got to talk to him.

“I wouldn’t complain if I’m not on the (All-Star) roster. I want to play well and want to feel good about what I’m doing on the court, but I am not going to be unhappy if I don’t make it.”

Tim Duncan, as always, has his own rules.


  1. juan says:

    people this is stern’s teams, he wants people to fill the place, he markets the players and then puts it together, voting , get real, no such thing, it’s all about the marketing, and what players will bring in the most revenue.

  2. Jintan says:

    Duncan doesnt care about the flashy all-star thing. He just plays to win with old-school and true team basketball.

  3. Romeo says:

    Does it really matter? Tim has 4 rings and will be in the HOF. True he should be there, but the NBA has evolved and that game is just for the fans who want to see dunks and the best of the best, Griffin is exciting and Timmy had 12 seasons under his belt. I think the thought on his mind is, i want another ring, not whether or not i get into the All Star game.

  4. Dew says:

    I just voted for the 20th time for Duncan. Should be voting every day. Everyone keep putting ur ballots in for Timmy!

  5. cedric says:

    If Kobe is still playing in the allstar game Duncan should be too.Go Spurs !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. RawkBonobo says:

    AllStar is not about your game or the game. You know its all about fame…thats all.

  7. om92i says:

    he is the game

  8. swiss bankster says:

    oh shut it.

    the ASG is NOT about all-round skills, rings, winning mentality, its not even about LEGENDS – you would think that, bc bird / jordan etc made it look this way, but in fact, it isn’t. their greatness isn’t based on the ASG, but think about the selling aspect of the jumpman logo, shot on a dunk contest….

    Appreciation of highflyers, clowns, personalities: the ASG – give them some credit for selling tickets!! ASG = the BIZ!
    Also for those never winning a ring, or getting lost after rookie year, or short careers due to injury – LET THEM celebrate once, they take part in an event where they are something special, “hip”, but thats not the right thing for anyone, especially not for someone who is all about winning… and has a lot of miles on his tank, too.

    Appreciation of true legends: THE ALL-NBA-TEAMS, the Awards, the rings!

    Why do ppl feel sorry for a well appreciated star, who is actually FINE with not playing the circus? he’s been there, done that.

    stop acting like the ASG it is important to careers, IT IS NOT. It is show, no defense, just show. I don’t like Griffin a lot, but does he qualify for a show game? absolutely!!! we need shaqs entertaining us, nate robinsons / spud webbs jumping, dwights clowning, the lights, some chicks, some cars, yeah. The ASG is capitalism at its best.
    I don’t love it, because the game is usually very boring, and it seems like the star-of-the-stars is pre chosen, almost like wrestling, bah. But I enjoy the highlights and I understand what it means to the league. Don’t worry about Timmy, Dirk and others. They are fine how they are…

  9. dreamlander14 says:

    I don’t care for the All Star Wknd anymore. The 3 point contest, the slam dunk competition, and especially the all-star game itself is a pitiful representation of what we had in the 80’s and 90’s. Good job Stern. Can’t wait to see you go.

  10. Numero 5 says:

    Allstar game + injury = End of Season
    No Allstar Game + No Injury = Ring number 5

    I wonder what is on Duncan’s mind.

  11. toosic says:

    no point arguing if tim duncan should get the post over blake griffin, but the rules have been changed and i think he should become a starter over dwight howard. Lakers are 9-13 if youre comparing records (clippers and spurs are better). Howard is an all star but i dont think he deserves to be a starter this season. He should get voted in by the coaches.

  12. Rob says:

    All-Star Voting is a JOKE. Very limited scope when voting. Stars that are injured should not be able to receive votes. Many players that deserve a chance are not going to since they are not on the ballot and must be written in. The whole system needs to move away from fan voting. As a super fan of the NBA I’d rather have coaches vote then fans.

  13. jose says:

    The All Star game is a Flashy Jaw-Breaking game where you’ll see amazing dunks and plays.
    Everybody here is saying it should be Duncan and not Griffin or whatever but you’ll be the first ones screaming when Blake throws it down.

    Duncan is a legend, a real basketball player, 100% fundaments but that is not what the All Star game is about.

    I don’t know if that’s right or not but that’s just how it is. Duncan is a “boring’ player and fans don’t want to see boring.

  14. gatez says:

    It’ s all about the game not about the fame for Tim Duncan,

  15. boyscout says:

    If it were the ALL STAT game then the line up will be a whole lot different. Unfortunately it’s called the ALL STAR game where idots flourish.

  16. THEONLY says:


  17. Gavin says:

    I think it basically comes down to what the All Star Weekend has been about and I think the League has moved it from appreciating players to marketing their up and coming stars. Personally, I don’t have a beef with it since most of the legends should be saving themselves for the playoffs which is when true basketball fans appreciate their talents. If the game was actually competitive then thats a different story, but for a glorified pick up I have no issue with Blake over the Big Fundamental (and I’m a huge TD fan)

    As far as recognition, there’s always the All NBA teams which generally get it more correct that the All Star voting ever has.

