Barkley believes Domantas Sabonis deserved All-Star starter nod over Zion Williamson

Jan 27, 2023, 12:55 PM
Zion Williamson #1 talks with Willy Hernangomez #9 of the New Orleans Pelicans while on the bench d...
CLEVELAND, OHIO - JANUARY 16: Zion Williamson #1 talks with Willy Hernangomez #9 of the New Orleans Pelicans while on the bench during the third quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on January 16, 2023 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Pelicans 113-110. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Zion Williamson has missed nearly 20 games this season, but apparently, those 30 games he did play were enough to get him into the NBA All-Star game as a starter.

After the All-Star games starters were announced on TNT Thursday, Charles Barkley, NBA legend and current analyst on Inside the NBA, did not agree with the pick. Host Adam Lefkoe broke down the results, saying Williamson got third place in player voting, third in fan voting was Lakers’ center Anthony Davis and third in media voting was Kings‘ center Sabonis.

Williamson was named a starter because of where he ended in the fan (fourth) and media (fourth) voting tallies.

NBA All-Star voting opened on Dec. 20, and ended on Jan. 21. Fans account for 50% of the total votes, with current players and media accounting for 25% each. One ballot consists of three frontcourt players and two guards from each conference.

“I hope he [Williamson] doesn’t take this the wrong way, but he’s missed too many games in my opinion,” Barkley said after the announcement. “I would’ve went with Sabonis or [Utah Jazz forward Lauri] Markkanen, that’s just my personal preference. I don’t think you can miss 20 games in the first half of the season, I just don’t think that’s fair.”


In those 30 games, Zion Williamson has averaged 26 points, 7 rebounds and 4.6 assists.

Sacramento Kings center Domantas Sabonis, on the other hand, has played 45 games, turning in six triple-doubles while averaging 18.4 points, 12.4 rebounds (leads NBA), and 7.3 assists (career-high) per game this season.

The other starters coming out of the Western Conference include Steph Curry, LeBron James, Nikola Jokić and Luka Dončić. Both Sabonis and Kings’ guard De’Aaron Fox both still have a chance of making the All-Star game roster as reserves. Inside the NBA will reveal the reserves on Thursday, Feb. 2.

As of Friday, Jan. 27, the Kings sit third in the Western Conference with a 27-20 record.



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Barkley believes Domantas Sabonis deserved All-Star starter nod over Zion Williamson