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Nothing shocking here: Kobe, LeBron lead All-Star ballot early returns

Dec 13, 2012, 2:32 PM EDT

2012 NBA All-Star Game Getty Images

We don’t exactly need Nate Silver to break down these voting returns and trends — the players in the lead early in the NBA All-Star balloting almost always stay on top. Occasionally guys close small gaps, but generally what you see now is what you get.

In which case — good job public. No glaring mistakes here.

The league has released the first NBA All-Star Game ballot returns — fan votes choose the five starters for each conference (coaches votes determine the reserves).

When the All-Star Game tips off Feb. 17 in Houston, your likely starters are:

East: Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett.

West: Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin and Dwight Howard.

Not shockingly, LeBron is the leading overall vote getter (641,348) with Kobe 1,929 votes back of him.

While I can argue the merits of Chris Bosh starting over Kevin Garnett — he’s having a much better season — or if Tim Duncan should be on there instead of Dwight Howard (whether Duncan wants it or not) there are no egregious choices. Yet. The most obvious is Jeremy Lin, the Rockets guard who is third in backcourt voting in the West, but fortunately more than 50,000 back of CP3.

But I want to come and personally smack all of you that have voted for Andrew Bynum, Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire. Seriously.

Here is the voting as of now — three frontcourt and two backcourt players for each side will start. You can vote online or at games through Jan. 14. So go online on your new tablet and do that on Christmas day rather than listen to your uncle Jerry tell that same story about the time your father broke his leg again.

EASTERN CONFERENCE:

Frontcourt:
1. LeBron James (Mia) 641,348
2. Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 573,112
3. Kevin Garnett (Bos) 218,246
4. Chris Bosh (Mia) 210,724
5. Tyson Chandler (NYK) 151,744
6. Paul Pierce (Bos) 114,735
7. Joakim Noah (Chi) 73,366
8. Josh Smith (Atl) 69,344
9. Andrew Bynum (Phi) 68,596
10. Amar’e Stoudemire (NYK) 64,266

Backcourt:
1. Dwyane Wade (Mia) 430,925
2. Rajon Rondo (Bos) 382,613
3. Deron Williams (BKN) 211,426
4. Kyrie Irving (Cle) 155,989
5. Ray Allen (Mia) 130,016
6. Monta Ellis (Mil) 47,650
7. Raymond Felton (NYK) 37,974
8. Jason Terry (Bos) 36,147
9. Brandon Jennings (Mil) 35,610
10. Jrue Holiday (Phi) 35,193.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Frontcourt:
1. Kevin Durant (OKC) 605,965
2. Dwight Howard (LAL) 434,168
3. Blake Griffin (LAC) 307,855
4. Tim Duncan (SA) 189,577
5. Pau Gasol (LAL) 139,868
6. Kevin Love (Min) 112,922
7. Omer Asik (Hou) 88,178
8. Rudy Gay (Mem) 85,279
9. Serge Ibaka (OKC) 68,285
10. LaMarcus Aldridge (Por) 66,290

Backcourt:
1. Kobe Bryant (LAL) 639,419
2. Chris Paul (LAC) 353,603
3. Jeremy Lin (Hou) 298,319
4. James Harden (Hou) 196,108
5. Russell Westbrook (OKC) 143,437
6. Steve Nash (LAL) 118,073
7. Tony Parker (SA) 69,983
8. Ricky Rubio (Min) 54,744
9. Manu Ginobili (SA) 47,800
10. O.J. Mayo (Dal) 36,495.

  1. goraidersgospurs - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    Much respect to everyone that voted for Duncan!!!

  2. coasttocoast12 - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    Asik should’ve been in front of Gasol. That’s just my opinion but he has proven that he isn’t only a defensive center who will average 3 ppg for his entire career.

  3. clevelandschronic2 - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    Where the Hell is Varejao. Dude has been on a rampage this season. They need to change the voting NOW. What a damn shame!!!!!

    • 00maltliquor - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:00 PM

      That IS a shame. I knew something was missing on the East frontcourt. Too bad he’s not Asian or plays for the Rockets. China would have him starting QUICK!

      • saint1997 - Dec 13, 2012 at 4:25 PM

        ikr. if JLin surpasses CP3 i’m sorry but I’m gonna flip

    • dko83 - Dec 13, 2012 at 4:24 PM

      I know.. eliminate fan voting please.

    • eventhorizon04 - Dec 13, 2012 at 4:52 PM

      Coaches will get him in as a backup, don’t worry. Dude has been a beast this year.

  4. goldenstate30 - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    How is nash and rubio who havnt even played going to be voted over curry, and lee is playin out of his mind good but it looks like hes going to be snubbed again.. What a joke

  5. sdelmonte - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    I looked now at the ballot for the first time, and am surprised that there aren’t five players representing every team. How is it the league’s job to tell fans that players from their clubs aren’t even good enough to qualify? Especially since they left off Jason Kidd and included Amare.

    • therealroman - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:27 PM

      I agree that’s almost disrespectful, but then again it’s all about Marketing and stuff. The NBA doesn’t care about finding the 12 players who were the best in each conference. They care about a big weekend where they can make big money off of merchandise ect. So many fans of this league aren’t real experts in this sport and might remember the big name Stoudemire and his dunks 5 years ago…they don’t care about all the incredible things Kidd does for this team this year. Sad but tr

    • therealroman - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:28 PM

      I agree that’s almost disrespectful, but then again it’s all about Marketing and stuff. The NBA doesn’t care about finding the 12 players who were the best in each conference. They care about a big weekend where they can make big money off of merchandise ect. So many fans of this league aren’t real experts in this sport and might remember the big name Stoudemire and his dunks 5 years ago…they don’t care about all the incredible things Kidd does for this team this year. Sad but true

  6. therealroman - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    So Amar’e over Anderson Varejao…that’s like back when they voted AI or Yao in even though they weren’t playing anymore!

