Josh Howard's not trying to say the NBA All-Star selection process is political, but uh, actually that's exactly what he's saying:
As we've noted earlier, Smith certainly put up All-Star like numbers (15.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.5 steals and two blocks per game for 17-9 Atlanta, a club relevant in the playoff race this season). Peachtree Hoops blogger Kris Willis speculates Smith's problems on the All-Star campaign trail start with NBA coaches - not player or fans:
Smith is likely to be a player branded for the things he doesn't do right rather than the things he does. The parts of his game that are right are enough to get him into this discussion, to place him fourth among Eastern power forwards this season, but coaches will likely always see the bad in Smith's game and choose to punish him or at best not reward him. It's not enough that Smith is at the level he is -- to get their vote, he must realize all he possibly could be.