2014 NBA All-Star Starters: Biggest Negatives of the Voting Process [Opinion]

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2014 NBA All-Star

When it comes to the NBA All-Star game, I must admit that I don’t like the idea of the fans voting on who the starters will be and I have felt that way for sometime now. While I respect the fact that the fans want to see a good show full of superstars and high-flyers, sometimes fans vote for players, who haven’t earned the right to be a starter.

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Now for those who don’t know, Stephen Curry, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and Kevin Love were voted as the starters for the Western Conference. While Kyrie Irving, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony were voted as the starters for the Eastern Conference.

Before I get to the negative, let me give credit to the fans, who actually voted for Stephen Curry. There is no doubt that Stephen Curry deserves to be starting in the All-Star Game this year and I’m happy that enough fans realized that.

However, after that I don’t have many positive things to say about the voting process of this year’s All-Star game. Starting with Kobe Bryant. By now, many people know I am a fan of Kobe but that doesn’t change the fact that he shouldn’t have been voted as starter for this year’s All Star game. Before you get mad and start calling me names, remember that Bryant made it very clear he didn’t want to be in the All-Star game this year. According to Bill Oram of The Orange County Register: “Kobe says he doesn’t think he will play in All Star game even if he plays for Lakers before then.” Yet people voted for him anyway. Why vote for Bryant when you could have voted for someone more healthy and deserving? Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying Bryant is a horrible player because we all know that’s not true but he made it clear he didn’t want to be voted in, so that was an opportunity for the fans to vote for someone else in his place. He even went on to say that Damien Lillard should play in his place according to reports. I must say I wouldn’t have a problem with Lillard starting and playing for the Western Conference All-Stars because he has earned that honor but the point is that Lillard should have been originally voted in. He shouldn’t have to be named as default starter because fans chose to vote for Bryant when he clearly said he didn’t want to be voted for.

Now according to Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding, there is a chance that Bryant will be “encouraged” to suit up if he does return to the court prior to February 16th. However, Bryant has made it clear that if he is forced to suit up, he will step aside and let his fellow all-star teammates see extended minutes after his brief appearance:

My second issue with this year’s All-Star voting process is that LaMarcus Aldridge of the Portland Trailblazers was not voted in as a starter for this year’s All-Star game. I mean come on, the Trail Blazers have been one of the surprise teams in the NBA this year and there is no doubt that he is the best player on their team and it shows. He has been a walking double-double all season long, averaging 24 points and 11 rebounds per game all while making a case as the best power forward in the NBA. Now keep in mind that Kevin Love and Blake Griffin were voted in as starters and while I like both, I honestly feel Aldridge should have been voted in over Griffin. However, since Griffin is high-flying dunker and a crowd favorite, he gets more votes, leading back to my original statement that Aldridge was robbed.

My only other issue with this year’s All-Star voting process, is the fact that Roy Hibbert of the Indiana Pacers wasn’t voted in as an All-Star starter. Now let me make it clear in case you didn’t notice it before but no NBA centers were voted in as starters for this year’s All-Star game. Keep in mind, I have no issue with centers not being in this year’s All-Star game as a starter. I have said time and time again, the center position barely exists any more and while many say Dwight Howard is the best center in the NBA, let’s remember that he is named that by default. I mean come on, we have no real NBA centers besides Hibbert that we can compare him too. So I say again, that I have no issue with centers not being voted in as starters, I do however have an issue with Hibbert not being voted in. Now my reasoning for wanting him voted in as starter, has nothing to do with his position but more so his performance this season. No one can deny that he has earned the right to be a starter in this year’s All-Star game. I know he may not be the most exciting player but he is an efficient defensive force in the post and he has expanded his offensive game making him more of threat offensively in the post. So again I say, there is no reason that Hibbert shouldn’t have been voted in as a starter for this year’s All-Star game.

Overall, I still plan to watch the All-Star game along with the other All-Star game festivities but that doesn’t change the fact that the voting process for the All-Star starters continues to cause mix signals. I understand that certain fans want to see the high flyers and superstars but remember that being named an All Star starter is a huge honor to not be taken lightly, just like being a named an All-Star is an honor. Now I’m not saying treat the voting process of the All-Star game like a Presidential Election but I’m saying give respect to those who have earned the right to start in the All-Star game by voting for them.

Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit

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