While Yao Ming is respected, he is at times a direct link to the idiocy that is All-Star fan voting.
Be warned, this article focuses on one player in particular but let it be known, this can happen to any player at any time with this ludicrous system we call the All-Star fan ballot. Yao Ming has been selected once again to be the starting center for the Western Conference at this year's All-Star Game in Los Angeles. How many minutes has Yao played this season to date?
Now it's well known that a replacement for Yao will be named but until this ridiculous method of letting the public choose the starters ceases, we will continue to get these idiotic and quite frankly embarrassing results.
This is not the first time this has happened, it just happens so often with Yao Ming because the entire country of China jumps online to vote. It's not always a matter of injury either, with Yao being selected on at least 3 other occasions when he clearly wasn't the best center in the West at the time. Who knows? Maybe there really are cartels set up to spend 23.5 hours a day voting for the giant Chinaman like gold peddlers in World of Warcraft.
Maybe Australian fans should have done this for Andrew Bogut's cause?
I can remember Allen Iverson, Vince Carter and most memorably Anfernee Hardaway being voted as starters after having played a handful of games come February. Hardaway got to start in the 1998 event, only to play 12 uninspired minutes due to the fact he had missed nearly the entire December and January schedule due to injury.
Shaquille O'Neal was another player selected as a starter in complete error in 2007. This was his 14th straight All-Star appearance and due to the fan voting sham, out-polled Dwight Howard to take the starting spot. At the time of that All-Star Game in 2007, O'Neal had played 13 of the Heat's 52 games that season.
I'm not sure what it will take for Commissioner David Stern to see the light, but this has to stop. All-Star appearances are accomplishments that are looked upon with great pride and stature once a player has retired. Yet while we are "in the now" it seems to be losing more and more value due to idiotic selection methods.
Thanks for reading.