The NBA All Star game has always been the subject of controversy regarding the voting process and players that are selected to the game. Usually the best players from both the East and West get selected (guys like Lebron James, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant) but now due to the NBA’s new way of voting players in we may see some shocking names not only get selected but start.
The league has always allowed fans to vote in their favorite players but some years the fan voting gets out of hand and this year is no different. In years past when guys like Tracy McGrady, Allen Iverson and Shaq were years passed their prime they were still voted to play in the game based on their popularity. Kobe Bryant was voted as an all star starter the year he got injured and missed a whole year but thankfully he gave his spot to someone else. Bryant was at the subject of what some would say controversy last season when he was voted in as a starter in his last year. I would give him a pass on that one because it was his last year and since he is one of the greatest of all time he needed his retirement tour to come to the ASG. This year ZAZA PACHULIA is SECOND in frontcourt votes for the West. The guy in front of him is Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and Karl-Anthony Towns are all behind him. In fact Zaza owns about a 100,00 vote lead over Leonard which is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen.
Let’s just do a quick stat check for a second: Zaza is averaging 5.5 PPG and 5.8 RPG. How are you going to tell me those numbers are worthy of an All Star Game selection? The reason for this is the NBA introducing a new way to vote for players. If you use the hashtag #NBAvote on Twitter with whatever player you decide to right in that player will receive votes. Retweets also counts as votes too so you can see why Zaza is at the top of the list. I would like to know what the NBA was thinking when they implemented this system, I feel as though they knew something like this would happen but went with the idea anyway.
This is probably one of the most flawed systems for voting in sports. The reason for this is the league gives the fans way to much power but it has been like that for a while. I wish the NBA adopted other leagues voting format. The NFL’s format for the pro bowl is the fan vote only accounts for one-third of the voting process with players and coaches filling up the rest of the process. The NBA should just go by this rule instead of the one they have now or just make the fan vote matter a little bit less.
The fan vote can matter but to avoid having guys like Zaza Pachulia and Jeremy Lin make the ASG when they don’t deserve to I would have a system where each team picks up to 5 guys to be in contention to get voted into the ASG. For example, the Warriors could pick Durant, Green, Thompson and Curry to all be eligible for voting to the ASG. Now team’s wouldn’t have to pick 5 guys, that would be the maximum, but teams can pick UP to 5. Some team’s could pick only 2 guys or 1 guy to be up for voting but they have to be the team’s best players. So let’s say in the Eastern conference the Celtics would pick Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford and Avery Bradley to be eligible for voting then the Knicks would pick Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingus and so on and so on. It would fill up until we have the top 10 in voting for both frontcourt and backcourt players and then the starting 5 is announced followed by the reserves. This may seem confusing but it is to insure players who deserve to be voted for get the nod.
I hope this is the last year the NBA rolls with the fan voting on Twitter because the numbers and players voted for are ridiculous. There are a lot of players who deserve votes and plenty of players who deserve more votes than Zaza Pachulia (yes I am very mad that he is up there, he doesn’t deserve it). I think the NBA will realize their mistake and fix the voting process so fans don’t have so much control next season.