  18. andykor7 says:

    It is becoming a entertainment biz rather than a sports biz. You are in all star because you are popular. Very sad for the all-time greats who had retired and all the great players who are still playing solid basketball but no longer can make it to the all star team due to popularity Tim Duncan had been and will always be one of my favourite player and I grew up supporting the Lakers in the 80s. It is sad to see Lakers in the current state but I guess they just need to regroup or re-org.

  19. Matty C says:

    It needs to get sorted. Lin is probably getting the votes from South-East Asia, just like Yao Ming. With their huge amount of people, it’s no wonder he’s getting so many. Very overated and pretty average, but I reckon every year he’ll do well in the All Star voting, purely because there’s no other Asian descent player.

  20. Frank says:

    I’m pretty sure Timmy doesn’t give a damn about this popularity contest.

  21. jwilson says:

    These all star games are always the same. Of course no one thinks Tim and Tony are as good as they are. They are too busy being blindsided by egos like d howard and kobe. No egos on the spuurs, just good solid team basketball. Lakers can keep their all stars…I’ll keep Tim and Tony on my team.

  22. Mark says:

    east- rondo, wade, lebron, melo, noah

    west- westbrook, paul, durant, zbo, duncan

  23. Marcin says:

    Truth is that people don’t appreciate the beauty of the game that players like duncan play anymore, its all about lob city and ‘show-time’ basketball, it is a shame though because Duncan may be the last of his breed of players

  24. LS says:

    “All Stars” usually ends up being a personality/star-studded event and has very little to do with individual player performance, contribution, and value he adds to his team. It seems to me that the league, sportscasters, and the fans have different criteria and goals.

    The quality of performance and overall competition during All Star weekend has seriously declined over the last few years and not worth watching for very long. Perhaps it’s time for a major, major overhaul of this entire event.

  25. Lakers-R-Us says:

    Tim Duncan should be in the all star game! Period!

  26. Ray Setya says:

    Agree that he is a legend, my idol!

  27. Flapity McPooper Pants says:

    why are you guys so upset the all star voting is a game for the fans and if these are the guys they voted in so be it id rather see blake in the all star game its a young mans game things change deal with it

    • smh says:

      Because the connotation of being an all-star is that you are one of the best. It is factor into a players legacy. So the fact that Lin is a mediocre starting point guard (11p/6.6/a3r/2s) may go over Tony Parker, Damian Lillard, Mike Conley, Stefan Curry, Ty Lawson and Goran Dragic is a let down to say the least. Honestly, he’s not playing better than Grievas Vasquez, Mo Williams, and Collison either which makes him the 9th best point guard in the West with respect to Jared Jack, Andre Miller, Steve Nash, and Ricky Rubio. It is fathomable that Lin will be the worst starting point Guard with exception to Aaron Brooks/Isiah Thomas. But he has a better chance to get it because he’s popoular and asian. That is Wack

  28. Oliver says:

    If it was voting based on skills, Jeremy Lin wouldn’t have even been on the list. I can’t believe he almost got a starting role for the little he’s done this season. Anyway, the point is, this is a popularity contest because people are stupid and don’t really know basketball.

  29. hogtownboy says:

    Maybe if the NBATV announcers would scream at the top of their lungs, as they do when kobe make a 3 pointer, then Duncan would be on the team

  30. 123germany says:

    its every year the same discussion about who really deserves to be in the all star game (as a starter) and who not.
    Its just waste of time to discuss it on and on again.

    The starter are the most popular players. Not in every case the best. U all know this, so why do we say the same things every year?

    Cant get it

  31. robertwalsch says:

    Tim Duncan to the Heat!

    • timmy-d says:

      never! for ever a spur!!!

    • LL says:

      He wouldn’t play for the Heat… He likes to play “real” basketball, where all players are involved and he can help them be better, as others did for him. That team doesn’t do that. You’re constantly seeing changes of the guys around them to try and make a quality fit, but sadly, it’s the nature of their playing style that doesn’t allow for such growth of other talent around them. Even a great scorer like Ray Allen and Bosh aren’t flourishing.

  32. RgR says:

    We can all blame popularity and “ignorant fan-based voting” – but the reserves (voted in by coaches) also failed to put Duncan in last year, I really don’t know how that could be possible but hey, GM’s and coaches make big trades for ppl like Iverson and shaq way past their prime because of name, N NOW HOWARD !

  33. KB24ALLDAY says:

    This is ridiculous! Blake is being outplayed by a 36 year old and he STILL gets the spot? I am a hardcore Laker fan that used to HATE Tim Duncan (back when SA/LAL was the real finals) but now I have so much respect for the guy that this really pisses me off! Whatever the case I am just amazed at Tim Duncans level of play. Here is to KB and TD aging like fine wine!Jeremy Lin? Dude never was and has never been all star(unless you count like 2 weeks of solid basketball). If it wasn’t for the media jamming him down our throats NOBODY would even know who the hell this guy is! If the NBA can change the rules of flopping I think the NBA can change the All Star voting rules as well…

  34. Franz says:

    Duncan does not really care about playing the All-Star game, nor does he care about getting appreciation from basketball fans. It’s all about the ring for him and playing basketball the old-school, fundamental way. Kids, if you want to start playing basketball, pattern your game after this man!

