Is Darko better than Duncan? Kahn thinks so, what say you?

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Tim Duncan is one of the 10 greatest basketball players ever. Darko Milicic and David Kahn are manna from heaven for would be comedians-turned-bloggers everywhere.

Still, someone has to plug that gaping hole in the center of the Western Conference All-Star team with Yao Ming done. Kahn, in his infinite wisdom, points to the scarcity of quality centers in the conference and asks, why not Darko?

Of course, Kahn thinks that Johnny Flynn and Ricky Rubio can work in the same backcourt. Also, that Ricky Rubio is coming to Minnesota.

Fortunately there are more rational minds out there to responsibly debate this, as a roundtable of writers over at NBA.com discussed the merits of Tim Duncan’s All-Star candidacy:

Sekou Smith: These things are never based solely on stats. If they were, big time scorers on lousy teams would have been making All-Star teams for years. I have no problem with Duncan making it this season. There have several occasions in recent years when big man with solid but maybe not great numbers has made the All-Star team because he was on a really good team. Timmy qualifies on all counts. Duncan also has the added bonus of being one of the game’s all-time greats. That has to count for something.

One of the big men of the past Smith could be referring to is David Robinson—who, as we pointed out earlier in the season, made his final All-Star appearance 10 years ago under the same circumstances Duncan faces today.

Given the Spurs record, it’s inconceivable that they only have one representative in the All-Star game (Manu Ginobili should be a lock), but the Spurs second numbers guy, Tony Parker, is one of many names lost in the gluttony of high profile guards in the Western Conference.

Duncan appears to be on the outside looking in from the fans voting for the first time, with Kevin Durant and Dirk Nowitzki appearing to (rightfully) be getting the nod. And he faces some young, but stiff competition to shore up the bench.

An All-Star weekend without Blake Griffin in its main event is just a mockery, and Kevin Love is captivating, if only because he’s one of the few nightly 25-12 threats whose point totals are often the lower number of the two (Rondo being the other, though with assists as opposed to rebounds).

Then there are the Gasol brothers, Lamar Odom, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Luis Scola doing their thing. Oh yeah, and All-Star games are a lot more fun when your big men can pass like a young Vlade Divac (cue Darko).

So where does Tim Duncan fit in here? I’m sure there will be a lot more to say on the matter in the near future, but for now, enjoy some food for thought over the weekend and a little bit of discussion on the greatest power forward of all time.

  • Bankshot21

    If Garnett can make it the past 3 years (via fan vote) then TD deserves to make it.

  • GFoyle

    The Red Rocket must be chosen for the 3-point comp or I will hork a sandwich.

  • Tyler

    While some of Kahn’s moves and statements have been pretty absurd (“Of course, Kahn thinks that Johnny Flynn and Ricky Rubio can work in the same backcourt. Also, that Ricky Rubio is coming to Minnesota.” – two great examples), I’ve been pretty impressed with Darko this year.

    Granted, I’ve only seen him play a handful of minutes outside of SA’s two games. And while I doubt he’ll ever see an All-Star game, I wouldn’t mind him on our team right now. I think he could develop into a 14-10-3 type down the road.

    Anyway, TD and Manu should be All-Stars. And while TP is definitely deserving as well, he’s got some pretty stiff competition at his position (Nash, Paul, Williams, Westbrook)

  • Espoon

    I think P. Gasol will be Yao replacement a C. There is no way Darko makes it but Love can and probably should. Here is what I think the team looks like so far.

    I think these are in:
    C. Paul, D. Williams, K. Bryant, M. Ginobili, K. Durant, D. Nowitski, C. Anthony, and P. Gasol

    That leaves only 4 spots. If the Spurs keep this pace and have the best record then I say Duncan is in. Then you have Love and Griffen putting up huge numbers on bad teams.

    That would leave only 1 spot left for R. Westbrook, S. Nash, and maybe a few others but I can’t see anyone being ahead of these. I would give the nod to westbrook since the Suns are under .500. Another spot might open up if Anthony is traded.

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  • rangerjohn

    darko is playing well but i would be willing to bet kahn $100,000 that if offered duncan for darko straight-up in a trade he would take duncan today without a blink or flinch. ok maybe a “really?” flinch.

    tony or manu, thats a tough choice, manu was a beast early on but has cooled off a lot lately, tony has been steady pretty much all season.

    i say if the “no star on board” pistons can get what all 5 starters into the game, the spurs can get 3.

    and matt bonner is THE most deserving to be in the 3 point shootout over anyone in the league. he might not make it because the league and this thing against us red heads apparently. he should have gone a couple years ago instead of the spurs getting embarrassed by roger mason who was totally out of his 3 point shooting element. the shoot out falls into matts strong suit when shooting. on that note, whos a better shooter matt bonner of jason kapono? i say matt bonner.

