On – 10 Jan, 2017 By Ashley Burns
Carmelo Anthony believes that the power of NBA All-Star voting belongs to the fans and the fans alone. Isaiah Thomas believes players deserve to have a say in who plays in the glorified exhibition game, because players, and not fans, know who is really helping the teams, and their stars, on the court. And basketball writers obviously believe they should get a vote, because the media knows and sees everything. (I’m shocked we haven’t been treated to a single “LeBron’s nights off are why he doesn’t deserve to be an All-Star” column yet, but I guess we still have time.)
For the 2016-17 NBA All-Star Game, everyone gets a say. The fans still get the majority of the vote (50 percent), but now players and select members of the media each get 25 percent, and the hope is that the unsung heroes and role players will finally get a chance to be as happy as Thomas was when he was named a reserve last year. Of course, as Thomas already pointed out, his votes are going to his teammates, which is understandable but doesn’t really reflect the point of the game.
He’s not alone. Memphis Grizzlies defensive standout Tony Allen is also all about voting for his own guys, but as he proved on Periscope, he’s also about ruining the East’s chances (and our enjoyment).
Allen’s Western Conference All-Stars? Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, James Ennis, Zach Randolph, and, after changing his mind, Tony Allen. Basically, he voted for the Grizzlies. His East votes, though… This is either insanely dumb or diabolically clever. Kemba Walker and Andre Drummond? Sure, okay, fine. Walker’s a Top 20 scorer right now – even if he’s ripping off Swaggy P’s routine — and Drummond’s averaging 14 and 13 per game. But Allen’s other three East votes… Come on, man.
Luke Babbitt is averaging 4.3 ppg off the bench for the Heat, while Michael Beasley is giving the Bucks 8.2 ppg from the pine as well. Mo Williams, though, had surgery in October, hasn’t played this season, and probably won’t ever play for the Hawks, as he was only involved in the Kyle Korver trade for his contract.
If Allen is serious, the NBA needs to make him pee in a cup. But he’s a guy who is good at making the best among us laugh, so it’s safe to assume he knows exactly what he’s doing.