There is no denying that the previous all-star selection process needed some work. The solely fan-based process has been the law of the land for quite some time now, but it has produced some very questionable choices. I understand that the All-Star Game is supposed to be a game “for the fans,” but Zaza freaking Pachulia almost got a starting spot last year. That scenario was mainly caused by the fact that every citizen in Pachulia’s home country of Georgia decided to vote for him, but there have been more. Kobe Bryant was a starter for the West during his last year in the league even though the stats that he was putting up were career-lows.
Consequently, the NBA decided to give voting power to more than just the fans. The new process for the 2017 All-Star game was made up of 3 types of voters: the fan, the media member, and the player. However, the fan vote carried twice the weight of the media and the players, and a tie-breaker was broken by the vote of the fans. To summarize, the fans held 50% of the vote, while the media and players split the remaining half.
The biggest snub in this year all-star’s selection was Russell Westbrook. Russ is AVERAGING TRIPLE-DOUBLE ON THE SEASON. We have not seen a player maintain these numbers this late in the season in decades. Russell Westbrook was voted number one by the players and the media, but he was voted third by the fans. These numbers led to a weight average of 2.0, which meant a 3-way tie with Stephen Curry and James Harden. Now, the fan vote is the tie-breaker is the fan vote so Curry and Harden received the starting spots since they were first and second in the fan vote, respectively.
Consequently, we are already questioning the newest all-star selection process. In Westbrook’s case, the player vote made the correct choice, but I would like to look at some of the ridiculous results from the 2016-2017 player’s voting. You can look at these results on the NBA website for yourself.
Here are some of the votes that made me scratch my head:
1. Mo Williams, FA, 1 Vote
This vote seems like it had to have been a gag vote. Mo Williams has not stepped on the court this season. He started off the season with Cleveland, but was traded to Atlanta. Following his Atlanta stint, he was traded to the Nuggets. Denver then released Williams and the Sixers picked him up for one day. Yet, somehow, Williams was deemed worthy of the All-Star Game.
2. Ben Simmons, PHI, 3 Votes
This seems like a low number for the number one pick in this year’s draft. Oh wait, Simmons hasn’t played a single minute. So much for a “unique perspective” from the player’s point of view. Who would’ve thought the NBA had so many trolls?
3. Javale McGee, GS, 4 Votes
If this was a Shaqtin’ Edition of the All-Star Game, McGee would be a shoo-in. However, the Warriors’ center is averaging 8.0 MPG, 5.3 PPG, and 2.4 RPG. I actually find this voting result extremely funny because I love the constant jokes about Javale McGee.
4. 98 NBA Players, 1 Vote
That’s right, there were 98 players who received just one vote. These players are supposed to be voting for 10 starters, and the final votes had 283 different players with votes for those 10 spots.
In conclusion, these results from the player vote show us why we can’t have nice things. I will admit a lot of these results were hilarious, but there are definitely some players who are going to get snubbed from the All-Star Game as a result of these shenanigans.
Please be prepared for immediate changes to the new voting process over the off-season with the new, new voting process.