During an interview with South Florida’s 104.3 The Ticket WMSF-FM radio station, Charles Barkley went on record about his feelings towards fans voting for NBA All-Star starters.
Favoritism and the NBA All-Star game always tends to be a big topic as All-Star weekend draws closer.
As of right now, Kobe Bryant leads the polls in votes, closely followed by LeBron James. This probably isn’t exactly the way most people would rank the two players, but it isn’t that far off from where they stand in most power rankings. It’s obvious that fan voting takes into account favorite players and entertaining players rather than statistics and standings.
Barkley takes issue with that approach.
“I don’t think the fans should ever vote is because they just vote for their favorite players,” he said. “I’m a big Kevin Garnett fan. But there’s no way in the world he should be starting the All-Star game right now. And the same way with Dwight Howard. Those fans who have penciled those two guys in [to] start… that’s a travesty to be honest. I like Dwight Howard but he ain’t played like no All-Star this year and Kevin Garnett [the same].”
Although this is kind of ironic coming from a man who landed his job based on his personality rather than any significant journalistic abilities, he does have a valid point even though “travesty” is a little too strong of a word for the issue at hand.
Garnett is 16 seasons into his NBA career. He’s a legend but his prime years are behind him as the Boston Celtics are struggling to function as a unit and Garnett’s stats are lower than they have been since the 2009-10 season.
Howard is just having a really bad season. He’s normally very good at aspects of basketball that stats don’t recognize.
The Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers have enormous fan bases. Thus, Garnett and Howard will get more votes than David Lee or Kevin Love because they play for big market teams while Lee and Love aren’t as exposed.
Barkley fails to consider that coaches’ voting offsets the favoritism of the fans vote and that it’s the fans who pay the All Star ticket prices while he gets in on his press pass.
If people are paying All Star ticket prices instead of normal game prices, they want to see Bryant and Blake Griffin bring lob city instead of great fundamental basketball.