NBA All-Star Roster 2013: LeBron James' Idea to Expand Teams Is Spot-on

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIJanuary 25, 2013

ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat and the Eastern Conference looks on during the 2012 NBA All-Star Game at the Amway Center on February 26, 2012 in Orlando, Florida.  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 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

With all the star power in today's NBA, there simply isn't enough room on a 12-man All-Star roster to include every impact player that deserves to play in pro basketball's ultimate showcase of talent.

That is in large part why Miami Heat forward LeBron James is absolutely correct in asserting that the rosters should be expanded to accommodate more players.

James felt compelled to project his idea on Twitter after seeing some players he felt deserved distinctions become snubbed out of a spot in Houston:

Always believe there should be 15 on both rosters so there's no snubs. #East- B.Jennings, J Smooth, PP #West- S.Curry, J.Crawford, M.Gasol

— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 25, 2013

If James has indeed always believed this, it's kind of a shame that he waited this long to publicly say something about it.

The All-Star Game is a celebrated event that gives players who may not be on the best of teams a chance to display just how good they really are. If players from all the great teams in the league are the exclusively featured mainstays year after year, it dilutes the interest of fans that don't root for consistent winners.

Sure, sometimes great players on putrid squads find their way onto the roster—like this year, with Cleveland Cavaliers star point guard Kyrie Irving—but the cost of that is typically bumping a deserving player out who may be a prominent contributor to a strong team.

James wanted to see Atlanta Hawks scorer Josh Smith on the squad, but Irving got the nod instead.

You see, it is a double-edged sword. So why can't fans have both?

Coaches vote for the remaining reserve players, while fans only get to vote for starters. It may sound silly, but coaches are busy with their own teams and likely don't have time to survey the entire league to pick the best option for All-Star Game reserves.

Yet it's hard to go wrong with so many great players, and who is anyone to question the ability of these coaches to evaluate basketball talent?

The bottom line is that struggling teams or even moderately successful smaller-market franchises simply don't have as good of a chance at garnering widespread recognition.

Just look at this year's starting lineup for the Western Conference: four of the five players are from Los Angeles.

It makes perfect sense for the league to add more players because it enhances the marketability of the NBA as a whole. Having too many good players isn't a problem and this just so happens to be a time period in the NBA when the talent level is incredible.

More otherwise indifferent fans would tune in to more games featuring lackluster squads if there were a can't-miss player to check out. That is what drives interest in basketball and the league should capitalize on the capitalistic opportunities that expanding an All-Star roster could lead to.

Creating more dream combinations between the league's dominant players to strut the depth of the NBA as a whole is a win-win for everyone involved.

Below are the complete rosters (per ESPN via the Associated Press) for the 2013 All-Star Game, which will take place on Feb. 17 in the Toyota Center in Houston, Tx.

Eastern Conference Roster (* = starter)

Position Player Team
F Carmelo Anthony* New York Knicks
F/C Chris Bosh Miami Heat
C Tyson Chandler New York Knicks
SF Luol Deng Chicago Bulls
C Kevin Garnett* Boston Celtics
SF Paul George Indiana Pacers
Jrue Holiday
Philadelphia 76ers
PG Kyrie Irving Cleveland Cavaliers
F LeBron James* Miami Heat
C Joakim Noah Chicago Bulls
PG Rajon Rondo* Boston Celtics
SG Dwyane Wade* Miami Heat

Western Conference Roster (* = starter) 

Position Player Team
PF/C LaMarcus Aldridge Portland Trail Blazers
SG Kobe Bryant* Los Angeles Lakers
PF Tim Duncan San Antonio Spurs
SF Kevin Durant* Oklahoma City Thunder
PF Blake Griffin* Los Angeles Clippers
SG James Harden Houston Rockets
C Dwight Howard* Los Angeles Lakers
PF David Lee Golden State Warriors
PG Tony Parker San Antonio Spurs
PG Chris Paul* Los Angeles Clippers
PF Zach Randolph Memphis Grizzlies
PG Russell Westbrook Oklahoma City Thunder


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