The NBA released the first set of all-star numbers recently. As it stands, the German force known as Dirk Nowitzki would be among the starting five. At last count Dirk had 366,000 votes; firmly ahead of Pau Gasol at 288,000 and well behind Carmelo Anthony who is somewhere over 500,000.
The trouble with all-star balloting in the NBA is that the fans choose the starting five meaning that popularity can override actual play. The fact that the Rockets Tracy McGrady is a leading vote getter is proof of that- the man has not stepped on a court since last February! All-stars should be just what the name implies. They should be people that have dominated on the court.
In Dirk’s case his selection is more than justified. Through 23 games the German forward has accumulated a shooting percentage just below 50% (47.4), averaged just under 27 points a game, and over 8 rebounds; all are stats that are near the top for forwards that have played as many games. So far he has only scored fewer than 20 points twice this season.
It would be an injustice if Dirk is not among the starting five in this year’s all-star game. He is on pace to have one of his best scoring years ever, but what makes him a true all-star are the intangibles which you cannot measure. It goes without saying that he is the leader on the court for the Mavericks. The team generally goes how he goes. When all else is failing you can always look to Nowitzki to get the job done.
So let’s get this one right fans and make sure one of the best players (that actually plays) in the game is honored as he should be.