  7. cosanostra71 - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Kobe is starting for the West twice?

    • 00maltliquor - Dec 13, 2012 at 5:06 PM

      Yes, he’s THAT good.

      • Justin - Dec 13, 2012 at 7:45 PM

        Takes enough shots too

  8. timb12 - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    Can I vote for Yao? I’d love for him to play.

  9. willardj - Dec 13, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    I love how New York and Boston ruin basketball for the rest of us. Amare gets more votes than Hibbert, despite Amare not playing a single game. And then Rondo gets more votes than Holiday, despite Holiday getting the better of Rondo this season.

    • cosanostra71 - Dec 13, 2012 at 4:25 PM

      It may not just be New York and Boston fans. A lot of casual fans vote for All-Stars too, and Amare and Rondo are the more recognizable names.

    • saint1997 - Dec 13, 2012 at 4:27 PM

      It’s not exactly their fault mate, people want to vote for their players on their team. More people live in those areas, it’s pretty simple maths

  10. tcclark - Dec 13, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    The East Backcourt should be Rondo and Holiday. I hate fan voting. They’ll vote in Deron Williams or Dwyane Wade on a down year over a player who actually playing better than either of them. same thing with Joakim Noah. I personally don’t like the guy, but he’s been playing out of his mind and is the single reason the Bulls are any good. I wouldn’t be upset with Varejao either, but Noah’s 2.3 blocks per game, his 4 assists per game, and the fact that he’s carrying a winning team puts him ahead of Varejao in my book. The East should be:
    Rondo
    Holiday
    Lebron
    Carmelo
    Noah

    The West should be:
    Westbrook
    Kobe
    Durant
    Randolph
    Duncan

    Zach Randolph was my last pick, but I had to choose him over Dwight because of what Dwight has done to his team. His Free Throw shooting is terrible and I honestly believe that if Bynum were healthy and on this team they would be significantly better. Dwight is a distraction. He should be the third option on this team behind Kobe and Pau, but they are trying to make him a bigger part to keep him happy. Zach Randolph on the other hand has quietly gone about his business and the Grizzlies look really good. He should be rewarded for his play and the effect he has on his team.

  11. dko83 - Dec 13, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    But I want to come and personally smack all of you that have voted for Andrew Bynum, Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire. Seriously.

    Just when I think you couldn’t possibly be any more a Lakers homer, you go and say something like this…and totally redeem yourself!

    • eventhorizon04 - Dec 13, 2012 at 4:55 PM

      Those 3 guys have played a combined 2 games this year (both by Steve Nash).

      I understand fans supporting their team’s best players, but at the very least, a guy should play at least a dozen games before fans vote for him as an All-Star.

    • 00maltliquor - Dec 13, 2012 at 5:09 PM

      Kurt is in no way a Laker homer. In. No. Way.

  12. eventhorizon04 - Dec 13, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Let me begin by saying I’m not a “Jeremy Lin hater.”

    The guy has less than 1 full season of career starts, but in that short period, he’s had more than a few monster games, most recently on the Rockets while up against the Spurs. When a guy keeps having big games, he’s obviously demonstrating some good talent, and I really think Lin could eventually become a legitimate All-Star in a year or two.

    That being said, Lin is not playing at an All-Star level this year, and there were some concerns that Lin would get 1 million votes the way Yao Ming used to, in part because of Lin’s widespread fanbase in general after Linsanity, and in the East Asian community in particular.
    However, Lin’s relatively smaller vote total (compared to Yao Ming’s) makes it clear that the reason why Yao Ming got so many votes was mainly because he truly DID play at an All-Star level (when healthy), and fans aren’t going to vote for Lin in huge numbers because Lin playing at that level yet.
    So while Lin’s Chinese (technically Taiwanese) ancestry probably boosts his voting total above where it should be, I’m glad Chinese fans aren’t giving him a million votes, because he hasn’t earned that many with his play – YET.

  13. jimsjam33 - Dec 13, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Add Jamal Crawford , LAC , in the West
    Add Anderson Varejao , CLE , in the East ….
    To do anything less would be a travesty of immeasurable proportions !

  14. max20characters - Dec 13, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    DAVID LEE

  15. max20characters - Dec 13, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    STEPHEN CURRY

  16. max20characters - Dec 13, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    DAVID

  17. max20characters - Dec 13, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    LEE

  18. max20characters - Dec 13, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    STEPHEN

  19. max20characters - Dec 13, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    CURRY

  20. jhuck92 - Dec 13, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    Kobe might as well be playing two positions

  21. jhuck92 - Dec 13, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    Kobe might as well be playing two positions. He’s the only one doing anything productive on his team.

  22. mrchainbluelightning - Dec 13, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    “In which case — good job public. No glaring mistakes here.”

    What?

    Because they got Kobe, Durant, Melo and James correct?
    They rest is another hot mess as usual

  23. mrchainbluelightning - Dec 13, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    So KG, Bosh, Chandler, Pierce have more votes than Josh Smith
    That’s funny

    Wade, Irving, Allen (lol), Felton have more votes than Holiday
    WTF?

    Griffin’s fanboys made sure Blake has more votes than Duncan? That’s predictable and still dumb
    Gasol and Love have more than Rudy Gay?

    Lin LMAO, ahead of Harden and Westbrook? And Parker?

    Again Kurt, don’t give the fans credit for getting the obvious players correct. They have failed yet again on the whole in understanding who is doing what this season.

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