NBA Roundtable

All Star Starters

In General NBA on January 23, 2010 at 6:55 am

NBA.com has the results

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, this year’s leading vote-getter in the NBA All-Star Balloting program presented by T-Mobile with 2,549,693 votes, became the first player in balloting history to draw at least 2.5 million votes on three separate occasions. James is making his sixth All-Star appearance and will start for the Eastern Conference for the sixth time in his career. Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, the second leading vote-getter with 2,456,224, paced the Western Conference.

Joining James, the 2006 and 2008 All-Star Game MVP, in the Eastern Conference starting lineup at forward is Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics (1,978,116), the 2003 All-Star MVP. The starters for the East at guard are the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade (2,327,550) and the Philadelphia 76ers’ Allen Iverson (1,269,568), the 2001 and 2005 All-Star Game MVP. Among active players, Garnett’s 13th All-Star selection ranks second to Cleveland Cavaliers center Shaquille O’Neal (15). Dwight Howard (2,360,096) of the Orlando Magic is the starting center.

Bryant, the youngest All-Star in NBA history in 1998, is making his 12th appearance and was the All-Star MVP in 2002 and 2007, and co-MVP along with Shaquille O’Neal in 2009. Bryant is joined in the Western Conference starting backcourt by the Phoenix Suns’ Steve Nash (1,222,235). The Denver Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony (2,137,560) and the San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan (1,156,696), who is making his 12th appearance and was the co-MVP along with Shaquille O’Neal of the 2000 All-Star Game, are the starting forwards. The Suns’ Amar’e Stoudemire starts at center (1,824,093).

If you follow the above link, and scroll to the bottom of the press release, you can see the top 10 vote getters at each position (guard, forward, center) in both Conferences.

Eastern Conference

The starters

  • Guard – Allen Iverson
  • Guard – Dwyane Wade
  • Forward – LeBron James
  • Forward – Kevin Garnett
  • Center – Dwight Howard

I would have liked to have seen Joe Johnson get the nod ahead of Allen Iverson but other than that I have no problem with the selections.

I thought it was a toss up at forward between Garnett and Bosh. Not much separation between the two.

Western Conference

The starters

  • Guard – Steve Nash
  • Guard – Kobe Bryant
  • Forward – Carmelo Anthony
  • Forward – Tim Duncan
  • Center – Amare Stoudemire

Tim Duncan should not have been listed as a forward and should have instead been named the starting center. From there, Kevin Durant + Dirk Nowitzki + Pau Gasol were all more deserving to make the All-Star team than Amare Stoudemire.

The Reserves

I’ll put some thought into the players I’d like to see selected by the coaches and list my choices for the All-Star reserves sometime tomorrow (make that Monday).

Undeserving All-Stars?

Chris Kaman talks

Clippers center Chris Kaman said in an interview with FanHouse after Thursday’s 105-85 loss to Denver that Lakers big man Pau Gasol doesn’t deserve to be in the All-Star Game.

“I don’t think Gasol should be in it at all,” Kaman said when asked if he would be disappointed if Gasol, who starts at power forward for the Lakers, is slid over to be the backup center when West coaches vote for All-Star reserves. “He’s only played like 20 games (he played Thursday in his 25th out of 42 Lakers games) this year. I think there should be a number of games you should play. I think you should have to play like 80 percent of the games.

“It shouldn’t be 50 percent (of games a player has logged) over a guy who plays 90 percent and who has better numbers. Not just me. Zach Randolph, a power forward, he has better numbers (than Gasol). But he’s not on the Lakers.”

Kaman continues on and talks about he is more deserving than Andrew Bynum for an All-Star selection and that he thinks coaches should vote for a prototypical center instead of voting for power forwards playing out of position at center when they cast their votes. He also continues to talk about team records, Lakers players getting benefits in votes, and superstar’s teammates getting benefits in votes.

Anyway, Kaman raises an interesting point on the percentage of games played.

  • I know most people I talk to dislike players getting selected when they’ve missed considerable time (say 25% of the first half of the season, about 10 games). They would like to see a rule put in place to stop those players from getting selected.
  • I dislike seeing players who’ve only played a few games or none at all getting picked. I have no problem with players who’ve only missed 5-15 games and not much of a problem with players who’ve missed half of the first half of the season (20 games) so long as they’ve had a big enough impact when they have suited up.
  • Then again, I’m fairly happy with the current selection process and wouldn’t change anything … but if changes were to come, I’d like to see a low threshold set up where a player has to play in at least a third of the games playable.
  • I dislike the idea of seeing inferior players make the All-Star game ahead of superior talents simply because they avoided a short term (10 games) or medium term (20 games) injury in the first half of the season. That would irritate me more than the current situation.

Allen Iverson Should Sit Out?

I don’t think so. I’d be unhappy at Allen Iverson sitting out. The fans voted him because they wanted to see him play and he should respect that.

The All-Star game is about the fans. It’s about increasing the popularity of the game. If Iverson is the player they want to see, then so be it.

Link: Iverson’s thoughts on the selection and some fan’s negative reaction to it.

Internet Voting

There are a lot of concerns over the current voting system which allows fans from non-US countries (China in particular) to flood the voting system with their choices.

I agree with that, to a point, and would like to see some changes. I think the current voting system should stay in place because it creates a lot of interest + interaction from fans around the world … but I would like to see the votes weighted.

I would like to see 50% weighting to votes cast at NBA arenas during games and 50% to internet voting. I think fans who pay money to go to games, especially at these high prices, should deserve a larger say in who gets selected to the All-Star game than fans who don’t do so.

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