  • E. Ramos

    Timmy has changed his game to help his team win. The standings say it all. The spurs score much more this year as to years past. And TD has put in much of his talent on defence where his team needs him the most. In my eyes he is the greatest true power forward of all time. The rings, MVPs and Stats prove it. How fast we forget.

  • DorieStreet

    I made a comment about this circumstance on an ESPN blog site earlier this week. All four of the major american professional sports leagues have 30 or more franchises (MLB, NBA, NHL have 30; NFL has 32). The vast number of players in each sport precludes that a system based on selecting only the amount each league has on a standard roster (25, 14, 24, 53) for allstar status will leave out individuals who are deserving. The situation is further muddled by fan voting– people voting for favorites/favorite team’s players/ longtime stars did not outperform their colleagues. It has become an annual tradition on sports broadcast shows-as soon as the process begins (voting), the tallies are scrutinized- and the hue and cry gets commences right up to the day/night of the exhibition. It rivals the banter on NCAA selection Sunday & the days after about who should be & shouldn’t be in. (Division I has tried to address it this year by adding the ‘extra round’-and further ruining a setup that 99.9% of the fans thought was perfect—the 64 team bracket. A possible solution: expand the allstar rosters, have all the honrees attend, but have only a certain few play–or have 2 games so all of them can suit and participate.

  • DorieStreet

    P.S. (excuse the typos) /Correction on the number for the NFL pro bowl–the rosters for AFC/NFC are 30-40, depending on non-participants due to injury or playing in the Super Bowl.

  • Gomezd

    I like kahn, he is thoroughly entretaining

  • Mark

    Believe it or not, but last time I checked, Tim Duncan was ahead of Dirk Nowitzki.

  • Mark

    Right now, it seems to be Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony getting the starts (of course if Melo gets traded before then, Pau Gasol would get the other forward position). But I still believe Duncan can start in the All Star Game because if Melo gets traded and Pau starts at PF, they’re gonna need somebody to start at center with Yao out (I highly doubt Bynum gets it because he hasn’t played enough games).

  • betsyduncan

    Every day I vote for Tim, Manu, Tony and (write-in) DeJuan. I don’t vote for anyone else. We ALL need to do our due diligence and keep on voting! All three of our ‘big three’ need to be there, representing the best team in the NBA! And it’s a no-brainer that Matt needs to be in the 3-point shoot-out!

  • Bryan Metheny

    DARKO BETTER THAN DUNCAN?????? Kahn YOUR THE BIGGEST JOKE IN THE NBA. Tim Duncan is a legend……. Darko is a bum hes a nobody never was or will be. Kahn ur an idiot to make that statement……

  • Hicksman

    I’m happy for Darko I am. Picked wayyy too early and it’s shown so in the last what 60ish games Darko has shown some life and has been serviceable and Kahn thinks he is better than a 2 time MVP,Finals MVP, 4 Ring having Rookie of the Year awarding winning greatest PF of all time? They must be growing something up there in the hills!!
    But as has been said b4 I like Kahn very entertaning. So PLEASE EVERYBODY can we start voting and take this whole argument out and have Duncan getting the start
    GO SPURS GO!!!

  • Rad E. Cool

    Sorry to go against the crowd here but I don’t think that Duncan should make the All-Star game. Don’t get me wrong, he is amongst the 12 most deserving in the West and despite a numbers dip it’s not so glaring when you look at per-36 minute stats and also the team’s record.

    However, I don’t think Duncan even wants to play in the All-Star game. Sure, I haven’t asked him, but the way he played last year and the disinterest he showed in his body language makes me think he’d rather have those few days off.

    The athletic players runnin’ and gunnin’ and throwing lobs and dunking all game isn’t a game that Duncan really fits into anymore, given his preference for a lay-in rather than a dunk these days. I think for the fans it’d be far better to have a hungry, athletic big in there to put on a show than someone who is among the best in the league but doesn’t fit the game’s style or be interested in it.

    Having said that, Ginobili and Parker certainly fit and should be considered despite the glut of quality guards in the West.

  • rob

    All star games regardless of sport are a joke. Entertaining maybe…but none the less a joke.

    First of all the voting process is absurd to allow a person more than one vote.

    The play of the game is not the same as if it were during the season or playoffs.

    And regarding Duncan or any other Spur…I care about their ability to win a championship more so than if they’re chosen or how they perform in a meaningless scenario.

  • mybloodissilverandblack

    Who cares if Timmy makes the All-Star team? That is the most useless feat to have.

    By the way, remember the last time Pop coached the West, and Timmy and Manu were both on the team? Both got benched. I won’t be surprised if Pop will do the same this year.

    So again, who cares if Timmy makes it to the All-Star game?

  • mybloodissilverandblack

    @rob: Good point. Remember last year, T-Mac and A.I. were up in the returns? What a joke, right?

    And this year, Yao is in it, too.

    Charles Barkley said something about fan votes, that they are as reliable as his dogs’ opinions. Good point by the Chuckster. Fans are stupid. Haha

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