The NBA moved away from fan voting being the only factor in determining the all-star starters after the 2016 game, when veteran RPG player Zaza Pachulia almost became a starter thanks to a nudge from a Vine star (I bet You didn’t think you’d read this sentence today). NBA Communist Adam Silver changed the parameters for selecting All-Star Starters the next year, and now the voting is split between the fans (50 percent), the media (25 percent), and the players (25 percent). At each conference, three front court players and two guards are selected as starters.
The results of the All-Star Fan Voting still attract a lot of attention in the NBA, even if it is no longer the only thing that matters. On Thursday, the league announced its first second half of the season for fan voting. As always, the fans did some things right and some things wrong. Let’s dive in.
The 2022 NBA All-Star Game will be played in Cleveland on Sunday, February 20, 2022.
Let’s start with what the fans did right
- Stephen Curry as the leading voter, with almost 2.6 million votes so far. He was number 1 on my MVP ballot earlier this week, so kudos to the fans for getting this right.
- LeBron James and Nikola Jokic are rightly the two best vote winners in the West. I would ask Jokic about LeBron this season, no question about it, but I won’t bring up too many issues with the order considering that LeBron, at 37 years old, has had an incredible year when it was available.
- The fans got the top three voting winners in the East right: Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid. That’s three of the top five or six best players in the league right now, and the fans did it.
- DeMar DeRozan as the leading backcourt voice-catcher in the East. If you hit two buzzers in a row, voting becomes more likely. DeRozan has been amazing all year long, and his best season of his career is the main reason the Chicago Bulls shock the league as the current number 1 in the east.
What the fans did wrong in the 2022 NBA All-Star Voting
- Andrew Wiggins on Draymond Green: Look, Wiggins’ resurgence this year is a beautiful story, and there is an All-Star suitcase for him, even if I don’t buy it yet. But that he gets more votes than Draymond is madness. Green is the ultimate all-star with no statistics: the type of player who can dominate a game with their wits even if they don’t come up with big numbers. Green was the anchor of Golden State’s # 1 defense, and his extremely quick offensive decisions helped get everything rolling for the Warriors. It’s results like this that lead me to believe that Draymond remains the most underrated player of this generation.
- Klay Thompson wasn’t going to finish fourth when voting in the back room of the Western Conference. Here’s my argument: He hasn’t played a game. It seems pretty iron to me.
- Carmelo Anthony shouldn’t have more votes than Rudy Gobert. Melo had a solid year for the Lakers which was a really nice story, but come on: Gobert is one of the best living centers, and he anchors a jazz team way, much better than the Lakers. Gobert is a suspension to make this game but it’s a shame the fans don’t respect his influence on the pitch.
- Derrick Rose shouldn’t be ahead of Darius Garland and Fred VanVleet: D. Rose had a really good year on the Knicks before sustaining an ankle injury, but he wasn’t quite all-star. Both Garland and VanVleet are playing like all-stars this year. Chances are only one of the two will be selected for the actual game, and that’s the best all-star race we’ve got this year.
- Kyrie Irving shouldn’t be on the list at all. Seems pretty straight forward.
- James Harden shouldn’t have more votes than Trae Young. Harden has recovered from his slow start, but Young has been better all season. Really, Young plays like a mini version of Harden in his Rockets days. He is a one man insult to himself that should start for the east.
Do you have any other complaints? Let’s hear them in the comments.