Former NBA champion Ron Artest, a.k.a Metta World Peace, claims LeBron James did not deserve the All-Star snub in his rookie season.
As the All-Star Game approaches, we look back at some of the biggest names in the league. LeBron James is set to make his 17th straight start in the All-Star Game, in his 18-year long career.
The only year he did not make the All-Star team was his rookie season. In a recent chat with The Athletic, LBJ admitted the snub still irks him.
Before becoming one of the most decorated NBA players of all time, LeBron James was an All-Star snub in his rookie season.
“Still kinda irks me a little bit,” @KingJames said this week. “But I got over it.”
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) March 5, 2021
If James gets selected as a starter next season as well, he would tie Kobe for the most starts in a row at 18. Kareem Abdul Jabbar holds the record for the most All-Star games played at 19, and even that record does not seem too far-fetched for LBJ.
“A rookie really dropped 25 points on the league’s best wing defender”: Ron Artest
Back in ’03, when James was still a rookie, Ron Artest was known around the league as a premier wing defender. The very first time the Cavs matched up against the Pacers that year, even though the Pacers edged a 91-90 win, LBJ impressed everyone with a game-high 23 points. In the subsequent matchups that season, James scored 27, 22, and 26 over the Pacers.
In response to The Athletic’s article, Ron Artest believed James deserved an All-Star spot. He said, “I’m not going to say he didn’t deserve it because his first game against me he had 25 points.
That was a lot of points against me. When he did that to me, I’m like, this is insane. You literally gave 25 points to the best wing defender in the league.”
Back then the coaches had to select the reserves according to positions, unlike today. A rookie James got snubbed for the All-Star game, but dominated the rising stars game.