Sacramento Kings big man Domantas Sabonis being left out as a Western Conference All-Star reserve has been a hot topic ever since it was announced two weeks ago. It would’ve been his fourth selection.

Check out some of the replies when the news broke:

Of course, All-Star snubs are a regular fixture in the NBA (in every sport, actually), and we all knew this year would be no different. Having said that–and while the following claim is also said every single season–it does seem like this one is one of the biggest snubs in a long while.


As an integral part of the Kings’ rise from mediocrity, Sabonis has the game and numbers to present a strong case. He has always been a versatile presence, which includes being a fine passer for a center, and was averaging a statsheet-stuffing 19.9 points, 13.0 rebounds, and 8.0 assists per game on an efficient 61.6% shooting at that time it was announced. Further, he’s also the league leader in double-doubles for pretty much the entire season – it’s up to 50 out of 54 games now.

Meanwhile, the player who many believe can be bumped out for Sabonis, Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns, was also boasting good production: 22.7 points, 8.7 boards, and 3.1 assists alongside a clean shooting spit of 52.2%/44.3%/87.2% (through Feb 2nd).

The main aspect of KAT’s campaign, though, is his T’Wolves were atop the West leading up to the selection (and still is), as opposed to the Kings, who were 5th at that time and have gone down to 7th since. Then again, there’s also no denying the numbers and importance to the team. Though Sacramento has a well-rounded unit, it’s clear that the group is mainly about Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox. Minnesota’s jump to the number one seed, on the other hand, is made up of a ton of things, and Towns isn’t exactly at the center of anything. Outside of his play, there’s the constant rise of team leading scorer Anthony Edwards, the top-ranked defense anchored by Rudy Gobert, and the leadership of veteran Mike Conley, among others.

It can be a long back and forth. We’ll let you decide who deserves it more.

Nevertheless, being overlooked seems to have motivated Sabonis further. Check out his averages since the All-Star reserve list was released:

In fact, his most recent performance had him post 20 points, 13 boards, and seven dimes in a 102-98 road win against the defending champion Denver Nuggets and reigning Finals MVP Nikola Jokic, arguably the best player in the game today. Also, with his help, the deemed unstoppable Serbian was held to just 15-5-8 on a rough 6-of-17 shooting.

So, how about that? Bringing it on offense and defense.

Sabonis’s last chance might be as a replacement, seeing how Kawhi Leonard has a thigh injury as of the moment. But, of course, Domas and the Kings have bigger fish to fry. They are currently 31-23 and at the play-in spots at seventh place. The focus now is getting into a better seed.