NBA All-Star Game Voting


Jim Rome
January 24, 2020 - 9:24 am
Alex Caruso

USA Today


Breaking news. This just in. In a stunning development, just as the NBA announced the starters for the All-Star game, the rug has been ripped, and the game itself has been cancelled. Again, the NBA All-Star game has been cancelled. And the entire All-Star weekend has been shut down. So if you had plans to take that in, change them; because there won’t be a game. And there sure as well won’t be a weekend.

…at least in my mind. And my house. Because I’m cancelling that game. And the entire proceedings. Because the starters were announced yesterday and Alex Caruso was not one of them. Somehow, some way, James Harden and Luka Doncic were selected ahead of him. The. Hell. Is. That?!??!

Yes, I’m pissed. Yes, I’m confused. Yes, I’m wounded. Did I say I was pissed. Because this is a bleeping outrage. And yes, I’m thinking about spending the next three hours playing Alex Caruso highlights. Highlights like this:

Or like this.

That is an All-Star. And if he’s not in the game, it’s not an All-Star Game. It’s just a game with a bunch of other good players who aren’t Alex Caruso. 

The Bald Eagle received nearly 1.3 million fan votes. Are you telling me that those 1.3 million people are wrong? Are you telling me that they don’t know talent? That they don’t know heart? That they don’t know excellence?

You better not be saying that. But by leaving him out, you are. 

But I’m not going to make this all about Alex Caruso, although I could. And I should. And I know that he could still get in as a reserve, there is still time to right this wrong, but you do not disrespect the Bald Mamba by making him an afterthought, by giving him some leftovers. He’s not a supporting actor, he’s the lead actor. He’s the whole show. He’s the Caru-show.

But again, this isn’t all about Alex Caruso. Trae Young was selected as a starter in the East and he was very emotional about it. And then people started lashing out, saying that a guy on the worst team in the East shouldn’t be starting in the All-Star game, which is a terrible take.

First off, once the Bald Mamba was overlooked, none of this matters, but secondly, Trae Young is one of the most exciting players in the league. He does some of the freakiest things on the court. He’s averaging nearly 30 points and 9 assists per night. That’s All-Star level. There is absolutely nothing wrong with him being in the All-Star Game or even starting it. 

If you want to make the argument that Ben Simmons should be starting, I’m fine with that argument. And I’m more than fine with the players picking Kemba Walker as a starter over Kyrie Irving, who was a fan selection. Irving just hasn’t played enough games this year to start, but really, the truth is, it’s not that serious. Even the players don’t take it that seriously. In fact, it’s a joke.

How do I know that? Because 32% of the players who voted, did not vote for Giannis. And 38% of them didn’t vote for LeBron as a starter. Roughly a third of the NBA players who voted didn’t think Giannis is an All-Star? And nearly 40% didn’t think LeBron is an All-Star? Nearly four in ten NBA players had their ballot and thought, you know what, LeBron just hasn’t really impressed me this year?

Get out of here with that.

And I know the argument – some of those guys are thinking that Giannis and LeBron are going to start anyway, so they want to put their votes to good use somewhere else, to support a borderline guy. Cool. Well that still doesn’t explain leaving out Alex Caruso and it also doesn’t explain some of these other beauties.

Andre Roberson received a vote. Don’t get me wrong. Roberson can play some lockdown defense and that has a place in the game, even an All-Star game, and should be honored. 

But he hasn’t played since January 27th. And I know what you’re thinking, hey Rome, today is January 24th, what are you talking about? Right. Today is January 24th, 2020. Andre Roberson hasn’t played since January 27th, 2018. Nearly two full years and he received a vote. 

K.Z. Okpala has played three minutes this season. He received one vote. Ed Davis averages just over a point per game, and he received a vote. 

And sure, that’s probably just Ed Davis voting for Ed Davis, but that doesn’t explain Zion Williamson getting two votes. He hadn’t played a game at the time of voting and he was already getting All-Star votes?

And it doesn’t explain the fact that while Giannis didn’t get a third of the votes, his brother Thanasis got six votes. And his other brother, Kostas, received five. For the record, Kostas hasn’t scored this season. Zero points, five All-Star votes. 

I know some guys have contract bonuses attached to the All-Star Game, so for them, it’s serious. But for everyone else, you shouldn’t take this too seriously. You shouldn’t be getting all bent and angry on Twitter because your guy wasn’t named a starter, unless your guy is Alex Caruso, in which case you have my permission to burn twitter to the ground. 

Then again, why should I take this seriously, if the players themselves don’t? And the players don’t give a damn. Or they wouldn’t be voting for the people they’re voting for.  And if they don’t’ give a damn. Why should I? And if Caruso isn’t there, they don’t give a damn. And neither do I. Just don’t look for me to have any takes or any reaction to this game after it’s played: because I won’t be watching: in fact, I’ll be boycotting: don’t insult the bald mamba or me by calling it an All-Star game and not include Alex Caruso. One of the worst things I have never seen in sports and not having. So you can take your all-star game and shove it where the sun don’t shine. Because if Alex Caruso isn’t there, it’s not an all-star game. It’s an atrocity. The pro bowl can’t believe how much of a waste of time that is.