The NBA’s new formula for picking All-Star starters – 50% fans, 25% current players, 25% selected media – has sucked the significance out of the fan vote. When solely the fan vote determined All-Star starters, atypical results in voting returns were huge. But now they’re only a small wrinkle and will likely get ironed out with player and media voting.
So, the biggest takeaway from fan voting should be leaders in each conference. Those players (as long they’re All-Stars) will captain each team. As with the first returns, that’s LeBron James (West) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (East).
But it can still be useful to view the full leaderboards in fan voting. The latest update:
1. LeBron James (LAL) 2,779,812
2. Luka Doncic (DAL) 2,220,077
3. Paul George (OKC) 1,859,216
4. Kevin Durant (GSW) 1,717,968
5. Anthony Davis (NOP) 1,564,347
6. Steven Adams (OKC) 1,034,014
7. Nikola Jokic (DEN) 740,918
8. Kyle Kuzma (LAL) 584,842
9. Draymond Green (GSW) 411,131
10. DeMarcus Cousins (GSW) 276,849
1. Stephen Curry (GSW) 2,094,158
2. Derrick Rose (MIN) 1,986,840
3. James Harden (HOU) 1,674,660
4. Russell Westbrook (OKC) 1,494,382
5. Klay Thompson (GSW) 706,960
6. Damian Lillard (POR) 610,839
7. DeMar DeRozan (SAS) 594,012
8. Lonzo Ball (LAL) 529,164
9. Devin Booker (PHO) 310,944
10. Chris Paul (HOU) 306,808
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) 2,670,816
2. Kawhi Leonard (TOR) 2,092,806
3. Joel Embiid (PHI) 1,710,229
4. Jayson Tatum (BOS) 599,289
5. Jimmy Butler (PHI) 569,354
6. Blake Griffin (DET) 500,072
7. Vince Carter (ATL) 273,719
8. Gordon Hayward (BOS) 237,813
9. Pascal Siakam (TOR) 206,290
10. Al Horford (BOS) 199,474
1. Kyrie Irving (BOS) 2,381,901
2. Dwyane Wade (MIA) 1,199,789
3. Kemba Walker (CHA) 858,798
4. Ben Simmons (PHI) 695,032
5. Victor Oladipo (IND) 567,893
6. Kyle Lowry (TOR) 488,825
7. Zach LaVine (CHI) 330,504
8. Jeremy Lin (ATL) 200,648
9. Goran Dragic (MIA) 191,541
10. Bradley Beal (WAS) 168,137
Derrick Rose remains very close – just 107,318 votes – from Stephen Curry for first place among Western Conference guards. Curry has slightly expanded his lead from the first returns (95,025 votes), but Rose supporters could be invigorated his high rank wasn’t just a flash in the pan.
Could enough players also vote for Rose to make him an All-Star starter? He’s highly respected among his peers. Maybe he could sneak in with no media votes, which seems like the most likely outcome in that category.
Because votes are combined using rank within each contingent (fans, players, media) and players without votes are given a rank one below the last vote-getter, this could come down to how many Western Conference guards get media votes. For example, if media votes for only Curry, James Harden and Russell Westbrook, Rose would count as fourth place in the media category. If even one media member also each votes for Damian Lillard, Mike Conley and DeMar DeRozan, that’d push Rose to counting as seventh in the media category. That could be the difference between him starting and not.
Overtaking Curry in the fan vote would give Rose more margin for error.
Luka Doncic remains second among Western Conference frontcourt players. But it’s difficult to see his peers or the media also voting for the rookie.
Dwyane Wade is also still second among Eastern Conference guards, and he might get some player votes as a sendoff. Still, it’s tough to see him getting enough media support.
If there’s going to be an unconventional All-Star starter this season, my money is on Rose. That said, he has a narrow needle to thread.