NBA All-Star Voting System is Flawed and Broken


Dallas Mavericks‘ owner Mark Cuban recently expressed his disdain for the NBA All-Star voting system. Cuban has never been shy of expressing his opinions on NBA matters, and he’s usually spot on with his assessments.

This situation is no different, though his qualms center more on the participation of voters than their knowledge of the game. Here’s what he said, centering on the 1.5 million vote total for leading recipient Steph Curry:

"“In context of everything, that’s no votes,” Cuban said. “That’s such a small number considering all the different options you have to vote that it’s almost embarrassing. It’s just no one’s really looked at it that way. … I mean, think about it. Of all the people who go to games, all the people who watch games globally, to have [1.5] million means that system’s broken. Absolutely, positively broken.”"

The number of fans voting, even with the increased ease of casting a ballot, has indeed dwindled. Dwight Howard led all vote getters with over 3 million in 2009. LeBron James received 2.5 million votes in 2010, and Kobe Bryant led the way with 2.3 million in 2011. The downward trend in votes has continued ever since, with nobody cracking the 2 million vote threshold.

Fans should certainly be taken out of the equation, but not because they aren’t voting enough. It’s because most aren’t qualified to vote at all.

Here’s all the evidence I need:

  • Kobe Bryant was voted in as a western conference starter despite missing nine games and shooting 37% from the field. The Lakers have a 12-32 record.
  • Carmelo Anthony was voted in as a starter in the eastern conference despite missing 11 games and his team boasting the second-worst record in the league at 8-37.

Meanwhile, Al Horford and Paul Millsap are in danger of being left off of the eastern conference roster despite leading the Atlanta Hawks to a 36-8 record. They both deserve a spot, but it’s likely at least one of them is left at home.

Nikola Vucevic is going for 19 and 11 a night in 40 games for an Orlando Magic team that has nearly doubled the Knicks’ win total. Does anyone think Melo is more deserving than him?

Bryant’s rotator cuff injury ends up alleviating some of the problems out west but the systemic issues remain.

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The fans handed Bryant the starting nod over James Harden! The same James Harden leading the league in scoring and win shares, averaging nearly seven assists as a shooting guards, and spearheading a Rockets squad that has the fourth-best record in the association at 30-14.

It’s nonsensical.

And it wasn’t just Harden being shortchanged. If Bryant was able to play someone else far more deserving would have been left at home. The list of backcourt players having a better season than Bryant is staggering.

Russell Westbrook, Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard, Mike Conley Jr., Eric Bledsoe, Chris Paul, and of course our own Monta Ellis, who has received fewer votes than Jeremy Lin.

The fans just don’t get it. They should lose the privilege of voting for all-star starters, and they have nobody to blame but themselves.

Next: Game Grades vs. Bulls