Two Worlds, One Love: How To Fix the NBA All-Star Vote

John ReidCorrespondent IIIJanuary 20, 2010

PHOENIX - FEBRUARY 15:  Tony Parker #9 of the Western Conference brings the ball up court followed by Rashard Lewis #9 of the Eastern Conference during the 58th NBA All-Star Game, part of 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend at US Airways Center on February 15, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

While wondering if Penny Hardaway is still eligible for All-Star status…

JR: (while surfing I can’t believe this!

Ephasia: What? That Tiger still hasn’t come out of hiding?

JR: No. I’m looking at the recent votes for the starters in the NBA All-Star Game in Dallas next month. I still can’t believe that Allen Iverson is going to be voted in as a starter! I mean, this is the same guy who tanked it in Memphis of all places! Ray Allen was right when he said this is why they should limit fan voting in these games.

Ephasia: I’m not going to listen to any man who refers to himself as Jesus...

JR: That was only a movie character, dear...

Ephasia: Anyway, the fact is he’s wrong. As a matter of fact, I believe they should take it one step further.

JR: Let me guess, put WNBA players in the game too?

Ephasia: Don’t be ridiculous! They should have a WNBA Slam Dunk Contest, though.  Anyway, I think they should let the fans vote on all the players in the All-Star Game.

JR: Say what? Have you been smoking those funny cigarettes?

Ephasia: Seriously, I’m always hearing how it’s supposed to be the fans’ game anyway. Why not just give them the opportunity to vote on everyone instead?

JR: No way. First off, this nonsense about giving guys the nod like Iverson and Tracy McGrady just because of “career achievement” is ridiculous. What achievement has McGrady accomplished in the NBA? How to alienate fan bases in two different countries?

Ephasia: As usual, you don’t get it. If those are the guys fans want to see, why not let them vote in everyone. Besides, too many fans forget that this is nothing more than an exhibition anyway. 

JR: Even if that’s the case, what about those players who are actually deserving of showcasing their skills on a national stage? I mean, it makes no sense that a guy who’s only played six games in the season should all of a sudden draw an All-Star paycheckCharles Barkley was right, you can’t rely on the fans for anything.

Ephasia: Not true. You always said that the NBA is about entertainment first, sport second. Tell me this, who won last year’s game?

JR: Can’t remember.

Ephasia: The year before that?

JR: Doesn’t ring a bell.

Ephasia: Exactly! Come the next day, the only result that anyone cares about from All-Star weekend is the number of arrests made at strip clubs and the amount of baby mamas.

That’s why you let fans vote on all of the players, not just the starters. I’m sure that most fans would rather see Vince Carter playing in the game than some point guard from Toronto.

JR: Sorry, I can’t see it. I agree with Ray Allen’s assertion that they should split it 50-50 between the fans and the coaches. Besides, the coaches actually see the players on the court. Many of the fans won’t vote on a guy unless he’s been on SportsCenter or on YouTube dunking over a car.

Ephasia: Oh yeah, because the coaches definitely wouldn’t have any personal biases.  They know that if they have a chance to get a player a bonus in their contract they’d throw out all objectivity.

JR: Regardless, it’s bad enough that the league lets the fans vote on the five starters for the game. Now you think they should have the fans vote on all 12 players!  Again, what about those players who are actually deserving of going to the game?

Ephasia: What you seem to forget is that this game isn’t a true measurement of the All Stars for the entire season, just the first 50 games. Besides, if these guys are really that good, they would get named to the All-NBA team at the end of the year, and then those precious bonuses can kick in on their already bloated contracts.

JR: OK, even if that’s true, the All-Star game is about one thing and one thing only:  matching the best against the best, not a playground game between the guys with the most commercials!

Ephasia: The only people who would want to watch a guy like Chris Kaman in the All-Star game would be his family, his agent, and anyone who’s ever worn a Clipper jersey! This game should be about entertaining the fans only, and they should get the say in everyone who plays, not just the starters.

JR: If that happens, I’ll stick to watching the Pro Bowl.

Ephasia: You do that, I’m going to fill out my ballot. Is Grant Hill still playing?