It is no secret that Wesley Matthews has been very impressive as of late. Unfortunately, his play was not enough to get him selected to rookie roster of the Rookie Challenge; a game that takes place between rookies and sophomores during All-Star Weekend.
Although I think that Matthews does deserve to be a part of the rookie roster, I think it may be beneficial for him that he isn’t.
First of all, there is always the possibility of getting hurt. In games like these, players tend to play very differently than a regular season game. Because of that, sometimes players will do crazy things just to wow the crowd, and they have less regard for their bodies. And also because the players in this game are so young, they fear injuries less (They have the whole “I am invincible” mindset).
Another benefit for Matthews is that he gets some quality rest time. Even though this game takes place on a Friday night, being involved in this game does shorten your break. And isn’t that what it’s supposed to be? The All-Star break? Plus, because he does not have any ties to All-Star Weekend, Matthews can have some time to himself. Believe it or not, that is very important for an athlete who has to travel all of the time and basically becomes restless. The break is key to recharging your battery and giving yourself the best chance to have a strong second half of the season.
Finally, Matthews’ exclusion from the rookie roster can actually fuel him to play harder. Don’t you remember what happened when Michael Jordan got left off of his high school basketball team? Oh, that’s right. He became one of the best NBA players of all-time. Now, I don’t expect this to have quite the same effect on Matthews, but it is possible that it can make him work harder, practice harder, and play harder. Not that his play is sub-par at this point, but it can’t hurt to improve.
So yes, Wesley Matthews can feel bad about his exclusion from the Rookie Challenge, or he can use it as motivation to improve his already fantastic play. Hopefully, Matthews will choose the latter.
Wesley Matthews on rookie game snub: “I didn’t get drafted, either. How disappointed can I really be?” (Via Ross Siler of the Salt Lake Tribune)