Will any Charlotte Hornets be All-Stars?


Ah, the All-Star game. A time for Hornets fans worldwide to watch the best players in the NBA in one place. For the most part, these NBA bests never include Charlotte Hornets. The only recent All-Star that came from Charlotte was Gerald Wallace.

The same Gerald Wallace that was later traded for Joel Pryzbilla and Dante Cunningham. Now, this article is not about how the then Bobcats disrespected Wallace and all he did for this franchise; it is about the potential All-Stars of this years Hornets team. And I can comfortably say that there could be a few Hornets that might make the trip to Toronto.

When the Hornets traded for Nicolas Batum this summer, I immediately knew that he would have a massive impact on this team. Being an East-Coast guy, it is kind of hard to get to know players from the West Coast. You only get to see them twice a year when they play your team and maybe they are in a big market and are shown on national TV a few times.

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For me, I never got to see Batum play very much, but from what I’d seen in the few times that he played the Hornets, I knew that he could be special in Charlotte. Also, he is really good in 2K, which never hurts.

In short, Batum is playing at an All-Star level. He’s putting up both the stats to contend for a place on the East All-Star team and he is crucial to the Hornets success this season. He is the complete player for the modern-day NBA. Batum is long, can play defense, shoot, pass and dribble. The Frenchman is currently averaging 16 points a game, 7 rebounds and 5 assists, not bad for a guy who replaced Gerald Henderson as the Hornets starting two guard. Batum is not the guy who is going to score 25 a night, like some people think he should be based on what the Hornets gave up for him this summer. Hornets fans were in love with Noah Vonleh and thought he was the savior for the franchise. I also believed that the Hornets gave up too soon on Vonleh. Now, I see why. Batum, along with Kemba, is the leader of this team. Even when he doesn’t score a lot of points, Batum can always be counted on to set up his teammates and get critical rebounds.

In my opinion, Batum should be a lock for the All-Star team, and is currently in 10th place in East voting. Although I’m hopeful that Batum will get voted in, I’m not sure that the rest of the nation will vote Batum. He’s from a small market team that doesn’t get much national spotlight. This is why I implore Hornets fans to vote for Batum.

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Another of the Hornets who should make the All-Star team is Kemba Walker. It seems like this has been said for the past three years, but I actually believe it could happen this year. In the past, Kemba had to virtually do everything on offense. When Big Al was signed by the Hornets, the team didn’t rely as heavily on Walker, and his efficiency numbers increased. Now, with the addition of Nic Batum, Kemba’s numbers look even better. He is shooting nearly 45% from the field, 6 percentage points better than he did last year. This is one of the most remarkable stats of this years Hornets team. The team is no longer relying on Kemba to play hero ball and jack up tough shots throughout the game. Kemba is no longer the teams sole ball-handler, and has been helped mightily by Batum. Nic can draw the defense and kick it out to Kemba, whose three-point shot has improved as well. Kemba is the leading scorer on the Hornets team, and I believe that he is deserving of a place in the East All-Star team.

Even though I kind of chuckle while saying it, Jeremy Lin could even be an All-Star for this team. I don’t chuckle because I don’t think he deserves it, which he might; I chuckle because I thought that he would be the last guy on this team who’d make the team. I’ve been so impressed by Lin so far this year. His ability to drive to the rim and make tough layups and his knack for making big jumpers has been critical to the Hornets this year. I thought that Lin was done, following his tenures in Houston and with the Lakers. I never thought that Lin would have a career revival with the Hornets, and for that, I am happy to eat my words. I would love to see Lin in the All-Star game, although he has the lowest chance out of the Hornets to be selected.

Next: Lin and Batum Are Top-10 in All-Star Voting

Maybe this year the All-Star game will be different. Instead of watching players that I truly have no interest in watching, I’ll see a few Hornets out there. With the 2017 All-Star game being in Charlotte, I can only hope that some Hornets get some All-Star experience under their belts, and ensure that there will be some Charlotte players on the East All-Stars next February.