Alex Caruso‘s All-Star votes caused waves when the Lakers backup ranked sixth among Western Conference guards.
Now, he’s fourth, passing Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry.
Ultimately, this won’t matter. Caruso won’t be an All-Star. Starters are determined by a formula that combines the votes of fans, players (who’ll barely choose Caruso) and media (who won’t at all choose Caruso). Reserves are picked by coaches (who won’t at all choose Caruso). Caruso getting so many fan votes is funny and nothing more.
Really, if his climb produces any more outrage, that’d further expose the absurdity of this whole process. He passed Westbrook (who has slipped and is no longer playing like a Western Conference All-Star) and Curry (who has missed nearly the entire season due to injury). It’s a popularity contest that only somewhat overlaps with on-court production. Caruso is among the bigger absurdities in All-Star voting, but there’s no sanctity to uphold here.
The latest update in All-Star voting provides minimal meaningful change from the previous returns.
Carmelo Anthony moved from eighth to sixth among Western Conference frontcourt players, passing Kristaps Porzingis and Karl-Anthony Towns. It still seems likely LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard will snag the three Western Conference frontcourt starting spots. But Anthony – who’s highly popular among fellow players – has an outside chance if media votes (which won’t include him) are concentrated enough.
LeBron James still leads the overall voting. Giannis Antetokounmpo leads Eastern Conference players, though he trails Luka Doncic. Let me restate my objection: If he has more votes than Antetokounmpo, Doncic should be an All-Star captain. Dividing by conference at the captain-picking stage – when the whole point is no longer dividing the All-Star game by conference – is a bad method.
Likewise, players shouldn’t be divided by conference when selected at all (though I understand Eastern Conference teams want to protect spots for their lesser players).
Maybe we can start by eliminating positional designations. Make the best 26 – yes, 26 – players All-Stars, and let them sort it out on the court.
Here’s the All-Star full leaderboard:
1. Trae Young (ATL) 2,066,924
2. Kyrie Irving (BRK) 1,814,618
3. Kemba Walker (BOS) 1,797,633
4. Derrick Rose (DET) 1,381,934
5. Kyle Lowry (TOR) 848,293
6. Zach LaVine (CHI) 847,632
7. Jaylen Brown (BOS) 718,355
8. Ben Simmons (PHI) 629,199
9. Bradley Beal (WAS) 609,899
10. Fred VanVleet (TOR) 546,471
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) 4,474,107
2. Pascal Siakam (TOR) 2,433,411
3. Joel Embiid (PHI) 2,398,743
4. Jimmy Butler (MIA) 2,046,257
5. Jayson Tatum (BOS) 1,622,635
6. Tacko Fall (BOS) 757,375
7. Bam Adebayo (MIA) 529,244
8. Gordon Hayward (BOS) 398,213
9. Domantas Sabonis (IND) 381,390
10. Andre Drummond (DET) 325,178
1. Luka Doncic (DAL) 4,598,323
2. James Harden (HOU) 2,934,614
3. Damian Lillard (POR) 984,140
4. Alex Caruso (LAL) 894,827
5. Russell Westbrook (HOU) 837,187
6. Stephen Curry (GSW) 819,352
7. Donovan Mitchell (UTA) 673,917
8. Devin Booker (PHO) 577,035
9. D’Angelo Russell (GSW) 491,047
10. Ja Morant (MEM) 399,703
1. LeBron James (LAL) 4,747,887
2. Anthony Davis (LAL) 4,412,619
3. Kawhi Leonard (LAC) 2,973,076
4. Paul George (LAC) 1,171,616
5. Nikola Jokic (DEN) 889,387
6. Carmelo Anthony (POR) 784,038
7. Kristaps Porzingis (DAL) 774,056
8. Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) 746,013
9. Brandon Ingram (NOP) 672,666
10. Dwight Howard (LAL) 670,643