The first batch of returns are in for NBA All-Star Game selections, and as usual, fans got things right for the most part but let their homeriffic imaginations run wild in a handful of instances.
Most glaring: that Lonzo Ball has more votes than a whole bunch of more-deserving players. Fans have contributed 120,817 votes to his cause, giving him the eighth-most among Western Conference guards
Here’s just a handful of guys who should feel slighted that Ball, who’s been prematurely lauded before, got more All-Star votes than they did.
1. Jimmy Butler (88,009 votes)
Butler’s only leading the fourth-seed in the West in scoring and usage, in addition to being their best defender. But can he pass the ball ahead a lot and post historically terrible shooting numbers? Yawn!
2. Bradley Beal (71,079 votes)
Beal continues to be one of the most underrated ballers in the league, probably because he doesn’t have a single brother playing third-tier pro basketball in Lithuania.
3. Al Horford (120,016 votes)
Sure, he’s a center anchoring one of the league’s best defenses and leading the East’s top seed in assists. Then again, he has zero appearances on “Fuller House.”
4. Kyle Lowry (85,070 votes)
Lowry’s numbers have taken a step back this year, but they’d have to fall backward down a cliff to be worse than Lonzo’s 34.9 percent shooting.
5. Devin Booker (91,562 votes)
Both he and Lonzo play for West bottom-feeders, which makes it all the more impressive that Booker is still scoring 25 points per game on solid efficiency.
6. Kemba Walker (N/A)
Walker didn’t even have enough votes to appear on the top 10 for East guards. See the write-up for Lowry, though.
And that’s just the six most egregious cases in a sea of egregious cases.
Thankfully, NBA fans’ All-Star votes are only responsible for determining 10 starters in the contest, and to that end, fans have so far selected wisely: Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, and Joel Embiid are the leading vote-getters among Eastern Conference frontcourt players, joined by East guards Kyle Irving and DeMar DeRozan.
The West’s frontcount is made up of the New Orleans Pelicans tandem of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, joined by Kevin Durant; Stephen Curry and James Harden constitute the West’s guards.
The league is trying a new format this season, in which the top vote-getter in each conference is a captain, and the two will pick players from a pool of All-Stars, beginning with the voted-in starters.