Fans Rocked the Vote 2007!

By Luke Middleton

The 2007 NBA All-Star Game starting lineups, as voted by the fans (who only watch games aired on ABC, apparently), have been announced.

The East will put Gilbert Arenas, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Shaquille O’Neal up against Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, and Yao Ming.  The game will be a duel to death.  Or just another half-speed, half-effort, reel of forced highlights.

Anyway, here’s my problem: wait, you know what I’m going to say already.  This gets covered every year.  I don’t even need to state my thesis. We all know what it is.

So here’s just a few specifics…

Congratulations to Yao, whose starting spot this ear is reflective of his play.  I guess China was just ahead of the times back in 2003. Trendsetters.

Congratulations to Shaq, who is back just in time to play for the big game.  He only played four games this season before the votes were tallied, so they must’ve been some good games.  Voters obviously liked what they saw.  The ‘coasting through the regular season and showing up for
the playoffs’ mentality apparently works even for injuries and the All-Star Game.  Working smarter and not harder, Shaq is prolonging his career right in front of us.

Gilbert didn’t need to vote himself in this year (remember, he’s voted for himself before) after Allen Iverson and his greater number of votes got traded to the Western Conference.  Gilbert could’ve made effective use of his “I’m driven to prove how good I am” selective effort by voting for teammate Caron Butler.  Not that Butler should start, but he had better make the team, man.  He better make the team.

And here’s the kicker: fans managed to avoid at all costs bestowing the honor of All-Star Game starter on the two front-runners for this year’s MVP award.

Sigh.

What it all comes down to is this: the league knows that there’s a 100-to-1 chance that the fans will never vote a player into the starting lineup who shouldn’t at least be on the roster.  So, as we all know, starting sort of means something but actually probably means nothing.  So, when Vince Carter gave up his starting spot to Michael Jordan back in 2003, maybe that was actually an insult.

If the All-Star game remains close down the stretch, we will be rewarded.  At crunch time, the real starters will come out.

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4 thoughts on “Fans Rocked the Vote 2007!

  1. Clearly the only qualification for being a fan selection is that you must have been a previous All-Star. It’s kinda like the mentality in sports video games by people who have no idea about sports or how to play the game… “Oh I know that name, that’s the team I’m gonna pick!” It seems like those people also chose our All-Stars this year. Congratulations to Chris Bosh and also to Yao for their stellar play. Kobe, Wade, LeBron and KG will be All-Stars til they retire because they carry their teams. Shaq, McGrady and Duncan haven’t been as good as others in the league, but it’s a shame that doesn’t get recognized. It just seems unfair that a great player would get penalized because he doesn’t play in a high-market team (see Emeka Okafor). Anywho, the dunk contest and rookie game have much more appeal to me, come All-Star Weekend.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Josh. T-Mac has actually been really good this year as long as his back has held out. I like how Van Gundy (a 90s defense coach) compliments T-Mac’s decision making ability and seems to let him use it. Duncan has turned it on as of late, but the forward spot in the Western Conference is just ridiculous — so so so many good players. Okafor is having a really good year, but Marc Stein picked him to be one that is cut while fighting out other deserving candidates (some of who may also get cut).

    The dunk contest better be good. I try to keep expectations low.

  3. Does anyone else notice the irony that a player currently playing for a Canadian team earned the starting nod (Bosh) yet a player born in Canada (Nash) and is current two-time MVP of the league failed to steal a starting spot from T-Mac?

    Surely all those fans who stuffed ballots in Toronto could have given Nash a couple more votes….

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