One of the biggest stories to emerge from the 2018 NBA All-Star game is the non-selection of Ben Simmons. Big Ben’s absence is a bit of a sore point in our office. Apart from being one of the best rookies to lace up a shoe since LeBron stepped on the court, Ben is Aussie basketball royalty. His Dad played for the Melbourne Tigers with the likes of another winner Andy Gaze. Ben Simmons missing out is one of the great selection conspiracy stories of this year’s ASG. Even Aussie politicians were up in arms! We’ve done some digging into some of the bigger conspiracy theories in sport.
BEN SIMMONS – 2018 NBA All-Star Game
There’s no bigger controversy in 2018 than the non-selection of Aussie Ben Simmons. We’re simply not saying that because he’s an Aussie! The numbers don’t lie, Simmons is a triple-double machine. The Aussie’s numbers have put him on par with the likes of Magic Johnson. Goran Dragic, the man that took ‘Ben’s spot’ will dispute this. Considering the feats of Ben Simmons to date you have to wonder why he hasn’t been included in the NBA’s showcase event.
Consider the form of the Utah Jazz right now, where would they be without Joe Ingles? He may look may not look like an NBA superstar by Joe Ingles is one of the best three-point shooters in the league. Another Aussie that has missed out on an invite to the NBA’s 3-point competition this weekend.
CRAIG STEVENS & IAN THORPE
A slice of fate saw one of your Australia’s favourite sons Ian Thorpe disqualified from Olympic selection in the 400m. At the selection trials for the Athens Olympic Games, Thorpe over-balanced on the starting block and fell into the pool. Thorpe’s disqualification heaped a huge amount of pressure on Craig Stevens, the man who qualified in his place. Stevens caved to the pressure and stepped aside for Thorpe to go onto Athens.
A two-time Olympic gold medallist, Diamond was looking for the hat-trick at the Rio Games. Diamond slipped up with the law and was charged with drunk-driving and was stripped of his gun license in court. The AOC took a dim view of the boys will be boys defence and Diamond missed the plane to Rio.
Brad Hodge is one of the guys who never got a fair go at the highest levels of Australian cricket. Hodge hit a double century in 2005 and would only go on to play six Tests. A talented batsman, Hodge simply was unlucky to play in Australia’s most successful era of cricket.
A tough as nails opener, Kat played Test cricket when Ponting was on the way out of the team and Clarke’s star was on the rise. The Kat grabbed Clarke by the throat in change-room bust-up over the team song. Katich fell out of favour with the Aussie selectors. You can’t blame Kat for this one, we’ve all wanted to do the same thing after listening to Clarke’s commentary this summer.
The English version of Shane Warne, Pietersen had his fair share of moments with England captains. He copped the blame for the 2013 Ashes disaster and never played for the three lions again. Never mind the fact Mitchell Johnson was trying to kill people with a cricket ball, it was all your fault KP!
Wanting to prove that his first series win wasn’t a fluke, Kevin Walters decided to omit Billy Slater from his plans in his second series. The State of Origin coach left out Billy Slater for the 2017 series opener. Even AFL fans could see Slater deserved to be in the 2017 team. After being hammered in the opener, Billy was welcomed back for Game Two and the Maroons went on to win the series.
This will be an awkward England team reunion one day. John Terry and Wayne Bridge were Chelsea and England team-mates. Before the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, it emerged that Terry had an affair with Bridge’s ex-girlfriend. Bridge fell out of England consideration shortly after and the two defenders are still not speaking terms to this day.
If you don’t know who he is that’s okay. Australia does have another male tennis player that is not Nick Kyrgios. According to Tomic, he is no longer in the Australian Davis Cup team because everyone at Tennis Australia is out to get him.