Tracy McGrady: All-Star Starter?
Last year, we were a part of the campaign to get Stephon Marbury a starting spot in the All-Star Game. He clearly didn’t deserve such an honor after not playing a single game for the Knicks, but he was on the ballot. And what better way to get the NBA to reform its All-Star process than to vote for a guy who hadn’t played and who was viewed as a problem child by many associated with the league?
Our efforts there failed. But a year later, it could be another guard who has logged zero minutes on the court who crashes the festivities in Dallas.
The NBA released the first set of numbers from All-Star balloting today. If voting ended today, the starters for the Eastern Conference would be LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Dwyane Wade, Vince Carter and Dwight Howard. No surprises there. Starters for the West would be Carmelo Anthony, Dirk Nowitzki, Amare Stoudemire, Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady.
Yes, that Tracy McGrady.
T-Mac has been feuding with the Rockets brass about whether he is healthy enough to play. They maintain that he isn’t ready yet, Mac has been setting dates for his return for a month now. I suppose the easiest way to get on the court at this point is to bypass the team and go straight for the midseason classic.
This is either a great strategy by McGrady and his people, a result of residual voting from Chinese fans (who have been known to include undeserving guards on their ballots when voting for Yao Ming, who is excluded from this year’s voting), or a plea from Rockets fans to get McGrady on the court. Or maybe it’s just a sign that the process should be revamped.
Whatever the case may be, McGrady has nearly 10,000 more votes than the next candidate, Steve Nash. I would be surprised if this trend continued, but it would definitely be interesting to see how things played out if the voting trends and Rick Adelman and Co.’s stubbornness were both maintained.