You could make a fairly strong argument the Chicago Bulls‘ Zach LaVine should have been a member of the Eastern Conference All-Star team last season. With all of his numbers improved and at or near a career-high this season, LaVine might be undeniable–at least Miami Heat legend and former Bull Dwyane Wade thinks so.
On Thursday, after the NBA opened up the voting for All-Star selections, Wade took to Twitter to voice his support and to urge voters to “get it right” this time.
Let’s get it right this year with Zach LaVine as an AllStar!
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) January 29, 2021
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There is no question, LaVine’s numbers and his overall play have been on an All-Star level through the first 17 games of the season. He’s averaging a career-high in points (27), rebounds (5.2), assists (5.3), free-throw percentage (.876), effective field-goal percentage (.594), two-point field-goal percentage (.592), three-point percentage (.397), and field-goal percentage (.502).
The only players in the NBA averaging 27 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists per game in the NBA today are the Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry, Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant, Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic, and LaVine. The Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal and the Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard are just percentage points short in assists and rebounds, respectively.
That’s rare company, no matter how you look at it.
Quite obviously, LaVine will get competition from the Nets’ Kyrie Irving, but he’s missed some time this season. Beal is one who is often compared to LaVine with the former usually being regarded as the superior player–though I’d beg to differ. LaVine’s shooting numbers are better across the board. Beal is leading the NBA in scoring for a woeful Wizards team, but it seems LaVine could equal or surpass the Wizards’ star’s points-per-game average if he took as many shots. Beal is chunking up 26.5 shots per game compared to 18 for LaVine.
The Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons, Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown, Cleveland Cavaliers’ Collin Sexton, and Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young could also be competition, but quite honestly, LaVine has had a better season than all of these guys thus far.
The All-Star starters are selected based on the fan vote, but the reserves are supposed to fill the gaps. If LaVine doesn’t get his name called this year, it will be a travesty.
When is Wade Eligible for the Hall-of-Fame?
Wade, along with Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki, and San Antonio Spurs legend Tony Parker will all be in their first year of Hall-of-Fame eligibility in 2023.
All three are pure locks for induction as their class will be one of the best in recent years. Wade’s list of individual and team accomplishments are undeniable. In addition to winning three NBA championships, Wade also won NBA Finals MVP, was All-NBA first team in 2009 and 2010, second team in 2005, 2006, and 2011. He made the third team in 2007, 2012, and 2013.
Wade was an All-Star from 2005-16 and again in 2019. He was also a standout defensive player making the All-Defensive second team in 2005, 2009, and 2010. Few have a resume as stacked so Wade’s formal induction is just a formality.
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