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.






Comments

Since: Sep 21, 2007
Posted on: January 21, 2010 2:12 pm
 

All-Star Starters

STUPID. Let's change the name of the game then to the Wanna-be stars game.

I




Since: Dec 27, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2010 2:10 pm
 

All-Star Starters

Who Cares? All Star games are all about the fans anyways. They have no bearing on the season itself, unless you are talking about baseball. I say let the fans vote in whoever they want. Hell, Magic got to start in an all star game after he was retired.



Since: Sep 21, 2007
Posted on: January 21, 2010 2:10 pm
 

All-Star Starters

You are just as big of idiot as the 50,000 chinese people that voted for Yau Ming this year.




Since: Oct 6, 2006
Posted on: January 21, 2010 2:03 pm
 

All-Star Starters

I would think any Rockets fan would vote for T-Mac, even if he has been injured practically all season.  Don't forget about all the fans over in China.  Basketball is huge over there and we all know how large a population that country holds.  The Rockets have been a popular team over there because of one player, Yao Ming. 
Anyway, I blame the voting system.  There are not that many fans out there who will give credit to where credit is due because they're too focused on being 'homers' therefore voting for their favorite players (from their favorite team).  I hope that fan voting is abolished someday.  It's total crap to hear about some players 'who have been all-star seletions for many-odd-years or so' when it was the fan vote that determinded it.  All-Star games have become popularity contests.



Since: Oct 24, 2006
Posted on: January 21, 2010 1:59 pm
 

All-Star Starters

The all-star game is about who the fans want to see, not about who's had the best half-season so far.  What's wrong with that?  The problem is that some people feel that players who are having great years somehow "deserve" to be all-star starters.  Choosing the all-star game starting lineup is reserved for the fans so they can see who they want to see. That's the beginning and the end of it, and that's why they have the game in the first place.  The all star reserves are for "deserving" players chosen by the coaches, and the end of the year awards are reserved for "deserving" players as chosen by the media.  Let the fans choose who they want for the all-star game.



Since: Jun 8, 2007
Posted on: January 21, 2010 1:41 pm
 

All-Star Starters

Kobe and Wade are starters? Damn the fans can never get it right!



Since: Nov 13, 2009
Posted on: January 21, 2010 1:30 pm
 

All-Star Starters

Why are these fans even thinking of t mac? Steve Nash is putting up close to MVP numbers and hes not starting over a guy that has about 20 points that last 2 years? t mac sucks, hes not good no more. He is just a big name now and thats why people want him, he better decline it!



Since: Oct 13, 2006
Posted on: January 21, 2010 1:30 pm
 

All-Star Starters

The "FFans" turn out to be radio and TV induced ballot stuffers. Let the writers and players select..



Since: Aug 31, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2010 1:26 pm
 

All-Star Starters

Biggest problem with fan voting is that they allow fans to vote as many times as they want to. They should make you put in an email address or something and only allow you to vote once per email address instead of being able to "stuff the ballot box". Just my opinion, but there is no way Tracy McGrady should be able to play in an all-star game when he's not even playing on his own team.



Since: Mar 14, 2007
Posted on: January 21, 2010 1:11 pm
 

All-Star Starters

I don't think he's belittling fans.  I happen to agree with him.  Fans do vote stupidly.  Really?  Tracy McGrady?  Allen Iverson?  This is the ALL STAR game, not the legends of who's popular.  These are the players, up to this point of the season, have excelled for themselves and their team. 
And you missed one thing, blackngold66, fans don't own teams, don't make player/personel decisions, and don't have to be politically correct when talking about a player who is underachieving. 
Berger has it correct when saying the voting has to be changed.  Coaches and players need to participate to offset the assinine fans.
Tracy McGrady?  Really?


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com