In certain countries, there is the concept of separation between Church and State, but we know of none where there is a separation between sports and politics.
That includes Australia, where Australian Minister of Parliament Tim Watts has weighed in on the topic of Ben Simmons being snubbed for a spot on the 2018 NBA All Star Squad.
Watts was upset that Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic was not an adequate choice over Simmons.
The Minister actually got up in the government chamber and said, among other things, “no one with two brain cells to rub together would want Goran Dragic on their team over Ben (Simmons).”
Being on a first name basis with a high-ranking government official must be a high honour, indeed, but it is easy to think that Simmons would rather be on the All Star team than have a friend in the government.
Watts’ time might be better spent finding a way to overturn the draconian Interactive Gambling Act and bring Australia out of the 19th century and into the 21st.
Dragic, who if there were justice in the world, would be playing for the Orlando Magic, responded to Watts’ sledge thusly, “He said that in parliament?”
Dragic sort of echoed our thoughts, telling the South Florida Sun Sentinel, “First of all, he should think about his people and do his job in parliament, not get involved in sports. I don’t know what to say on that. This is not something that is decided by him.”
Actually, there are some who know that the more time Parliament spends on various frivolities, the less time they have to do any actual damage.
Objectively, Simmons’ statistics are superior to those of Dragic, which makes his omission tragic, but the NBA seldom selects rookies for the All Star game, having in the history of the All Star game picked only four rookies to get the start.
Hard to imagine, but not even Larry Bird got the nod as a rookie.