Ray Allen, often seen as the NBA's poster child for model behavior and an all-around fan-pleaser, dropped a bombshell on the league's more casual fans earlier this week.
Allen, a nine-time NBA All-Star, publicly affirmed his belief that each season's honor should be bestowed upon those who have earned it with their play rather than long-term name recognition or marketing efforts.
Ray Allen speaks from experience. Last year, he barely made it onto the Eastern Conference All-Star team. Slipping in just before the event as the result of an injury selection, Ray Allen proved to be the difference as he led the victorious team with 28 points. Unlike the All-Star MVP, LeBron James, his points were mostly earned in the final minutes of competitive all-star play.
The reason Ray Allen made the team? The coaches still have some say in selection after the starters.
The more fans clog up starting lineup selections with aging stars like Allen Iverson and never-quite-has-beens such as Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter, the fewer real All-Star caliber players get the nod that they have worked for and arguably should have earned.
Is there anything wrong with the way fans vote? No, we can't pick on one another for how each of us votes.
Am I the only person guilty of trying to be strategic with the little power that I have as an individual by voting for my favorite forward/guard in one conference and then selecting the clear "fan favorite" so as not to help anyone potentially close to my own choice for the position?
It's my choice to do with that vote as I please. The real problem at hand is what Allen has underlined. Dedicated fans who love to see the upset selections earned by relative no-names or up-and-comers would agree with the Boston Celtics player's opinion. The voting power given to fans ultimately degrades the quality of the end product.
I would like to support Ray Allen's statement and ask that David Stern and the National Basketball Association please take my vote away. Now.