That was a close one.
I’m by no means an expert of All-Star selections, but when a player plays 45 minutes in the first half of the season, his total point total for the season rests at 19 and has only one game where he scored in double-digits, it doesn’t scream out “All-Star starter”. Those stats don’t seem to mirror what Kobe Bryant has offered the Lakers.
Thus, with the near possibility that Tracy McGrady was able to start in the All-Star game — which to the reasonable individual would conclude he hadn’t deserved — it seems to lessen the importance of All-Star appearances on a player’s resume; while taking away a spot from a deserving individual.
Fans vote for the starters, yet it seems as though some forget the All-Star game is intended to reward those who have performed exceedingly well in the first half of the season.
If it ever comes to the point where a large contingent of fans chose a player who was essentially banished from their own team, and attempt to make a mockery of the All-Star process, then it’s at that point to omit or severely hamper fan participation.
The All-Star game isn’t a lifetime achievement award; rewarding someone for having success earlier in their career seems to diminish the success of those who had played well, and favor fading stars.
The totality of your career ought not to be considered when you play less than 48 minutes in an entire season. Forty-five minutes isn’t even the length of one regular season game, and for comparative purposes, Monta Ellis has played 45 minutes or more in a single game 21 times this season.
Fortunately, none of this matters. Sure Allen Iverson made the Eastern Conference All-Star team, and by most accounts he didn’t deserve it. But at least he played more than half a dozen games this season.
For the NBA, David Stern, and those fans who crave to see players rewarded for playing well in the first-half of the season — you won Thursday.
Yet, this ’t diatribe isn’t intended to be entirely anti-Tracy. Whether a professional athlete receives essentially a meaningless accolade for an exhibition game is trivial in the grand scheme of things. McGrady recently asked his fans for their support in a cause he and his wife had recently pledge aid towards — the travesty in Haiti. And while we can argue the merits of him starting in this year’s All-Star game, there should be no argument about pledging support to those in Haiti.