Are we half way through the season already? Is that possible? Damn, this one flew by. The bad news is that I’m now giving a Detroit-San Antonio Finals rematch a 95% chance of happening. Maybe that’s too conservative? Injuries could destroy the whole thing, but for now we’ll ignore that. In the East, there’s nobody close. Miami? No. Out West, Dallas is having another monster regular season. Somehow the Mavs record is just as good as the Spurs, but come on now. If Amare comes back and he dominates T Robot in the playoffs again, then maybe Phoenix has an outside chance, but not really. It’s Detroit-San Antonio. Deal with it.

I know they don’t pick 30 NBA All-Stars, even though the league’s expanded (and expanded and expanded and stays expanding). But, I guess the whole thing about the All-Star Game is that NBA teams usually have 12 active players, so we’re stuck with 24 players and a six pack of snubs.

This is the Dirty 30. I’ll give you my 24 All-Stars, plus 6 more. Fan voting means nothing to me here. (Read: Yao, no.) I’m putting players out of position, just because I feel like it. Why not, it’s the ASG. This violates the sanctity of the ballot and the NBA’s precious rules of who can play. I don’t care. Your standard 12 man teams:

WEST
G
Steve Nash
G
Kobe Bryant
F
Tracy McGrady
F
Dirk Nowitzki
C
Tim Duncan

F Carmelo Anthony
F
Elton Brand
F
Kevin Garnett
F
Shawn Marion
G
Mike Bibby
C
Pau Gasol
G
Tony Parker

EAST
G
Allen Iverson
G
Chauncey Billups
F
Dwyane Wade (6’4”, whatever. He’s gotta start.)
F
LeBron James (He’ll be a point-power forward soon enough)
C
Shaq (respect)

F Rasheed Wallace
G
Gilbert Arenas
G
Jason Kidd
G
Vince Carter
G
Michael Redd
F
Chris Bosh
C
Dwight Howard

And now those who would be snubbed if not for a Dirty rescue.

WEST
G
Baron Davis
G
Chris Paul
G
Ray Allen

EAST
G
Paul Pierce
G
Richard Hamilton
C
Ben Wallace (Nice numbers Joe Johnson, Antawn Jamison. But these Pistons really have 4 All-Stars)

That’s 30 All Stars. The way it should be. Okay, we still need the “Inactive List.”

F Jermaine O’Neal
C
Marcus Camby (if he’s playing now, he’ll get hurt again)
C
Amare Stoudemire (Even with 0 games played. Like a young Jose Canseco)

And, the all-important super bonus All-Star:

F Ron Artest!

There you have it. How the 2006 All-Stars should be. Even with 30 plus selections, I know there’s someone out there that’s going to say I missed one, added the wrong player, or they just don’t feel how I’m blowing off the whole rigidly defined positions thing. You can email here.

-SAM RUBENSTEIN