The voting process for NBA All-Star games is far from perfect, but usually fans get it right. This year, they struggled a bit.
If we’re handing out grades on how the fans did on voting for the starters in the 2014 All-Star Game on Feb. 16 in New Orleans, they should get a D for disappointing. Of the 10 starting spots the fans got six of them right: Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Paul George, Kevin Love, Steph Curry and Dwyane Wade. The other five . . . meh. At least the fans have stopped voting for Yao Ming.
The NBA officially announced the starters on TNT. The reserves will be announced on Jan. 30.
James and George deserve to start in the frontcourt for the Eastern Conference, but Carmelo Anthony does not. The Knicks are a train wreck so far, and Melo looks like he has one foot out of the door. The Indiana Pacers own the best record in the NBA and deserve to have two players in the starting lineup. Roy Hibbert is the logical choice here. The big man anchors the best defense in the league, and he could very well be the defensive player of the year.
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving joins Wade in the East starting backcourt. The next guy on the list is John Wall followed by Derrick Rose. Yes, the same Derrick Rose who has played in 10 games. To quote Sir Charles Barkley, “that’s just terrible!”
Irving is a spectacular player when he’s healthy, so this pick is not too bad. Is there someone deserving over Irving? Absolutely. The Washington Wizards are in the playoffs if the season ended today, and the biggest reason for the Wizards’ turnaround is Wall. He is averaging 20 points, and is fourth in the league in assists at 8.5.
If we could have a do-over, the starting lineup in the East should be: LeBron James, Paul George, Roy Hibbert, Dwyane Wade and John Wall.
The reserves should be: Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson, DeMar DeRozan, Kyrie Irving, Joakim Noah and Lance Stephenson.
If you think the fans blew it in the East, they did worse in the West.
Kobe Bryant, who has played in a whopping six games, got 988,884 votes. That’s the second-best total in the West behind only KDtrey5. Bryant is obviously touched by the fan support, but even he felt a little embarrassed by the selection. He even begged fans not to vote for him.
“Even though there’s so much respect that comes from me to be able to play for the fans, I’d much rather see the young guys go out there and play in the game,” Bryant told USA Today. “They’ve obviously put the work in to be there that weekend, so I’d much rather see them go in there and participate.”
Did the fans listen? No.
Voting for a future Hall-of-Famer like Kobe could be argued. But how do you explain Omer Asik getting more than 130,000 votes? Could we please close the polls in Turkey?
The player who should start in place of Kobe is James Harden. The Houston Rockets guard is fifth in the league in scoring at 24.3 and has firmly established himself as one of the 10 best players in the NBA. Too bad the fans are not paying attention. Harden’s Rockets teammate Jeremy Lin got more votes than him (628,818 to 470,381). Talk about lack of respect.
Speaking of lack of respect, what does Blazers forward/center LaMarcus Aldridge have to do to get some love from the fans? The MVP candidate is having a career season, but he finished fifth among frontcourt players. Fifth!
Only two players in the Association are averaging 24 points and 11 rebounds this season: Aldridge and Kevin Love.
If we could have a do-over, the starting lineup for the West should be: Kevin Durant, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love, James Harden and Steph Curry.
And the reserves should be: Dwight Howard, Blake Griffin, Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Paul, Tony Parker, Damian Lillard and Tim Duncan.
Sorry, DeMarcus Cousins, Zach Randolph, Anthony Davis, Ty Lawson, Al Jefferson and Goran Dragic. Better luck next year. And get well soon D-Rose, Kobe and Russell Westbrook.
Joel Huerto is the editor and publisher of OneManFastBreak.net. Follow him on Twitter @onemanfastbreak.
NBA ALL-STAR 2014 BALLOTING (from NBA.com)
1. Kevin Durant (OKC) 1,396,294
2. Blake Griffin (LAC) 688,466
3. Kevin Love (Min) 661,246
4. Dwight Howard (Hou) 653,318
5. LaMarcus Aldridge (Por) 609,172
6. Tim Duncan (SA) 492,657
7. Anthony Davis (NO) 286,247
8. Andre Iguodala (GS) 266,611
9. DeMarcus Cousins (Sac) 255,005
10. Pau Gasol (LAL) 247,323
11. David Lee (GS) 232,210
12. Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 201,873
13. Chandler Parsons (Hou) 174,512
14. Omer Asik (Hou) 130,344
15. Andrew Bogut (GS) 127,947
1. Stephen Curry (GS) 1,047,281
2. Kobe Bryant (LAL) 988,884
3. Chris Paul (LAC) 804,309
4. Jeremy Lin (Hou) 628,818
5. James Harden (Hou) 470,381
6. Russell Westbrook (OKC) 317,338
7. Damian Lillard (Por) 280,966
8. Tony Parker (SA) 258,751
9. Klay Thompson (GS) 162,984
10. Ricky Rubio (Min) 124,230
1. LeBron James (Mia) 1,416,419
2. Paul George (Ind) 1,211,318
3. Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 935,702
4. Roy Hibbert (Ind) 524,809
5. Chris Bosh (Mia) 406,867
6. Kevin Garnett (Bkn) 209,398
7. Joakim Noah (Chi) 181,145
8. Andre Drummond (Det) 163,798
9. Tyson Chandler (NYK) 137,512
10. Luol Deng (Cle) 121,754
11. Jeff Green (Bos) 121,040
12. Carlos Boozer (Chi) 103,502
13. David West (Ind) 95,363
14. Paul Pierce (Bkn) 95,034
15. Josh Smith (Det) 75,433
1. Dwyane Wade (Mia) 929,542
2. Kyrie Irving (Cle) 860,221
3. John Wall (Was) 393,129
4. Derrick Rose (Chi) 359,546
5. Ray Allen (Mia) 250,909
6. Rajon Rondo (Bos) 174,654
7. Lance Stephenson (Ind) 148,382
8. DeMar DeRozan (Tor) 131,228
9. George Hill (Ind) 129,533
10. Deron Williams (Bkn) 126,423