  35. tombrayo says:

    the all star voting system needs to be changed. It shouldn`t be popularity, it should be about rewarding the best in the league for their play. Jeremy Lin 200,000 votes ahead of parker? i would take parker all day everyday over lin. NBA needs to fix this and fast. Players need to earn their spot as an all-star not get voted because a bunch on uneducated people like a player regardless of stats.

    • Wait Wut says:

      Lin honestly shouldn’t even have any votes. Besides that 38 pt game when Harder wasn’t on the floor, he’s been playing terrible this season.

      • ballin is my hobby says:

        i agree with you. Hes just overhyped.

      • Badgers says:

        Yeah I agree, I’d take Paul, Westbrook, Curry, Parker, Conley or Lawson before Lin.

      • 123 says:

        O well majority of the voters think otherwise

      • tp9 says:

        he isn’t playing terrible but he’s far far away from playing on an all star level. parker though is doing it for years but gets overlooked over and over again. it’s basically because both, parker and duncan are playing for the spurs, the most unselfish team in the league. and probably the one with the fewest highlights. and that’s what people want to see: highlights. they should change the name to “all highlight weekend” and “game” or what have you

      • smh says:

        @ tp9 Lin is a mediocre starting point guard (11p/6.6/a3r/). He’s being outplayed by Tony Parker, Damian Lillard, Mike Conley, Stefan Curry, Ty Lawson and Goran Dragic. Honestly, he’s not playing better than Grievas Vasquez, Mo Williams, and Collison either which makes him the 9th best point guard in the West with respect to Jared Jack, Andre Miller, Steve Nash, and Ricky Rubio. It is fathomable that Lin will be the worst starting point Guard with exception to Aaron Brooks/Isiah Thomas by the end of the season. and thatis not just by numbers either. He doesnt close games much because he’s too slow to check most points and too small to check most 2’s. That’s why Toney Douglas has being in late as 2 offensively and harden at the 1 and defensively the flip flop. that’s terrible for a young player getting 10 mil a year who is expected to flourish as a top pg in the league….And think about the linsanity, shumpert and landry took the tougher match ups or the player got off.

  36. omyblaze57 says:

    The only thing is that Durant and Griffin are doing their job within their respective positions, SF and PF, respectively. If Duncan is playing center, then the problem is for the 3rd player to get the votes, in this case, Duncan. Those two also deserve to be at the ASG and they are at their original positions, so, big problem…

  37. bryan says:

    thank you. these yuong players can’t compare to a legend.

  38. Funnyq says:

    Blake Griffin is a good player, but he still has a lot to improve and he’s not even average a double double this season, Tiim Duncan at his 16th season still average 18ppg 10rpg and keeps his team winning. People should learn the difference between a legend also probably the best PF of all time and a fancy dunker -(Blake Griffin)

    • tp9 says:

      well said

    • Jay says:

      Tim Duncan is a GREAT player. One of the all-time legends. But he is not a power forward. He’s 7’0″, guards the other team’s center, and sets up in the post. Maybe he was a power forward 10 years ago when he played with David Robinson…but actually San Antonio had two centers at that time. Since D. Robinson retired, Duncan has been a true center. For the past few years, he has been the best center in the West. He still is. Why he’s called a power forward is beyond me. Whose their center: Diaw, Blair, Bonner?

      • Scott says:

        Height does not determine your position. Who you guard does not determine your position. It’s a combination of overall skills, playing style, and physical ability. I’m not saying Tim Duncan isn’t a center, but arguing he is because he’s 7’0″ (even though he’s officially listed as 6’11”) isn’t going to convince anybody. I don’t think the Spurs even have a real center. I’d say the closest to being a center is Dejuan because of his offensive skill set and his physical abilities/limitations.

  39. enrique says:

    Duncan should be starting but since when has the All Star game been about who should be there? It has always been about popularity and the flashy selfish players are the drawing cards.

    • smh says:

      Another example of the danger of ignorance and democracy. I wish it didn’t matter but it does. Everytime we argue argue sports we be mention their accolades. When look in the history books they will consider these appearances as proof of value, skill, and productivity as opposed to excitement, popularity, and favoritism…Stern would do well to end his tenure by reducing public input a non-majority percentage… I would recommend 34% coaches; 33 % players; % Fans.

  40. TTKIN says:

    Im sure there is a reason Blake Griffin is a starter and Tim Duncan is not…then again I have no idea what the reason could be. As far as who deserves it, there isnt really even an argument.

  41. Willy says: