Monday, January 25, 2010

Breaking news: All-Star games are jokes


In case you were wondering, there are at least 1,269,568 complete idiots out there. Yep, they're the brain-less souls who voted Allen Iverson a starter in the NBA All-Star Game ahead of players such as Ray Allen, Joe Johnson, Rajon Rondo and, oh, about 1,269,568 other more deserving guards in the Eastern Conference.

Out West, there was almost a repeat to an even more disastrous level, as Tracy McGrady racked up 1,022,492 votes for playing in six games and averaging 3.2 points. Damn, those must have been some impressive, high-flying, jump-out-your-seat-and-spill-your-Coke dunks T-Mac was throwing down. (Or perhaps the one assist he dished out per game was Magic-esque.) I'm sure people have their reasons.

But seriously ... this has gotten ridiculous. The only reason Yao Ming -- who has scored the same amount of points as me this season -- wasn't on the ballot was because he asked to be removed before the year began. Yao was so convinced that his countrymen would be patriotic enough to vote him in, even though he's out for that year, that he had to delete his name. Wow.

This has served as a final nail in the coffin of sports fans for me. NO MORE VOTING FOR ALL-STARS. Period. I wrote about this before the baseball Summer Classic, and this will be the last time I write about it. Because this problem has become so obvious, so glaring, that there's nothing more to be said.

It is 100 percent impossible to make the case that Iverson, even solely judged by numbers, deserves to be an All Star ... or on the second, or third, or even fourth team from the East. The dude's only played in 21 games and averaged 14.3 points. That's good for 78th in the league. I wouldn't even call Iverson a top-100 player this season.

So who cares? I mean, it's the stupid All-Star Game, right? Nobody plays a lick of defense and it's forgotten 6 hours later. And unlike the silly baseball game, it doesn't mean a thing when the playoffs come around.

Well, I don't blame Allen (no, not that Allen; Ray Allen) for speaking out against the Iverson Hypocrisy. Because like it or not, players are often judged, partly, on how many All-Star teams they make and start for. Especially 30, 40 years after they've hung up the sneaks. I've read many books about the all-time greats that played in the '60s and '70s and I've looked through their stats, but it's hard to know how many of their All-Star appearances were legitimate and who got snubbed.

There will be that same issue down the road when kids read about the amazing Allen Iverson and all the appearances he made. (Granted, he has had an astounding career. But still -- wouldn't it be nice if all the statistics were accurate?) Of course, that's wishful thinking, but what isn't is that it'd be easy to snap voting away from the fans.

How many NBA fanatics would honestly stop following the league if they were stripped of their voting privileges? And if any did, then so long suckers! Thankfully, the coaches get to select reserves -- and they'll pick the most deserving players. But that'll still leave one or two deserving players on the outside looking in.

Of course, if Iverson wasn't so selfish he'd give up his spot, knowing he doesn't deserve it. But that, again, might just be asking too much. It ain't happening.

So while I had no intention, really, of watching the All-Star Game (maybe the final 2 minutes, 37 seconds, when the players realize they hate losing and begin to dig down defensively), I feel a tad of remorse for those players denied the privilege because of the 1,269,568 complete idiots out there (and others).

And, I promise, I'll never write about this inane silliness -- yes, redundancy needed -- again.