January 10, 2003

Raptors F Carter continues to lead East All-Star vote-getters. : Am I the only one pissed off by this? There's more to discuss here than Carter's "Grant Hill-ness". Yao Ming is beating Shaq by quite a bit. Is he rookie of the year, or just the blue plate special for now? Are we to the point yet to where the All-Star game is only a popularity/who is hyped the most by endorsements deal, or is there any legitimacy left (in any sport)?

posted by Ufez Jones to basketball at 12:12 AM - 12 comments

You're not the only one cheesed about this. I want to suspect Nike is manipulating this somehow, giving bonuses to employees if they fill out a ton of ballots--but I have no evidence at all for that.

posted by Justin Slotman at 07:50 AM on January 10

Are we to the point yet to where the All-Star game is only a popularity/who is hyped the most by endorsements deal, or is there any legitimacy left (in any sport)? Regarding the NBA, we are well past this point.

posted by Mookieproof at 08:56 AM on January 10

I don't mind so much. The only time it pisses me off, is if a few players that I think really deserve the honor to play, don't get picked at all.

posted by corpse at 09:37 AM on January 10

I remember when all-star games meant something.

posted by jasonspaceman at 09:38 AM on January 10

All-Star games have NEVER meant something. A team winning the game may get more money than the team that loses, but that's it. It has no effect on the standings, playoffs or anything relevant to the league or teams or players. They are purely exhibitions, and should be treated like that. If the fans want to see a certain player, then he should get to play. Undeserving players are getting picked? It's going to happen no matter WHO you let choose the rosters, either fans or "experts". (Side note: MLB is considering making the winning league in the All-Star game the "home" league for the World Series that year. I used to think it was a good idea, but when a writer proposed that the game (and therefore important home-field advantage) could be riding on the best player from Tampa Bay (a relief pitcher), it kind of changed my mind. But if it makes the players try a bit harder, so be it.)

posted by grum@work at 10:00 AM on January 10

grum - Ideally the managers for the all star teams would only play the reliever from Tampa if the game were well in hand. I think this new twist would result in more innings for the quality players and less of a push for getting every last person an at-bat or 1/3 of an IP.

posted by mbd1 at 10:26 AM on January 10

Anytime you let the masses vote on something, the most popular player will likely get the votes. That's just the way it is. This is why I'm surprised that Ming is beating out Shaq in the west. People in China (or of Chinese descent) must be voting like crazy. Remember in 1994, the year after Jordan retired the first time? Who was the starting shooting guard in the East? That's right....the incomparable B.J. Armstrong. Didn't make sense then, doesn't make sense now. It's just reality.

posted by bcb2k2 at 11:24 AM on January 10

All-Star games have NEVER meant something.
Tell that to Pete Rose and Ray Fosse. All-Star games USED to mean something, at least in the MLB. Players spent most of the their careers in either the NL or AL if not the same team. The president of each respective league would go in a give a stirring pre-game speech.... these guys genuinely didn't like eachother. Then came free agency; players flipped allegencies enough to make your head spin. It was at this point that the midseason classic lost most of its meaning.

posted by turacma at 01:27 PM on January 10

I knew someone would bring up the Rose/Fosse thing. But that's just Pete Rose, not the "mystique" of the All-Star Game. I'm pretty sure that if Fosse had a choice, he would have done a simple sweep tag and avoided such a stupid chance for injury. Do you think the Reds, Indians or MLB would have been happy if those players were out for the season from the collision? The game has no meaning to the sport except as an exhibition. Just because one looney decided to play reckless doesn't mean all the players of that day would have done it. How come there aren't other tales of players performing recklessly or risking their body for injury in the All-Star game? I can only find this one incident. (caveat: one quick google search probably doesn't eliminate any occurances, but nothing did come up)

posted by grum@work at 02:08 PM on January 10

I agree with grum: if the All-Star game (and indeed the entire sport) is not for the fans, who is it for? I used to get worked up over this kind of thing too, but then I realized it really means very little in the scheme of things.

posted by pitchblende at 02:58 PM on January 10

Let me clarify my remark about the all star game meaning something. Maybe it was child innocence at the time, but in the 80's, the baseball all star game did seem to mean something to the players, and the fans as well. There seemed to be better quality performances and a general feel of excitement in the air. You just do not get that anymore. The only other all star games I am familiar are basketball. Remember the all star weekends when the 3 point and dunk contests were too exciting to even sit still while watching? Spudd Webb, Dominique Wilkins, and Jordan going at it. Bird, Chris Mullins and others shooting long range. Now it is just all pick and roll, a few fast breaks, and a fancy dunk if you are lucky. Heck, most of them do not even break a sweat!

posted by jasonspaceman at 09:11 PM on January 10

Speaking to the popularity of Vince Carter, I was reminded that he did an exhibition tour in China this summer to packed gyms. He could be picking up all of the extras from the Yao Ming Chinese voting landslide.

It would be interesting if we could get a breakdown of voting by language of ballot.

posted by jmevius at 10:07 AM on January 14

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