Blog Entry

All-Star Starters (UPDATE)

Posted on: January 21, 2010 11:39 am
Edited on: January 21, 2010 7:48 pm
Embarrassment averted.

The All-Star starters were revealed Thursday night on TNT before the nationally televised rematch of the Cavs' Christmas Day blowout of the Lakers.

Thankfully, Tracy McGrady wasn't one of them.

All hail Steve Nash, who passed T-Mac in the final weeks of voting and will start alongside Kobe Bryant in the Western Conference backcourt in the Feb. 14 All-Star Game in Dallas. McGrady, who has played all of six games this season, won't be faced with the inglorious decision of having to decline an invitation he didn't deserve.

In another fan-voting quirk that was less controversial than a T-Mac starting nod would've been, Allen Iverson will start alongside Dwyane Wade in the Eastern Conference backcourt. The other East starters: Dwight Howard, LeBron James, and Kevin Garnett (assuming he's healthy).

Joining Kobe and Nash on the West's starting five: Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire, and Tim Duncan, who passed Dirk Nowitzki in the final three weeks of voting.

"No Dirk as a starter?" Mavs owner Mark Cuban tweeted. "Time to change the rules for voting."

McGrady carried a 2,375-vote lead over Nash into the final three weeks of balloting, which was conducted by fans via paper, online, and wireless voting. If Nash hadn't passed McGrady, the right thing for T-Mac to do would've been politely decline.

It wouldn't have cost him a dime, either. A source with knowledge of the situation said McGrady has no All-Star bonus clauses in his contract, which pays him a league-high $23 million this season.

It's better for everyone this way. McGrady is trying to come back from microfracture surgery. More to the point, he would benefit immensely if the Rockets were somehow able to trade him before the Feb. 18 trade deadline. McGrady didn't need to risk his health or his already suffering reputation by trying to dust himself off for a few meaningless All-Star minutes.

I don't have a problem with Iverson starting; he's been a fan favorite his entire career, certainly deserves it based on his body of work, and -- this is important -- is actually suiting up for the Sixers, albeit at a remarkably reduced rate of effectiveness.

In spite of Nash's fortunate comeback, I agree with Boston's Ray Allen and would be in favor of tweaking the voting system to divide the say-so among fans, media members, and players. The players, more than anybody else, know who's deserving and who isn't. The coaches should retain their ability to select the reserves. 

On one hand, you don't want to take away the fans' investment in the game, which after all is at least partly -- or mostly -- for their entertainment. But the All-Star Game badly needs a dose of legitimacy. Gone are the days when Michael Jordan or Dominique Wilkins could dominate All-Star weekend with their exploits in the dunk contest. That exercise long ago became a farce, and once again none of the marquee stars will participate this year.

So instead of complaining, I offer a solution. Not the only solution, but a start. Instead of voting by position, the fans vote for any 10 players they want from each conference. The players do the same. Their votes are weighted equally, and the top eight in each conference make the team. All 30 coaches vote to determine the 10 starters. The East coach and West coach fill out the roster with four reserves each.

The media? I'm not sure whom to count as media anymore, so let's leave us out of it. We'll just write about what happens.

Perfect? No. Somebody will get snubbed; they always do. But it's better than people constantly texting the word McGrady until they almost succeed in making a mockery of what is supposed to be a serious honor.

If there are any better ideas out there, you know what to do.


Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: January 21, 2010 11:33 pm

All-Star Starters (UPDATE)

Screw the fans. They're a bunch of morons, and should be ignored. They'll cheer for whoever the NBA trots out as all-stars.

Adopt the NFL model: vote split evenly three ways between fans, coaches, and players.

Since: Jan 8, 2007
Posted on: January 21, 2010 10:22 pm

All-Star Starters (UPDATE)

Despite the fact that many fans are not all that basketball savvy, letting anyone but the fans decide who plays in the All-Star Game is ignorant at best.  This meaningless, defense-less game is for the fans; so they should pick who they want to see.  Why even bother assembling the greatest players in the league if they're not going to play hard in the All-Star game, anyway?  It might as well be comprised of the popular (and even washed-up) players who are big ratings draws.  Now, letting the fans decide stuff like MVP awards, etc... would be a complete miscarriage of justice.  Let the experts select the All-NBA team at the end of the season, and give the fans this one ridiculous exhibition game.   

Since: Oct 30, 2006
Posted on: January 21, 2010 10:18 pm

All-Star Starters (UPDATE)

I voted thusly The player who has fathered the most children with different women. The player who has the most percentage of skin covered by tatoos. The player who has the shiniest firearms. The player who has the scariest posse. Finally the player who has lost the most money gambling with teammates

Since: Apr 2, 2009
Posted on: January 21, 2010 10:02 pm

Ken Berger shutup!!!

It's who the fans want to see, not who you want to see. Not saying McGrady deserves it but fans obviously want to see him play otherwise he wouldn't have been voted for. I'm sick hearing this guy cry about the dang all star game, my gosh it doesn't even count towards anything it's just for fun. Plus nobody really tries they just goof around to put on a show for the fans. Ken Berger go pout elsewhere over nothing. Congrats to Steve Nash for making the team, he certainly has been playing well this season.

Since: Dec 14, 2009
Posted on: January 21, 2010 9:57 pm

All-Star Starters (UPDATE)

These same dumb fans did vote in a guy that didn't deserve to go in Iverson and a guy that did not deserve to start in KG, and a guy who has not played much in T-Mac...what does that say about the me it says the majority do not know anything about the game, and do they even follow the league if this crap is happening,no.  It may be what the public wants but it shows how stupid the public is.

Since: Dec 9, 2009
Posted on: January 21, 2010 9:49 pm

All-Star Starters (UPDATE)

Iverson as a Starter for the East in the All Star game. What Bleepin Joke !

Since: Aug 3, 2007
Posted on: January 21, 2010 9:26 pm

All-Star Starters (UPDATE)

Taking the fans out of the vote, or diminishing them, isn't a good idea because it is fans' game. Sports is, after all, entertainment.  A much better solution is to establish eligibility requirements. In order to play in the game, a player must have played a certain percentage of minutes in a certain percentage of games for his team (or teams -- all-stars can be traded, too).

Since: Mar 5, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2010 7:35 pm

All-Star Starters (UPDATE)

 - The problem with your argument that he is diminishing the fans, is that the Tracy McGrady vote isn't being made by the AMERICAN fans that buy the season tickets and buy the concessions.  Because the vote is opened up on-line to foreign countries, it is the Chinese with their billions of people that are controlling that vote.  They are simply following the Rockets because of Yao Ming and voting for the other star player on that team.  They aren't watching enough of the other teams to know how to vote sensibly.  So yes, they may be buying a few jersey's, but they aren't providing a lot of the other revenue.  Letting coaches and players have a say will probably bring it back into line with what the American fans would want to see anyway.  To be honest with you, I am ok with having the Chinese vote diminished, IF their vote is going to be based simply on voting for players on the team that Yao Ming is on.

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2010 7:31 pm

All-Star Starters (UPDATE)

Fans dimish themselves when they vote guys who a) have played only six games or b) retired earlier this year only to find his way back to league as soon as the Sixers came calling (probably more to sell tickets, rather than improving their actual team.) 

Fans do make the sports world go 'round financially, but don't complain when someone writes an article pointing out fans' stupid voting habits.  It's clearly ridiculous to vote for McGrady or Iverson this year. 

Since: Dec 9, 2009
Posted on: January 21, 2010 7:18 pm

All-Star Starters (UPDATE)

Dating Star Jones and her oversized head??? Epic fail !

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