By Joshua M. Hicks
Chicago Bulls shooting guard Jimmy Butler has shown the NBA this season that he is arguably one of the best two-way guards in the NBA.
Butler is playing his best basketball so far, averaging 22.5 points per game this season including two monster performances scoring 53 points against the Philadelphia 76ers and 40 of his 42 points in the second half against the Toronto Raptors.
He was bound to receive an invitation to the 2016 NBA All-Star game in Toronto on Valentine’s Day, but he won’t be in the starting lineup due to voting conducted by fans across the world.
According to Judith Ruiz-Branch, co-host of the online sports show “The Rewind Sports: 60,” Butler should’ve been representing the East in that starting lineup.
“I definitely think [Butler] should have been an All-Star starter,” Ruiz-Branch said. “Stats wise, he’s averaging 22 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. He’s basically par for par with Anthony and George and actually has a better stat sheet than Lowry and Wade.”
Senior point guard of the women’s basketball team, Becky Williford, agrees with Ruiz-Branch.
“I do believe that [Butler] should have been an All-Star starter,” Williford said. “He has proven that he can take control in any situation. When Rose got injured, it was Butler who picked the slack up to lead his team. His game is balanced both defensively and offensively, which is something you will not get out of most players.”
Roosevelt University men’s basketball coach Aaron Rolle supports the decision to keep Butler from starting in the All-Star game.
“I do not think [Butler] should start in the All-Star game,” Rolle said. “He is a forward and at that position he is competing with [James], [George] and [Anthony]. You could make an argument for Jimmy over [Anthony], but this is the fans vote and about money. [Butler] does not sell tickets like [Anthony].”
Butler is averaging more points than Wade, with Wade at 18 points per game compared to Butler’s 22 points per game, according to ESPN. Due to vans voting for the starters, Wade earned the spot, bringing up controversy between players really earning the position from their play this season or just earning the spot due to their popularity.
Williford believes that a special committee should do all the voting.
“I would have a separate committee who has a greater impact in choosing All-Stars,” Williford said.” I would still incorporate the fans, but I would leave the final decision to a higher power.”