The rosters for next month's NBA All-Star Game were filled out Thursday night, and there were no Utah Jazz players selected despite a 29-23 record in the Western Conference.
The omission of center Rudy Gobert, the league's reigning Defensive Player of the Year, left coach Quin Snyder especially astounded.
"Rudy Gobert should absolutely be an All-Star," Snyder told ESPN. "He's one of the most impactful players in the league. This is clear, not subjective, and shows the the process of selecting All-Stars is flawed. We talk about defense being valued, but when we have an opportunity to reward it, we reward scoring again and again. Rudy is the best defensive player in the league and an offensive force when you consider his screening, his finishing and the spacing he creates with his presence."
Gobert's value to the Jazz has been evident in the numbers alone.
The 7-footer leads the NBA in win shares (8.9) and field goal percentage (.650) while averaging 15 points and 12.8 rebounds. He also has an NBA-best 6.1 screen assists per game, according to NBA.com tracking data.
The Jazz coaching staff unofficially credits Gobert with several "screening assists" per game, recognizing when his threat creates an open 3-pointer or layup for a teammate.
And the team's defensive rating (points per 100 possessions) is 101.8 with Gobert on the floor, 7.7 points under the league average. The only players in the NBA with an offensive rating that high above the league average are Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant.
Jazz president Steve Starks took to Twitter earlier Thursday night to voice his displeasure about Gobert's omission.
Rudy deserved to be named an All-Star. Complete non-sense and we need more integrity and accountability. If the coaches vote than their ballots should be made public.— Steve Starks (@StevenStarks) February 1, 2019
Per ESPN's Bobby Marks, Gobert also will miss out on a $1 million bonus for not being selected to the All-Star Game. He will not receive the bonus if selected as a replacement player.
The 14 All-Star reserves were announced Thursday night, as chosen by head coaches in their respective conferences. Making it from the Western Conference were Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis, Nikola Jokic, Damian Lillard, Klay Thompson, LaMarcus Aldridge and Karl-Anthony Towns. LeBron James, Durant, Curry, James Harden and Paul George were previously announced as starters.
The Jazz have the best record in the league among teams with no All-Stars. Utah teammate Donovan Mitchell also didn't make it despite a strong January.
The All-Star Game is Feb. 17 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Teams will be selected via a draft by Giannis Antetokounmpo and James, who were the leading vote-getters in their respective conferences. The All-Star draft is Feb. 7 and will be broadcast on TNT.