One of the most popular NBA players was left out of this past weekend’s All-Star Game.
Jeremy Lin did not play for the West, which beat the East 143-138 on Sunday night. Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers was named the MVP.
Paul got the starting nod over Lin, who came close to making the team. Kobe Bryant and Paul were selected to start ahead of Lin, who came about 45,000 votes short of a spot on the club. The point guard was third overall in voting for Western Conference guards.
Lin was also not chosen, by the coaches, to be a reserve. Russell Westbrook, Tony Parker and his Houston Rockets teammate James Harden came off the bench for the West.
Even though Lin didn’t get a chance to play in front of his home fans last weekend, the 24-year-old says he is not disappointed. In fact, Lin said he is glad that he didn’t play in the game.
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“I'm kind of thankful I didn't get voted because when,” said Lin. “I want to make sure I'm fully, fully deserving of it, when I play, and I didn't feel like that was the case this year.”
It might be hard to make the case that Lin should have made the team. He has struggled in his first year with the Rockets, and hasn’t put up the same numbers that he did with the New York Knicks.
The Western Conference is filled with quality point guards, and Lin hasn’t performed like one of the best. Ten other players at his position average more than his 12.6 points per game. Lin also comes in at ninth in assists and 12th in turnovers.
Despite his struggles, Lin’s popularity almost netted him a starting role on the team. At the height of “Linsanity,” the Harvard grad was a national phenomenon, and had the highest-selling jersey in the league. After getting significant playing time for just a few weeks in 2012, he participated in the rising Stars Challenge.
In the second half of the season, Lin will look to improve and play better alongside Harden. The Rockets currently are the eighth seed in the conference.