A Possible Remedy to the Injustice of the All-Star Game

Every year after the All-Star starters are announced people start talking 'he got snubbed'. Well, I think it is pretty obvious where the injustices lie in the All-Star starting lineup so I won't go into that because you all have read 100 articles on the subject. That number will double once the entire roster comes out. With all of this talk, I started thinking of a solution to this problem.

Jeff Van Gundy said today on ABC that the All-Star game is too important to these players to leave the starters solely in the hands of the fans. While some of us intelligent fans may take offense to that, we have to stop and realize that our level of NBA intellect does not accurately represent the average fan iq. As we know, the masses are guided by noteriety. Basically, what is being said in the mainstream media about a particular player will influence their vote. To a much more superficial extent, reputation is one of the biggest guiding factors in voters' minds (*cough* AI *cough*). Yes, I understand the All-Star Game is for the fans so the fans should have a say in who they watch. It is good marketing without a doubt.

We have all heard about the expansion of the All-Star roster to 17. I can support that, but it seems a little contradictory to only allow 15 on a standard NBA roster, but all of a sudden up that number to 17. I do see room for the argument to work though.

My proposal is a bit different than the 'Roster-Expansion Argument'. My proposal is to release the names of the coaches and media members who vote for the rest of the All-Star team. The coaches should have a vote independent of anyone else, but the vote from the media should be influenced by public opinion. In other words, it could be similar to the electoral college for the presidential election. Each media member with a vote is assigned a region of voters, similar to how congressional districts are drawn up. The votes for All-Stars come in, and they gather that information to help guide their votes. Of course, the members of the media could just completely ignore what the general vote is, and vote his or her own way regardless due to the lack of incentive to be faithful on the part of the media member (it's not like they have to run for re-election). My answer to that could be the vote for the All-Stars could be split. 50% for the member of the media (who has been guided by the public vote), and 50% the fans vote. So here is how my theory would work.

'Sports journalist X' is responsible for 'Region X'

'Sports journalist Y' is responsible for 'Region Y'

Sports journalist X's ballot looks like this: Starters: East: Lebron, Wade, AI, Dwight Howard, KG
West: Kobe, Tim Duncan, Amare CP3, Yao (all of this is combined for 50% of the vote)

Region X reports: East, Lebron, Wade, Jameer Nelson, Dwight Howard, KG
West: Kobe, Dirk Nowitski, Amare, Deron Williams, Yao (50% of the vote for Region X)

Sports Journalist Y: East: Lebron, Wade, Jameer Nelson, KG, Dwight Howard
West: Kobe, Tim Duncan, Shaq, CP3, Amare

Region Y: East: Lebron, Wade, AI, Dwight Howard, KG
West: Kobe, Tim Duncan, Amare, CP3, Yao

We can expect that there will be few differences in the votes. For example, Lebron, Wade, Kobe, Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard, and Chris Paul will pretty much be unianimous, barring something drastic, every year. So since Lebron, Wade, Dwight Howard, and KG show up in everyone's East ballot, they are obviously starters. However, AI and Nelson are split. One writer has taken Nelson and one region has taken Nelson. When a tie comes about like this, the fans should have the final say in numbers of votes as is the case of AI and Nelson. If Nelson got more votes, Nelson gets the start, and AI automatically goes to the bench. However, take the case of CP3 above. Everyone has voted CP3 except for Region X. This means that CP3 is automatically a starter even though Region X and Y have split because both writers have picked CP3. If a player gets more writer votes, the player is in, and the general election is meaningless. If more regions pick a certain player and have a higher percentage of vote for that player than writers do, the region wins. For example, lets say combined, all the regions had a 55% vote for Deron Williams, but 70% of writers voted in CP3. CP3 wins. When it comes down to it, a tie will be determined by the popular vote of the fan. In any case, a player that is split, will automatically go to the bench. Essentially, the writer gets the input of the fan, and the fans vote themselves. The writers have act as independent bodies when making a decision with the fans influencing the writers through their feedback.

I think this system gets the best of both worlds. Fans are able to decide split votes as well as influence the decision of the writer, and writers are able to cover up the mistake of fans in the event the fans really got it wrong. It is a sort of checks and balances system.

I have not thought through this system the entire way through so there may be some flaws in my reasoning. Please point them out, and I can make some changes to the theory. Let me know what you all think. Thoughts and opinions are strongly encouraged.


Btw, this has nothing to do with basketball, but a friend of mine let me know about this guy, and it is an amazing testament to the human body. Read and watch the video about all the things this man has accomplished and endured in his races.


Have Jumpshot Will Travel (a.k.a. Trashtalk Superstar) said...

Jeff Van Gundy is right. Letting the public decide who starts in the All Star Game isn't the greatest idea. But I'm not sold on the wisdom of the sports writers either.

From what I've seen (and from conversations I've had with guys in the sports media), writers and "experts" are often LAZY, uninformed, and unoriginal in their thinking. And they tend to be afflicted with a herd mentality, which usually stems from their over-reliance on the opinions of other writers and commentators when "formulating" their own "opinions" (this is usually due to the fact that most writers/commentators don't watch that many games, but have to pretend to be informed).

Worse yet, writers and commentators are often a stubborn lot who can be more concerned with winning arguments than with actually being right. So, for example, if a writer or commentator has a history of disparaging a certain player, the writer/commentator may be loathe to reward that player with All Star honors (which would essentially amount to a revocation of the writer/commentator's previously disparaging comments and an admission that the writer/commentator was wrong).

I've seen this so many times that I've gradually lost interest in the opinions of many writers/commentators over the years.

Also, personal favorites and personal grudges can have an enormous influence on the way writers/commentators treat individual athletes. Just think about how baseball writers vote against sure-thing candidates for the baseball Hall of Fame in order to deny the candidates easy entry into Cooperstown. The baseball writers try to stick it to guys who they didn't like, personally. For them, it's usually more about personal hard feelings than it is about baseball. True, the NBA writers aren't the same as the MLB writers (baseball writers take pride in being curmudgeonly, grumpy old men -- even when they're not actually old), but they're still human, and still subject to letting their personal feelings influence their judgment.

In fairness, some of the NBA beat writers are really outstanding, professional writers. I trust the objectivity and the judgment of many of those guys. Unfortunately, they're so tied up with the teams they cover (and they're so short on time) that they generally don't get to see much basketball outside of those teams.

Anonymous said...

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