The first numbers for NBA All-Star voting are in and this year is really not any different from other years.
Fan voting just becomes a popularity contest. In some cases, that gets the right players voted in, but some players can get hundreds of thousands of votes without even playing in a game.
Steve Nash hasn’t played since Halloween, and yet somehow he has almost double the amount of votes as San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker. That doesn’t seem right.
Jeremy Lin averages fewer points, fewer assists and more turnovers than Parker, and yet somehow, he has more than four times the number of votes. That doesn’t seem right either.
Ricky Rubio hasn’t played a minute yet this year, and yet somehow he has more votes than Manu Ginobili. That doesn’t seem right either.
As of last Thursday, the Western Conference backcourt vote counts are as follows:
Kobe Bryant (LAL) 639,419
Chris Paul (LAC) 353,603
Jeremy Lin (Hou) 298,319
James Harden (Hou) 196,108
Russell Westbrook (OKC) 143,437
Steve Nash (LAL) 118,073
Tony Parker (SA) 69,983
Ricky Rubio (Min) 54,744
Manu Ginobili (SA) 47,800
O.J. Mayo (Dal) 36,495
The Western Conference frontcourt numbers are:
Kevin Durant (OKC) 605,965
Dwight Howard (LAL) 434,168
Blake Griffin (LAC) 307,855
Tim Duncan (SA) 189,577
Pau Gasol (LAL) 139,868
Kevin Love (Min) 112,922
Omer Asik (Hou) 88,178
Rudy Gay (Mem) 85,279
Serge Ibaka (OKC) 68,285
LaMarcus Aldridge (Por) 66,290
Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 63,056
Marc Gasol (Mem) 61,716
Zach Randolph (Mem) 59,916
Metta World Peace (LAL) 59,167
Anthony Davis (NO) 53,779.
I think Duncan is about in the right spot. I know he’s much more talented than Blake Griffin, but it’s hard for “The Big Fundamental” to compete with “Lob City” in a popularity contest. I imagine he’ll probably get picked as a bench player.
Obviously though, Parker needs to be higher on the list. His numbers are slightly improved overall from last year when some thought he was having an MVP-caliber year. Parker is still one of the top point guards in the NBA and deserves to be recognized as such. I think he’s in too big of a hole to get enough votes to be a starter, but hopefully he’ll get picked to come off the bench.
Manu is rather iffy. He’s been more inconsistent than usual and had a few small injury problems throughout the year. I think he’ll probably miss the All-Star festivities this season.
Stay tuned. We’ll see if the public’s reaction to some of these initial numbers gets them out voting in full force for the players who should be there.