Jimmy Butler fell just short of the Eastern Conference's final frontcourt starting spot for next month's All-Star Game in Chicago.
A day after the results were announced, Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra called the exclusion of his star player "a joke" and criticized the need for positions in the voting process.
"I just think it's ridiculous that we're still in these antiquated positions," Spoelstra told reporters prior to Friday's contest against the Los Angeles Clippers, according to ESPN's Nick Friedell. "So who's to say what position Jimmy is? Does it matter? I put him No. 2 on my (lineup) card.
"So I go Kendrick Nunn, Jimmy Butler, Duncan Robinson, I go Bam (Adebayo) and then Meyers (Leonard). But you could flip any one of those guys around. And in many ways, he's our point guard. So should he be in the All-Star Game as a point guard? I don't know."
Starters are selected based on aggregate balloting, combining fan votes (50%), media votes (25%), and NBA player choices (25%). Two guards and three forwards make up the starters for each conference.
Butler finished fourth in the East in fan voting, sixth among his peers, and third in the media vote. His weighted score of 4.25 was fourth behind Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, and Pascal Siakam.
Clippers head coach Doc Rivers backed Spoelstra's call for change.
"I guess I called (Ivica Zubac) a center, but other than that, there is no positions, and that's the way the game should be played anyway, in my opinion," Rivers said. "Fours, threes, twos, ones, and just call them players. I don't call them guards or forwards anymore. We just put them in spots.
"And the more guys that you can get to do multiple things, the better your team is. I think that's where the skill has gone in this league, and I think that's a good sign for the league."