How to Fix the NBA All-Star Voting

Mark HauserCorrespondent IIFebruary 17, 2009

The purpose of an All-Star game, it seems to me, is for the league to provide its fans with a showcase of its best players all playing in the same game. 

Some will argue that it should be a showcase for the players that the fans want to see—regardless of whether they were among the very best in the league that year. 

I heard Michael Wilbon (ESPN’s PTI) say that he wanted the all-star voting taken away from the fans. 

I think both of these ideas and thoughts are silly and lazy thinking.  Why not instead come up with a system that accomplishes the goals of All-Star games and still allows the fans to vote?

The reason I came up with UltimateSportsRankings is because I do not like (nor do I think anybody else does, unless they are the select few doing the voting) any voting which has only a few voters since their personal likes, biases, and prejudices will not likely be offset by the other voters. 

Of course, we still need knowledgeable voters to help preserve the integrity of the voting.  The people with the most knowledge about who are the best players in the league are the players. 

This is followed (in order) by the coaches, the sportswriters/sportscasters and the serious fans (little difference between these two nowadays), and then the casual fans.  There is a clear gap of knowledge between the players and the casual fans; hence, we need to offset this (to preserve the integrity of the voting) by putting more weight on the players' votes.

We also need to not allow the fans to stuff the ballot box the best we can.  Plus, voting should be done as close to the all-star games as possible.  It is moronic to have fans voting for all-stars 10 games into 82 or 162 game seasons.  Ballots at home games might have been necessary before the invention of the Internet, but now they are no longer needed. 

All fan voting should be done on the Internet and only one vote per email (they would to register to vote) for the fans (the best we can do for now).  Voting will be done in a 10-day period starting no sooner than three weeks before the All-Star game (in the NFL after all teams have played 14 games, which would be after week 15). 

The players, coaches, and sportswriters and sportscasters will each get one vote with whatever system they use now for such voting.  I would allow assistant coaches (a suspect they watch a lot of game film), and 500-1000 league-selected sportswriters and sportscasters (and not just 50 or 125), after all—the more votes the fairer.

Now, how much weight should we put on everyone’s votes?  Well, admittedly, this is not an exact science, but here is my proposal:  the players' votes count for one-third of the total, the coaches' one-sixth, the sportswriters' and sportscasters one-sixth, and the fans one-third.  This allows everyone to vote and gives you the best chance to get the most accurate result for the All-Star selections. 

Incidentally, I see no reason why the MVP, the All-Pro Teams, and any other end of the year awards cannot be done the same way.  Of course, all of this makes too much sense so I suspect none of the leagues will take my suggestion. 

Except, perhaps the NFL, whose system is the fairest of the pro leagues—but not, in my humble opinion, as good as the NBA.