The NBA All-Star Weekend is for the fans. However, the league needs to reconsider giving its fans so much power over who plays in the game itself.
A’mare Stoudemire, who has not played one minute for the New York Knicks in 2012-13 due to injury, has thus far received 64,266 votes. Anderson Varejao, of the Cleveland Cavaliers, has registered 57,336 votes despite having All-Star caliber numbers: 14.3 PPG, 14.8 RPG, 3.3 APG.
I realize that Stoudemire is a bigger name than Varejao, and the New York fan base is more influential than Cleveland’s. But come on people!
In 2011, Yao Ming was voted into the game as a starter, meaning that he received more votes than every other Center in the Western Conference, and didn’t even play a single game. Yao was out for the season, but somehow was the leading vote getter of all big men.
Jeremy Lin (11 PPG, 6 APG), with 298,319 votes, is third in votes for Western Conference Guards, behind Kobe Bryant (639,419) and Chris Paul (353,603). He is ahead of James Harden (25 PPG, 5 APG), Russell Westbrook (21 PPG, 8 APG), Tony Parker (21 PPG, 7 APG), and O.J. Mayo (20 PPG, 3 APG), who are all more deserving candidates than Lin.
I like how the game and voting process appeals to fans, but the selections should not be based solely on fan wishes. Each coach should nominate three players, and then narrow down the choices that the fans have in voting.
My heart breaks for the Varejao’s and Westbrook’s of the NBA, because they don’t get the credit that they deserve because of the Stoudemire’s and Yao’s and other fan favorites.
The All-Star game should be for the fans, not by the fans.