Last week, the NBA All-Star starters were announced.
Like many people, I really didn’t care much at the time. The actual game is fun for the players and fans, but the talk-show media pundits really make too big of a deal about who got snubbed.
However, this year was different. As a Golden State Warriors fan, I’ve watched more than 90% of their games this season. I’ve seen the brilliance of Stephen Curry and his struggles when Draymond Green went down with an injury. But more surprisingly has been the resurgence of Andrew Wiggins. The former No. 1 overall pick fell short of many expectations in Minnesota before being traded to Golden State two seasons ago.
Since joining the Warriors, he’s found his role as a key wing threat and not the main scoring option that many thought he might one day be. He’s developed as a contributor on the league’s No. 1 defense and is shooting a career-best 41.6% from behind the arc.
But is he worthy of being an All-Star starter? Not a chance.
However, it’s not his fault.
The format of the NBA All-Star voting requires a vote for three forwards and two guards. It uses a combination of the fan vote (50%) and media and player voting, which make up the other half. The format places too much power in the fans’ hands, when in reality, the game is more for the players. Klay Thompson was a top-five vote getter for his position despite missing the majority of the first half of the season.
This year, many of the Western Conference forwards suffered injuries and thus hurt their chances. So why can’t the fans vote in three guards if one is more deserving?
The Phoenix Suns have the league’s best record, but none of their players are represented as a starter. Devin Booker and Chris Paul were both worthy candidates.
All-Star appearances are used to define a player’s legacy and they shouldn’t be penalized for that. It’s neat to see fans rally around Wiggins, but if it’s going to be used against other players’ Hall of Fame candidacies, the fan vote shouldn’t hold half the weight.
Wiggins and fellow teammate Draymond Green both received a lot of votes at the forward position, but why did Wiggins receive more votes than the potential Defensive Player of the Year? It’s possible his Canadian roots helped and K-pop star Bam Bam voiced his support on social media.
On ABC’s Saturday night game between the Brooklyn Nets and Warriors, analyst Jeff Van Gundy proposed a different solution. He said that the vote should be split five ways: 20% fans, 20% media, 20% players, 20% referees and 20% solely stats based.
I’m not sure that I agree completely with that format, but it makes more sense. The referees have the closest eye to the most games and it takes away some of the power from the fans.
Maybe the results would remain the same, but at least it balances the weight among the vote.
Max Baker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and @maxbaker_15.
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