The first update in All-Star voting came out today and the results were (as usual) very puzzling.
A couple of quick things right off the top here: 1. DWade is second among Eastern Conference guards 2. Jeremy Lin has more votes than Beal AND Wall 3. Boogie has yet to suit up in an NBA game and 4. Vince Carter??? What is this 2005?
Every single year it is a train wreck and even though they tweaked it a bit to only be portion of fan voting, it still isn’t a great system. I get it, you need to get the fans involved to spark interest and this and that. Isn’t there another way to get them involved that doesn’t compromise the quality of players getting the most votes? For something that has incentive and even heavy Hall Of Fame implications it feels very outdated that the fans are still allowed to have a say. I vividly remember in 2011 when Yao Ming played 5 games and was voted in as a starter and is an 8 time All-Star because of it. While 1 All-Star nod really doesn’t make a difference, in the long run it’s frustrating that the best players in the league can be short-changed by something as dumb as fan voting.
It’s not only an NBA problem, it’s a problem for every single league. In the MLB in 2016 the league had to tweak the votes because Royals fans stuffed the ballot and 8 of the 9 positions were led by a Royal. In the NFL just this year there was a skew in votes because certain fanbases were stuffing the ballots too. In the NHL in 2016, noted shlub and fringe NHL player John Scott was an All-Star for the same reason, and while it was a great story, is that really what an All-Star nod is about? It’s about having the best of the best out there and recognizing the best players from that season. It’s not a participation trophy, some players only have one shot to make an All-Star team and how infuriating would it be if you saw someone get in over you due to fan voting.
My opinion on it would be to get rid of fan voting altogether and lets Coaches, GMs, and Players do all of the voting. While maybe there still will be some snubs and all, I think this would make for better All-Star rosters. For the other three leagues I would recommend some kind of variation of what I just proposed. It isn’t a joke, it shouldn’t be a popularity contest. It’s an honor and it should be taken seriously and done correctly. The first step in all of this would be to take the idea of fan voting, stick it in a rocket ship, and send it all the way to the moon never to be seen again.
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