Double The Fun
Although it’s been speculated that both players would make the cut, the official announcement came on a national television broadcast Thursday night. LaMarcus Aldridge has been considered a shoo-in all year, but Damian Lillard has been the one on the fence.
The debate surrounding Lillard’s candidacy has nothing to do with his own merits. His stats prove that he’s an All-Star caliber point guard, but it’s been his competition that has been the biggest variable.
Despite being one of the best up-and-coming point guards in the Association, Lillard is just one in a class of highly talented players out West. Tony Parker, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook all play the point guard position, while James Harden, DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis are seemingly just as deserving
Luckily for Lillard, his accomplishments haven’t gone unnoticed, and he’ll be making his All-Star debut in New Orleans.
As for Aldridge, claims can be made that he should have been a starter. It’s tough to take away from what Kevin Love, Blake Griffin and Kevin Durant have done this season, but popular opinion since the votes came through has been that L.A. should have earned the nod.
Regardless, Aldridge has been selected as a reserve to the All-Star game for the third time in his career. Only four other players have represented the Blazers three times at All-Star Weekend, further enhancing the question: Where does Aldridge rank among the all-time Rip City greats?
Speaking of the greats, the last Trail Blazers duo to make the same All-Star game was Cliff Robinson and Clyde Drexler. It’s been 20 years since that happened, giving Aldridge and Lillard a special place in history.
How the two will perform is tough to gauge. Despite Aldridge being the team’s MVP at this juncture, he’s averaged just two points and 2.5 rebounds (approximately 10 MPG) in his pevious appearances, and it’s Lillard’s game that most easily translates to the All-Star stage.
Whatever happens next has yet to be determined, but what we do know is this: Rip City is back, and the team couldn’t have two better guys representing the franchise in New Orleans.