In his latest feature on Grantland.com, Bill Simmons gives us his opinion on who should make up the NBA All-Star team from both conferences. In a somewhat surprising decision, the Sports Guy lists Anderson Varejao as his starting PF for the East. He writes:
As for that fifth spot: I love the way Varejao is playing this season … and if you enjoy guys who put up 11 points and 12 rebounds every night, grab every big rebound in traffic, take monster charges again and again and shut down opposing big guys, you should, too. Isn’t the whole point of the All-Star Game to pick players who are playing as well as they can possibly play? I never watch Chris Bosh and say, “Whoa, Chris Bosh! He’s something! He’s really turned it on!” Why do I have to pick Bosh as a starter again? And also, why should THREE Miami Heat players be starting on the All-Star team? You don’t find this a little kooky? Are they the ’96 Bulls or something? Please. Besides, Varejao has been more of an impact player this year — he’s the best at what he does, and that’s saying something. You win with what he does.
Sign me up. Who am I to argue?
For the record, I am not of the opinion that Varejao should be an All-Star. I frequently see Chris Bosh making impact plays for the Heat. LeBron thinks he’s the easy target on that team? Chris Bosh is the guy everyone makes fun of despite the fact he was the most consistent Heat player in the Finals last year and has had an all around excellent season this year.
Varejao has played Center all year, and I think Howard and Hibbert are more deserving centers. But if you want to know why Anderson Varejao matters to the Cavaliers and why the Cavaliers shouldn’t trade him, read that paragraph from Simmons again. It’s nice to see Varejao finally getting some recognition for the way he plays this game.