Why the All-Star Fan Vote needs to stop being so significant
So the All-Star starting lineups have been announced, and most of the choices are pretty automatic. LeBron James and James Harden, among others, should definitely be starting the game. However, there’s a name missing from the West starting lineup that has gotten many fans and experts into fits: Russell Westbrook was not named an All-Star Starter. Again, Russell Westbrook was not considered good enough to be starting in a game whose sole purpose is to recognize the best of the best. Honestly, this is ridiculous.
This year, the NBA decided to incorporate current players and the media into the voting, with the fan vote counting for 50% and the current players and the media each counting for 25% each. Also, the tiebreak was determined by the fan vote. And because the fans seem to have voted for Stephen Curry more, Stephen Curry won the tiebreak over Russell Westbrook. This simply should not have happened. Westbrook is currently averaging a triple-double, something that’s only been done once by the great Oscar Robertson in the early 60s. He has 21 triple-doubles this season. According to several sources, all 10 All-Star starters from the East and West have combined for just 19 triple-doubles. Literally, Westbrook has more triple-doubles by himself than the 10 players recognized as the league’s best have had COMBINED.
While getting input from fans is important, it’s about time that the NBA realized that the fans have no idea what’s going on and who should really be an All-Star. Year after year, there’s at least one or two players who get in based off of name recognition or past achievements. Also, there are frequently fan movements to vote in players who are little more than fan favorites. For instance, if this year’s voting had been left solely up to the fans, Warriors center Zaza Pachulia would have been an All-Star starter this year. There are few more laughable things that have been stated in the same sentence as “NBA All-Star Game” than that.
It’s time to make the fan vote count for less than that of people who actually know what they’re talking about. Sure it’s a fan event, but NBA players always count All-Star nominations among the accomplishments that define their careers. So why continue to let things like that be ruined by clueless fans?