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 25, 2006
Posted on: January 21, 2010 7:01 pm

All-Star Starters (UPDATE)

Yea the fans who vote for McGrady and Iverson, are the same one's who put stupid post as blackngold66 up on a Sports web-site when they should just keep their mouth shut.

Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: January 21, 2010 5:47 pm

All-Star Starters

I don't agree with that at all.  The All Star game is supposed to show off the best talent in the league to the fans and financial supporters (advertisers, sponsers).  The problem is that a bunch of people who aren't fans get to vote.  You can't be a fan of the sport and vote in a guy based on his personality or hair.  Some fans are fans of their team and not the sport! 

I think that maybe next year some fans should get together like in hockey and start a campaign to vote in a guy who is a career bench player.  In hockey they had to stop the results to keep a guy out to show how flawed letting people who obviously don't love the sport vote.  Strange that this year we don't have the China effect (like last year) where guys from China had huge totals beyond their talent.

Since: Jul 15, 2009
Posted on: January 21, 2010 5:25 pm

All-Star Starters

I feel bad for the guys who are trying to make a name for themselves in the NBA. Deron Williams might be the best point guard in the NBA, but a lot of people still don't know who he is. They need to have fans input, but I think players and coaches should vote and their vote is weighted more highly. Because who knows the game better then them. They know who deserves to get in and who doesn't. No disrespect to t-mac, but clearly he isn't one of the leagues best right now.

Since: Jan 24, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2010 5:21 pm

All-Star Starters

You're right Kobe is awful, I think they should ask Steve Kerr to take his spot I mean Kobe's TO's are high, his FG% isn't terrific either, he is so avg in every way! As for D. Wade he was once dating Star Jones which in itself warrents him to never be seen in public. 

Since: Jan 24, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2010 5:17 pm

All-Star Starters

I strongly agree that he should deny the spot if he gets into this game, but let's face facts getting into that All Star game is too beneficial for him to pass up, it would be a nationally televised game where he can show that he can still play that way Houston can finalize a trade for him, so while most of us woudl all agree that he shoudl pass it up he would be stupid to when there are potentially millions of dollars on the line for him. Unfortunately greed will always previal over a morally right decision. If he turns it down I would respect the heck out of Tmac.

Since: Sep 22, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2010 5:17 pm

All-Star Starters

no the fans dont deserve to vote for the starters for exactly this reason....i agree we pay thier salaries and whatnot and we make sports what it is but come on...great players get snubbed every year because idiot fans vote in unworthy fans in new york and boston every year vote for mets and yankees and red sox that dont deserve form philly and i tihk the idea of iverson starting is a joke i love the guy but hes taking a spot from another worthy guard...

Since: Feb 2, 2009
Posted on: January 21, 2010 4:56 pm

All-Star Starters

Be a team player? Not in T-Mac's character. In fact, I am pretty sure that his unwillingness to play less minutes in a more reserve type role is why the Rockets aren't playing him so I wouldn't expect THAT to happen.

But even outside of that, McGrady has EVERY reason to go ahead and accept this offer to play in the All-Star Game. While it isn't exactly heavy on defense the All-Star Game hosts the best players in the league and has the attention of every manager and coach. McGrady is TRYING to get traded and the Rockets are not playing him in the mean time. So, if you are a player who's team is trying to trade you and not playing you what other venue is there for you to make a case for yourself? I can't think of a single one.

I am  a Rocket fan, but I am NOT a T-Mac fan so I didn't/wouldn't vote for him, and would encourage all fans not to vote for him either, but to think that he should give up his spot if he gets it is just plain silly.

Since: Jan 8, 2010
Posted on: January 21, 2010 4:27 pm

All-Star Starters

Fans may pay for everything, but as far as making intelligent choices go, the more fans you involve, the more stupidity occurs.  That's just how it works.

I'd rather have coaches and players have a small say in the voting process than have 12- and 13-year-olds voting en masse for players because they like the players' jerseys or "think they're cool." 

In large part, it is the coaches and players, and not fans, who are the ones who know which of their colleagues really understand their team's offensive and defensive schemes; they know which players make real contributions to improving their team in the locker room and during practice, and they know which players have improved their skill sets from one year to the next. 

Fans mostly just care about entertainment.

So if you want to make the vote about popularity, then re-name the all-star game.  Myself, I'd like to keep the most skillful players in the game.

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: January 21, 2010 4:27 pm

All-Star Starters

Guys I"ve been arguing with a guy on here for days that says i'm the foolish one cause I think its crazy for McGrady to be starting. WTF are people thinking and it takes a spot from someone much more deserving. There is a reason basketball isn't what it used to be and things like this are the reason.

Since: Oct 9, 2007
Posted on: January 21, 2010 3:56 pm

All-Star Starters

For a compromise, why don't they implement a system where the players and coaches vote for a handful of deserving players for each position and then let the fans vote from that pool.  That still gives the fans a final say while eliminating votes based solely on name-basis or homerism.  Whoever started the comments with that rant about fans' perogatives obviously forgets that many contracts have all-star clauses, as well as the fact that things like all-star appearances get used as a yardstick measuring someone's career down the line.  Why penalize current stars financially and accolade-wise because
too many "fans" can't recognize a name other than McGrady's.

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