See that picture? See Tracy McGrady in that picture? That’s the perfect visual representation for the amount of playing time he’s had for the Houston Rockets in about two seasons. Why, then, is he the second leading vote-getter for Western Conference guards in the NBA’s upcoming All Star Game? He hasn’t played a game for the Rockets since February of last season, but yet, there he is with almost 300,000 votes, which currently has him starting the game besides the leading vote-getter, Kobe Bryant. Are Rockets fans trying to stuff the ballots in an effort to send a message to the team about playing McGrady? Or are they simply trying to be cute?
The AP suggests McGrady’s vote total could be the result of a bleed over effect caused by Yao Ming’s popularity. If so, the NBA has no one to blame but themselves because McGrady is actually listed as an eligible guard to be selected, even though he hasn’t played a game in almost a year.
Meanwhile, the same fans can only vote for Yao if they “write” him in.
Granted, if these vote totals keep up and T-Mac is rewarded with a starting spot, another player will probably be selected as alternate — unless McGrady tries to send a message of his own by actually trying to play — but the point remains, if fans are so haphazard with their selections, should these vote totals be given such command over the starting line up of an All Star Game roster?
How about if it’s not a joke or fan-created ploy? That would mean the NBA’s voting audience isn’t very savvy when it comes to minor details like who has and who hasn’t be actively playing. Doesn’t that little fact make matters even worse? If the NBA is going to rely on fans to fill their All Star rosters, perhaps they should only list the players that are actually actively playing. Relying on the general public to make informed, thought-out decisions is a dangerous gambit.