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Thursday, February 9, 2012
Pau Gasol left off All-Star team

By Brian Kamenetzky

Kobe Bryant's consecutive All-Star Game streak reached a record-tying 14 last week when the Western Conference starters were announced, but another Laker saw his streak end.

Pau Gasol's more modest run of three straight mid-winter classics has come to an end.

It's not shocking news. Gasol's performance this season hasn't been nearly as bad as unhappy Lakers fans might lead you to believe -- 16.4 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and a PER of 20.58 is hardly awful-- and is actually comparable statistically to a few guys in the mix for a trip to Orlando, Fla. Still, he hasn't met the lofty standard to which he should be held, and certainly doesn't have the feel of an All-Star. Not locally, at least.

Looking at the list of reserves, Kevin Love, and LaMarcus Aldridge are without question more deserving. Based on this season's performance I'd definitely give Pau the nod over Dirk Nowitzki, but Utah's Paul Millsap, who like Gasol will be watching on television, deserves a bid over both. There's just no way to conclude Gasol's omission is a crime of basketball.

The news isn't all bad. La Familia Gasol will still be represented in Orlando, as lil' brother Marc was named as the squad's backup center, filling that last "big man" slot. If only one can go, I suspect seeing his brother earn his first berth excites Pau a lot more than getting to go again himself.