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Layups: How to Fix the All-Star Voting Process

Posted by Neil Paine on January 19, 2009

A user named "Chendaddy" over at Bleacher Report has a beef with some of the All-Star fan voting so far this year. And with good reason: oft-injured Tracy McGrady (.388 FG%) has more votes than Chris Paul; Rafer Alston has more votes than Brandon Roy; Allen Iverson has more votes than Devin Harris; Samuel Dalembert in inexplicably 2nd among East centers in voting; Gilbert Arenas is 6th among East guards despite not having played a single game this year (and not having played well since spring '07).

Perhaps most damning is the fact that, thanks to a large contingent of voters in his native China, Yi Jianlian (14.4 P/36, .497 TS%) is dangerously close to pushing Kevin Garnett out of the starting lineup in the East.

Chendaddy has a 2-part solution, though: split the voting up by region, and give the players a say in voting -- thus eliminating the heavy influence of overseas voting, and making sure certain players don't get in merely on reputation alone.

2 Responses to “Layups: How to Fix the All-Star Voting Process”

  1. David Pilsner Says:

    Hello. The region idea might work, but I've got a bone to pick with it.

    It is good for the fans to be involved in selecting All-Stars, because fans are naturally very important for the game. We want to include the fans as much as possible.

    Instead of taking it away from them, why don't we issue an All-Star guide to all voters, where the NBA can try to guide the voters in making better picks.

    Also, what about making some players ineligible, like ones that haven't played at all or ones that have played in a handful of games?

  2. Daniel Says:

    Why not let voters pick more than one at each position. For instance, the voters could list their top-5 guards, top-5 forwards, and top-3 centers, in order. That way, even if Garnett wasn't in everyone's top-2, he'd still get a ton of 3rd, 4th, and 5th place votes. Similarly, everyone who didn't vote for Yi would likely keep him out of their top-5 as well. This also fixes the "crappy player over much-better-but-not-quite-starter-material" situation (Alston over Roy, Dalembert over several players, etc.) In the current system, any reasonable/informed NBA fan would vote for Howard in the East, or Kobe/Paul in the West, so the voting tallies of everyone else are either random or influenced by random factors such as the fact that Mcgrady is Yao's teammate.

    Of course, it's not perfect, but I think it would be a lot better than the current system. It's also very easy to implement, and easy (I would also argue more fun) for voters to pick 13 players from each side.