Professional sports, especially the NBA, is increasingly becoming a political arena. In the age of 24/7 media, the mass media have the power to sway, or even brainwash, the general public to holding a certain point of view. Brett Favre is a diva, Allen Iverson should come off the bench, Terrell Owens is a cancer, Tracy McGrady doesn't fit into the Rockets current style of play (yet somehow Yao Ming does) are several recent examples. The double standard in sports reporting is just as bad as the liberal bias of New York Times or the conservative bias of Fox News.
Fans, like voters, increasingly have to use their own judgments instead of those of the so-called "experts" and "columnists" who obviously are cronies of David Stern. Unlike voters, however, fans only opportunity to make their voices heard is the voting of all-star game starters. Fans, please go out and vote for Allen Iverson, Tracy McGrady, or whoever David Stern and the media are conspiring to marginalize/drive out of the NBA. They are the guys who interfere with Stern's plan of a league that revolves around Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. They interfere with the plan to promote his vision of the NBA, namely emotionless, packaged "stars" who lack distinctiveness and personality: Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwight Howard, Brandon Roy, Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, Greg Oden, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, OJ Mayo, Joe Johnson, Rodney Stuckey, Rudy Gay, Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings, and Deron Williams. A.I. and T-Mac interfere with Stern's plan to exterminate them in order to make the NBA the next NFL, where players are more often known by their jersey numbers rather than their names. Even Grant Hill, Jermaine O'Neal, Rasheed Wallace and Shaq get more respect from management and the media than A.I. and T-Mac.
The despicable attempts to sabotage Allen Iverson's career since the Nuggets first round loss in May, 2008 to the recent banishment of Tracy McGrady are clear examples. Fans, make your votes count, let David Stern knows that we would not be manipulated, let David Stern knows that the type of league we want is more important than the type of league he wants. Let Stern knows that we don't want to see the likes of Mo Williams, Jameer Nelson, and Rashard Lewis in the all-star game. This is your one shot to let your voice be heard.
Vote A.I. and T-Mac!
P.S. If you need help voting, here is my lineup for the East and the West starters.
F-Kevin Garnett: Gerald Wallace and Chris Bosh are on underachieving teams. Their names don't belong in the same sentence as KG. No one makes as big an impact on a team than KG. He revived Boston basketball and instilled a winning culture in that franchise. Paul Pierce is the only other forwards who should be considered here.
C-Shaquille O'Neal: Yes, even though Dwight Howard has no low-post moves and will never be the half the player Shaq was in his prime, he is the best center in the league. However, Shaq is arguably the Michael Jordan is this decade. An all-star game ain't an all-star game without Shaq. Like Jordan's last season, it's disrespectful if he doesn't get into the game in probably his last season. There is no chance he would get voted in as a reserve.
F-Tim Duncan: It's a joke that Duncan is behind both Carmelo and Dirk Nowitzki (he is barely holding off Pau Gasol for third place). Duncan has never been the sort of guy wh put up flashy stats, but he has 4 rings and has carry the Spurs on his back the whole year. It would be an injustice if the former MVP doesn't start. Nowitzki doesn't have any mainstream appeal plus his team has considerably more talent than the Spurs. He's a finesse player who is nowhere near the level of Tim Duncan.
If the coaches need help with the reserves, here is my roster.
Gilbert Arenas, Paul Pierce, Vince Carter, Ray Allen (the Big 3 are sacrificing their stats for the team. All 3 gotta make it.) , Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, Gerald Wallace (Not enough good big men. One of the league leading rebounders gets the nod over Joe Johnson, a ballhog that doesn't get to the line very often.)
Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash, Chauncey Billups (Look at how bad the Nuggets are when he got injured.), Pau Gasol, Jason Kidd (The Mavs have one of the conference best record, Kidd is the 2nd most important guy on the team other than Nowitzki.), Zach Randolph (It's an injustice that he's not even on the ballot. The Grizzlies are overachieving with the worst starting point guard in the NBA thanks to Randolph.), Chris Kaman (I want at least one pure center on the team since Stoudemire is not a center. Kaman is the best of the bunch plus the Clips are overachieving.)
Danny Granger: Missed too many games. His team sucks.
Chris Paul: Missed too many games. He's also on a horrible team.
Deron Williams: The Jazz are underachieving every year. Too many good point guards who make more impact on the team.
Baron Davis: Davis has the Clips overachieving, but his stats are still ugly. Too many good point guards in the West who have more of a claim than he does. He's still a fan favorite though.
Joe Johnson: He's an overrated, overpaid ballhog who doesn't get to the line often enough to justify being a volume shooter. Josh Smith's defensive prowess and Horford's rebounding prowess mean more to the Hawks' success than Johnson.
Kevin Durant: Amazing scorer on a bad team. He also doesn't play any defense.
Jermaine O'Neal: No longer the player he once was.
Grant Hill: ditto
Andrew Bynum: Kaman is having a better year.
Marcus Camby: ditto
Manu Ginobili: Missed too many games.
Tony Parker: Perennial borderline candidate is not having a good year.
David West: ditto
Shawn Marion: Probably will never make the team again.
Brandon Roy: Too many amazing guards (even though most are point guards) in the West to give him a spot. Fans don't want to see him that bad either.
LaMarcus Aldridge: He's too soft to be an all-star.
Ron Artest: Great player, but I can't find a spot for him.
Antawn Jamison: Missed too many games.