One voter – Kennegh Lau of BesTV, a Chinese outlet – is responsible all those. His ballot:
G: Stephen Curry (Warriors)
G: James Harden (Rockets)
F: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks)
F: Kevin Durant (Warriors)
C: Joel Embiid (76ers)
G: Klay Thompson, Klay (Warriors)
G: Dwyane Wade (Heat)
F: Danilo Gallinari, Danilo (Clippers)
F: Luka Doncic, Luka (Mavericks)
C: Andre Drummond, Andre (Pistons)
G: Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers)
G: Donovan Mitchell (Jazz)
F: Marvin Bagley III (Kings)
F: Pascal Siakam (Raptors)
C: Rudy Gobert (Jazz)
A couple other standout All-NBA votes: Michelle Beadle of ESPN voted Eric Gordon third team at guard ahead of Kemba Walker, Bradley Beal, Klay Thompson, etc. Richard Walker of the Gaston Gazette voted Domantas Sabonis third-team forward ahead of LeBron James (who played more minutes than Sabonis!).
There are outlier votes for every award. You can dig through all the results here. Massimo Lopes Pegna of La Gazzetta Dello Sport (an Italian newspaper) apparently submitted his All-NBA team as his All-Defensive team (though it doesn’t exactly match his actual All-NBA team). Beyond that, these votes aren’t necessarily wrong. The consensus isn’t always right.
But All-NBA voting has taken heightened importance with its super-max connection. Hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake. Ballots like Lau’s will increase scrutiny on the system.
That’s an overreaction. There are 100 voters so no single ballot carries too much importance. Again, it’s OK for someone to stray from the consensus.
It’d still be good to reconsider the salary incentives of All-NBA, though. The players who had the best regular seasons – my All-NBA criterion – aren’t necessarily the ones who deserve the highest salaries in years to come. It’s a flawed link, and that goes far beyond Lau’s ballot.