Friday, February 05, 2010

2010 NBA All-Stars: Where They From?

Hello, folks, it's All-Star time, so as we did last year, we wanted to do some quick, simple analysis on the backgrounds of this year's All-Stars - where they came from, how much college ball they played, when they were drafted, how they got to their current teams. Here we go:

Dwyane WadeChicago, IL35Draft
Allen IversonHampton, VA21FA
Dwight HowardAtlanta, GA01Draft
LeBron JamesAkron, OH01Draft
Kevin GarnettMauldin, SC05Trade
Paul PierceInglewood, CA (L.A.)310Draft
Chris BoshDallas, TX14Draft
Joe JohnsonLittle Rock, AR210RFA/Trade
Derrick RoseChicago, IL11Draft
Rajon RondoLouisville, KY224Draft/Trade
Gerald WallaceChildersburg, AL125Exp. Draft
Al HorfordPuerto Plata, DR33Draft
David LeeSt. Louis, MO430Draft

Steve NashVictoria, BC415FA
Kobe BryantL. Merion, PA (Philly)013Draft/Trade
Tim DuncanSt. Croix, US V.I.41Draft
Amar'e StoudemireOrlando, FL09Draft
Carmelo AnthonyBaltimore, MD13Draft
Dirk NowitzkiWurzburg, Germany09Draft
Pau GasolBarcelona, Spain03Trade
Chauncey BillupsDenver, CO23Trade
Deron WilliamsThe Colony, TX (Dallas)33Draft
Brandon RoySeattle, WA46Draft
Kevin DurantRockville, MD (DC)12Draft
Zach RandolphMarion, IN119Trade
Chris PaulWinston-Salem, NC24Draft
Jason KiddOakland, CA22Trade
Chris KamanGrand Rapids, MI36Draft

Let's also include the following players as "Near All-Stars" - these are guys who were selected as All-Stars by some of our preferred analysts, such as John Hollinger, Kelly Dwyer, and Kevin Pelton.

Note that the coaches really seemed to do a good job with their selections this year. Josh Smith was the only egregious snub, and it seems like a good possibility that he'll get a nod as an injury replacement one way or another. And if you take into account that Kaman and Lopez were only selected because the rules require a center be chosen, there really wasn't much quibbling this year:

Josh SmithAtlanta, GA
David LeeSt. Louis, MO
Andre IguodalaSpringfield, IL
Brook LopezFresno, CA
Chris KamanGrand Rapids, MI

[Feb. 11 Note: Kaman and Lee have been upgraded from near All-Star to All-Star.]

First, we plotted all of these guys onto a Google map to quickly examine the question: Where do the best basketball players in the world come from? (All-Stars in blue, "near All-Stars" in red - click + and - for different views)

View 2010 NBA All-Stars - Where They're From in a larger map

A few thoughts on this year's geography:
- The metropolitan areas which win the award for multiple All-Stars this year are the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex (Chris Bosh and Deron Williams) and the Chicagoland area (Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose), thanks to first-time appearances for PGs D-Will and D-Rose.

Atlanta could be joining them soon if Josh Smith gets a replacement call-up nod. This would earn a special citation for the ATLiens because of the legendary Atlanta Celtics AAU team a few years ago which featured *both* Howard and Smith, as well as Javaris Crittenton and Randolph Morris. Two NBA All-Stars would help their case to be regarded as the best AAU team ever assembled.

- We discussed the topic "What Happened to the NYC Ballplayer?" at length in last year's post. Once again, there are zero New York-bred NBA All-Stars, and there hasn't been one since 2004.

- This season, the Deep South has seemed to fare disproportionately well once again, with the addition of Alabama kid Gerald Wallace. Also, it's a good year for the Midwest, with young PGs Rose and Rondo, and season surprise Zach Randolph, stepping up to join superstars LeBron and D-Wade on the All-Star stage.

- Hit "-" a few times to back the map out, and there's one of the interesting stories of the All-Star year: only two players (Dirk and Pau) from outside North America. Certainly, Yao's injury is a factor, but also, guys like Ginobili, Parker, and Nene have fallen off the list of All-Stars/near All-Stars from last year's map. Of course, this isn't definitive, as the two Spurs have been hampered by injury, and Nene has still played well (as has Marc Gasol and Aussie Andrew Bogut and others), but it still seems like you might want to hold your horses on a U.S. vs. the World All-Star game for just a bit....

- One last homer note from the 206: Seattle once again has produced an All-Star in Brandon Roy, but of greater note is that, with the call-up of Will Conroy to the Rockets, there are 13 NBA players who played high school ball in the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area. With a population of about 4 million, and considering there are 360 American players in the league, the probabilities are such that there should be about 4-5 area players in the NBA. Hey, throw me a bone, it's all we've got up here.

Couple other general thoughts on the backgrounds of this year's All-Stars:
- Once again, this should serve as a reminder that All-Stars are guys who were selected high in the draft almost as a rule, and they are guys who get acquired through the draft. Make those lottery picks count.

Steve Nash is really the only high-impact guy on the list who was acquired as a free agent - it'll be interesting to see if the events of this summer change that paradigm next year.

- Average college experience - East: 1.5, West: 1.7, Overall: 1.6 (down from last year's number of 1.8). [Note: as of Feb. 11, those numbers are now East: 1.7, West: 1.8, Overall: 1.75.] Once again, let's just note that the best players in the world these days do not play much college basketball, which is why the quality of play is so much lower than it was a generation ago.


At 2:37 PM, Blogger Steven said...

Completely agree about the dominance of the South, but Kentucky is NOT in the midwest, so add Rondo to the Southern arsenal, as well.

At 5:11 AM, Blogger Wade Garrett said...

What are the average-years-of-college-experience numbers for American-born players? Non-North American players are developed differently than American players and it would be difficult to argue that Dirk and Gasol's games are suffering from any lack of skill that they might have developed by playing 35 games a year in the ACC or SEC. Those players have, fairly or unfairly, had to overcome "soft" labels but its hard to say that playing in a big college in a strictly choreographed system like, say, Duke's or UCLA's would have helped them with that.

Having said that, I agree with your larger point, and do believe that, among the all-stars/near all-stars, Dwight Howard, Amare, Rondo and Rose would have come along a lot faster if they spent more time in college.

At 7:55 AM, Anonymous Drescher said...

How exactly could Rondo, Dwight, and Rose have 'come along faster' than they did?

I shouldn't even have to bring up the stats to prove my point in this one...

At 12:11 AM, Blogger sophomorecritic said...

i was a college geography major so i love this stuff. keep up the good work!

At 3:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And technically Steve Nash was drafted by the Suns! So you could make the argument again, make your draft picks count.

At 4:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, technically Kobe was acquired via trade - the Lakers traded away Vlade Divac to get him.

At 2:15 PM, Blogger M. Haubs said...

Nash was born in S.A. - we tried to go with where the players grew up/developed as young players, as best we could.

At 2:23 PM, Blogger M. Haubs said...

And to further that point, the toughest guy for us to pin down, so to speak, was Al Horford, who grew up in the Dominican Republic, but played his high-school ball in the Lansing, MI area.

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