Dallas Mavericks’ center Zaza Pachulia came within 14,000 votes of becoming an All-Star starter.
Pachulia is having a renaissance season for him, meaning 10.4 points and 10.7 rebounds a game. He’s one of the reasons Dallas is a surprise playoff team in the West. But he is not an All-Star. He is not a guy who should have gotten more votes than Draymond Green, or DeMarcus Cousins, or Anthony Davis, or Tim Duncan, or Dirk Nowitzki, or Blake Griffin, or… you get the idea. Pachulia got a boost from his native Georgia, received constant plugs from Hayes Grier, plus he got a Wyclef Jean bump.
Pachulia’s case, plus the case of the NHL’s John Scott, has given the NBA pause. Particularly with fan voting in Twitter or social media — on Twitter all someone had to do was retweet an existing vote with #NBAVOTE in the tweet and it counted. So when Justin Bieber sends out a tweet asking fans to retweet for Chris Paul to get a vote, the player will quickly pick up 48,000 votes (which happened this year).
At a Total Health Forum this week, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver talked about All-Star voting, as reported by Sam Amick of the USA Today.
“On (fan) balloting, it’s something we’ll continue to look at,” Silver said. ”We love the fact that fans have input into who the All-Stars are. As social media changes the world and is disruptive, it’s been mildly disruptive to our balloting systems as well. I know that’s something we’ll take a fresh look at.”
It’s a tough line to walk. The NBA wants the fans to pick the starters, and they want to make it easy to vote. But they want people to take voting seriously and not vote for joke candidates. (Insert your own Donald Trump joke here.)
Consider it something to watch heading into next season, the NBA may tweak the system (no more just retweeting to get a vote?).