For the last nine years, Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat has been a deserving starter at shooting guard for the Eastern Conference in the All-Star Game. Even as his statistics and games played have decreased over the last couple seasons, he is still the best shooting guard the East has. This year is no different as far as star power goes as Wade is the most recognizable and talented player off of the bunch.
While the Western Conference has guards like Stephen Curry, James Harden, Chris Paul, Damian Lillard, Ty Lawson, Tony Parker and Isaiah Thomas who all deserve to go, the East has much lesser names. Kyrie Irving is deserving as is John Wall, but there is a big drop off after. The other guards would come from a group that contains Arron Afflalo, DeMar DeRozan, Brandon Jennings, Lance Stephenson and Michael Carter-Williams.
It isn’t a question if Wade deserves to go, because clearly he is the best option at shooting guard for the East. The question is whether or not he should play in the game.
My answer is absolutely not. With his lingering knee issues and being on a maintenance program it would be very hypocritical and irresponsible for him to play in the game. He recently had to take four games off because of soreness in his knee and hasn’t been very effective in the few games he has played in that stretch.
In each of his last three games he has scored eight points and hasn’t played more than 33 minutes. Against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, Wade came off the bench for the first time in five years and just the ninth time in his career.
He is averaging his lowest points per game total since his rookie year and is likely to miss more time. What better break than the five days off for the All-Star break to take off and rest his knees? If the ultimate goal is to be healthy for the playoffs and win another championship, playing in a meaningless game in February would be irresponsible.