Chris Paul, Tracy McGrady, & the All Star Vote

» January 12, 2009 8:01 PM | By Brandon Hoffman

From John Reid of The Times-Picayune:

No league official would speak specifically about the merits of fan balloting. Since 2003, there has been a surge with international online ballot voting after nba.com began to offer alternate language versions of the ballot.

The online ballot is distributed in 20 languages, but the league acknowledges it received the most international votes from China.

Based on last season’s figures, 30 percent of the online voting comes from China, which explains why the 7-foot-6 Yao has started five consecutive All-Star Games. He is expected to be picked again, leading with 1,758,499 votes.

Under rules for Internet voting, if nba.com recognizes the same e-mail address more than once during a 24-hour period, it will count it as only one vote.

With nearly all of the Rockets games televised in China, basketball fans in that country are voting for Yao and his teammates, which includes McGrady. Among the Western Conference forwards, the Rockets’ Ron Artest, Shane Battier and Luis Scola rank among the top nine in votes.

John DeShazier of The Times-Picayune downplays the importance of starting in the midseason showcase:

Paul again will be an All-Star this year, just like last year. If the West wins he’ll probably be in the running for game MVP, same as last year (when he didn’t start the game in New Orleans, finishing fifth in fan balloting for guards).

That might not be much consolation because, of course, it’s more prestigious to be a starter. Obviously, it’s soothing for the ego to have been voted in by fans.

But the fact is in New Orleans, Paul will be remembered more for leading the Hornets to a Southwest Division title and franchise-record 56 regular-season victories last year than for being an All-Star. He’ll be remembered more for being an All-Star person, who made New Orleans his second home town, than for the number of times he plays in the NBA’s midseason extravaganza.

And he’ll make his share of All-Star teams, too, his inclusion guaranteed by the coaches who appreciate his play even if it’s not as universally beloved by enough fans as should be warranted.

Nola.com is asking readers whether fans should be allowed to vote for All-Star starters.

In a perfect world, Tracy McGrady would ask the NBA for clearance to miss the All-Star game since he’s appeared in only 28 injury-riddled games this season.

The honor of being selected to play in the All-Star game is important. Just ask Chris Paul, who told John Reid that starting would be a “huge achievement.” The outcome of the All-Star game means nothing. But the voting process shouldn’t be a popularity contest where the odds are stacked against certain players because of how much publicity they receive. Ray Allen believes that “too much is put into the fan vote.”

“We know there are a lot of great, talented players in the NBA. If you look at the baseball model, I think one year Sammy Sosa was MVP and the next year he wasn’t good enough to make the All-Star Game. Based on our model, on popularity you’ll make it. You’ll start.

“It should be a percentage of the [fans'] votes to guarantee who the starters are. You guys, the media, watch more basketball than anybody. [The media] should have a big say-so. From [the media] to the fan voting and then maybe you throw the GMs in there. That to me would give an accurate representation of who the five starters should be.”

I agree with Allen. I’d like to see fans, media and front office personnel determine starters. I understand that the All-Star game is a fan-driven event, but NBA fans in China have overwhelmed the vote. This isn’t about rewarding Chris Paul for a historic season, although that would be reason enough, it’s about fixing a system that is clearly flawed.

The only question is which group should have the largest percentage? I would give the largest percentage to General Managers. Coaches aren’t allowed to vote for their own players when selecting reserves. The same rule would apply to GM’s. Fans and sportswriters would receive an equal percentage in my system.

40-30-30 sounds about right.

What do you think?


14 Responses to “Chris Paul, Tracy McGrady, & the All Star Vote”

  1. Tom Says:

    Great compilation here, Brandon. I completely agree with John Reid’s comments, as well as Ray Allen’s. The fan vote counts for too much in the NBA.

  2. Brandon Hoffman Says:

    Thanks Tom.

    I focused on Chris Paul’s omission, but I don’t think Iverson deserves to play in the All-Star game either. Devin Harris, Joe Johnson and Rajon Rondo are more deserving.

  3. Tsunami Says:

    I don’t think the media is any different than the fans. The media creates the reputations of the players that the fans vote on anyway.

    If China wants to see Shane Battier play – let him come off the bench.

    Let the coaches pick the starters. And let them pick their own players. that will make for some good storylines when coaches start getting abused for picking or not picking their own players.

    The NBA loves controversy.

  4. Brandon Hoffman Says:

    Tsunami:

    How can you say the media isn’t different than the fans? Do you think the media would vote for McGrady?

    Having the coaches pick the starters and letting the fans choose the reserves is an interesting idea.

  5. Democracy Rules Says:

    Why is NBA voting more important that Presidential voting? If you let unqualified people vote for the President, then we should let anybody for NBA all-star which should be considered less important.

    Anything less is undemocratic. I voted for Stephan Marbury.

  6. LA Ball Talk Says:

    Good call. Couldn’t agree with you more. Everything is right on point!

  7. Brandon Hoffman Says:

    LA: Thanks. Glad you enjoyed the piece.

    Democracy Rules: I don’t want to get into a political debate, but how does the electoral college fit into your argument?

  8. Tsunami Says:

    Hoff: YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Last year McGrady SUCKED and people in the media were calling for him to win the MVP AWARD when Houston went on it’s winning streak! UNBELIEVABLE!

    Same BS as when the media told us that all 4 Pistons had to be on the All-Star team because they had the best record in the league.

    Would they vote him in this year? No. But if he was playing at THIS LEVEL right now, was healthy, and Houston was the second best team in the West – he’d be on people’s MVP ballots again.

    Guaranteed! Remember, it’s not how well you play, it’s how popular you are and how much your team wins.

  9. Brandon Hoffman Says:

    The MVP award is a team award.

    I don’t think you’re giving the media enough credit.

  10. Tsunami Says:

    I just disagree so often with the pundits…

    maybe i’m being too harsh.

  11. jizzzames Says:

    Please, if tmac was still healthy and never got injured..people would be like chris who? I agree since mcgradys performance has been horrible the past few years and chris has been crazyyy he definitley deserves this years spot. But if tmac ever gets back to his normal self.. he’d be in like kobe without a question. Plus even now when he sucks he’s still more popular than ever. But well played chris paul…I don’t see him taking mvp though, not with the roster the east has this year.

  12. makaveli Says:

    tracy mcgrady- 13 point in 35 seconds, do you remember all star 2002, 2003,2004,2005,2006 ho was best show men? in nba hisotry in playyoffs mcgrady is 4 place in point precents% 1 jordan, 2 (? ), 3)iverson 4) mcgrady, 32.4 ho made this procent of shoting in nba? not in nba histori!

  13. tmacallstar10 Says:

    tmacallstar10.wordpress.com

    Vote McGrady 2010 peace

  14. Chris Humpherys Says:

    B… I recently wrote something similar on the Chump.

    I don’t propose taking the votes away from the fans.

    I am, however, all for educating them one disillusioned fan at a time.

    http://sportschump.net/2009/12/16/december-chumpservations-vol-2-the-injured-greg-oden-tracy-mcgrady-and-troy-polamalu/2469/

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