Jackson: It would be criminal if Curry & Lee aren't All-Stars
Stephen Curry is seventh in the NBA averaging 20.7 points per game. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
Forget the fact that the Golden State Warriors haven't had a single all-star selection since Latrell Spreewell in 1997, coach Mark Jackson expects to see both guard Stephen Curry and forward David Lee on the West roster when it is announced Thursday.
"To me it would be criminal, for lack of a better word, if both those guys didn't make it. They both deserve it," Jackson said. "By the time the votes are (submitted), we'll be ten games over .500.
"You want to reward what's right and what Steph Curry and David Lee have done this year, is what's right."
Curry (20.7 ppg) and Lee (19.6) both rank among the league's top-11 scorers, while leading the Warriors (25-15) to their best start since 1991-92, when they won 27 of their first 40 games.
While the stats help their cause, it's the wins that are more telling as to their value this year. It's also part of the all-star selection equation that has Jackson a little irked.
"These guys have changed the whole organization," he said. "They have led, they have sacrificed, they have defended, they have competed and if the Lakers can get two guys in, we already know something has to be done."
An obvious reference to the Lakers having a pair of starters -- Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard -- despite their standing as the fourth-worst team in the Western Conference.
The rosters will be determined by a vote by head coaches in the conference. Each will vote for seven players -- two guards, three frontcourt players and two others regardless of position. Coaches are not allowed to vote for anyone on their own team.
"We know who the jurors are and if they do not get voted in, I think you have to question the process," Jackson said. "I'm not going to go all Dr. King on them, but at the same time, you have to stand for what's right, man."
Count veteran guard Jarret Jack firmly in his coach's court.
"If that kid (Curry) isn't an all-star, then we definitely got a problem in the voting system or how people perceive what is an all-star," Jack said.
As for Curry?
He's hopeful he'll get the call to play in Sunday's game in Houston, but regardless of what happens, it's clear just being strongly considered has served as a confidence boost. It's not just in the media or from fans that Curry has felt the love; fellow players have told him they think he's deserving for the all-star destination.
"You have heard that a couple times like 'You should be an all-star,' especially with the way our team has been playing and the record that we have," Curry said. "It's nice to hear, that you have the respect and praise from some of your colleagues in the league, especially from the same position."
The announcement will be made Thursday at 4 p.m. PST on TNT.
The Western Conference's starting lineup, which is voted upon by the fans, includes Chris Paul (Clippers) and Bryant in the backcourt and Blake Griffin (Clippers), Kevin Durant (Thunders) and Howard in the frontcourt.
The Eastern Conference will counter with Dwayne Wade (Heat) and Rajon Rondo (Celtics) in the backcourt and LeBron James (Heat), Carmelo Anthony (Knicks) and Kevin Garnett (Celtics) in the frontcourt.