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Deserving or not Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade among All-Star starters in early voting returns

Dec 12, 2013, 1:58 PM EDT

2012 NBA All-Star Game Getty Images

It’s your game fans. The NBA All-Star Game is an exhibition filled with the players you vote to see.

Whether those players deserve the honor based on their performance the first half of the season or not. Sometimes the most deserving guys don’t make the cut while guys hobbling through the season do.

Which brings us to the early returns for this year’s NBA All-Star Game voting. Kobe Bryant — who has played in just two games this season — and Dwyane Wade (who has missed a number of games and is having arguably his worst season since his rookie year) would be starting if the early voting returns hold form.

And know that these first results pretty much always hold form. Maybe there is one change but that’s usually about it.

It’s not who I’d put on my ballot, but here are the starting five through the first round of voting (which opened last month and runs through Jan. 20). Remember that you vote for two backcourt and three frontcourt players, it is not broken out by position anymore:

EASTERN CONFERENCE STARTERS:

Backcourt: Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat), Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Frontcourt: LeBron James (Miami Heat), Paul George (Indiana Pacers), Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)

As we told you before, that will make LeBron James the defacto center on that team, matched up on Dwight Howard.

Those five likely stand. In the frontcourt those three have a healthy lead over Roy Hibbert who is fourth. In the backcourt Derrick Rose is third but he is injured and out, John Wall is fifth but already a couple hundred thousand votes behind Irving.

WESTERN CONFERENCE STARTERS:

Backcourt: Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers), Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers)
Frontcourt: Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder), Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets), Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers).

You had to know even if Kobe didn’t play yet he’d be a top vote getter, and he is second in the West and third overall (LeBron is just ahead of Durant by a couple thousand votes for the top spot). Stephen Curry is third in the West and could make up the ground to catch CP3, but not Kobe.

If we see a switch, don’t be surprised if it is Kevin Love catching Blake Griffin for the third spot on that front line. Love is within 20,000 votes and could make up that ground and start if there is a push for him.

There’s a lot of other things we could pick apart — Steve Nash got more votes than Damian Lillard? — but it’s all kind of moot. Fans vote for the starters, a vote of the coaches around the league picks the reserves.

Voting for the All-Star Game — held Feb. 16 in New Orleans — is open through Jan. 20. Fans can cast their ballot a number of ways: By texting the player’s last name to 6-9-6-2-2 (“MYNBA”); by visiting NBA.com/asb on any wireless device; or by going to nba.com/asb from a desktop or mobile browser.

Here are the top 10 vote getters

Eastern Conference

Frontcourt
1. LeBron James (Mia) 609,336
2. Paul George (Ind) 489,335
3. Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 424,211
4. Roy Hibbert (Ind) 208,369
5. Chris Bosh (Mia) 156,364
6. Kevin Garnett (BKN) 102,825
7. Joakim Noah (Chi) 75,229
8. Jeff Green (Bos) 55,912
9. Luol Deng (Chi) 54,340
10. Tyson Chandler (NYK) 51,738

Backcourt
1. Dwyane Wade (Mia) 396,279
2. Kyrie Irving (Cle) 365,712
3. Derrick Rose (Chi) 272,410
4. John Wall (Was) 124,851
5. Ray Allen (Mia) 99,464
6. Rajon Rondo (Bos) 80,889
7. Deron Williams (BKN) 44,282
8. George Hill (Ind) 42,536
9. Evan Turner (Phi) 33,605
10. Mario Chalmers (Mia) 32,996

Western Conference

Frontcourt:
1. Kevin Durant (OKC) 607,407
2. Dwight Howard (Hou) 295,120
3. Blake Griffin (LAC) 292,925
4. Kevin Love (Min) 275,506
5. Tim Duncan (SA) 217,271
6. Anthony Davis (NO) 149,579
7. Pau Gasol (LAL) 133,199
8. LaMarcus Aldridge (Por) 132,818
9. Andre Iguodala (GS) 109,745
10. Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 89,093

Backcourt
1. Kobe Bryant (LAL) 501,215
2. Chris Paul (LAC) 393,313
3. Stephen Curry (GS) 327,449
4. Jeremy Lin (Hou) 240,404
5. James Harden (Hou) 198,667
6. Russell Westbrook (OKC) 149,065
7. Tony Parker (SA) 112,423
8. Ricky Rubio (Min) 63,096
9. Steve Nash (LAL) 60,782
10. Damian Lillard (Por) 55,847

  1. sire2334 - Dec 12, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    What is with all of the the Kyrie obsession?

    • zerole00 - Dec 12, 2013 at 3:00 PM

      Not a knock against Kyrie, but it’s not like there are that many other options. Rose is definitely out, and Rondo has been out for a while. Wall’s a legit option thus far though.

      • sire2334 - Dec 12, 2013 at 3:17 PM

        Oh no doubt. I wasn’t going for a knock on him either. And you’re right. But that’s one hell of a gap between him and Wall.

    • asimonetti88 - Dec 12, 2013 at 3:28 PM

      Uncle Drew.

  2. miamatt - Dec 12, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    While the Kobe choice is questionable based on his playing just two games, who exactly should start ahead of Wade in the East? He has missed six games, I believe, but has still played in most of them. Wade is averaging 18+5+5 with a high FG%. Maybe not gangbusters, but really, what guard in the East takes his place? John Wall is probably the next man up but you could hardly say he is getting robbed on this.

    • mayorrobford - Dec 12, 2013 at 2:41 PM

      John Wall is getting robbed on this

    • chadley71 - Dec 12, 2013 at 3:26 PM

      are you kidding me??? d wade, what has he done THIS YEAR to deserve to be on all star team…. NOTTA. Kobe…. pleeeez.

      where is David West on this ballot, he should be ahead of Bosh big time.
      for the East, Rose, Rondo, Williams, Chandler & Garnett should not even be listed. Chalmers and Hill should be at least in top 4.

      the all star balloting should have NEVER been left up to fans, because it has turned out to be a popularity contest. the voting needs to go back to the old way of putting deserving players out there and these non-deserving players that are “voted” should be real pros and step aside.

      • irvfin3 - Dec 12, 2013 at 3:48 PM

        Chadley71 do you watch basketball? chalmers and hill? they’re not allstar material period! they suck! irving and wall belong up there. if there’s another pg on the east that should be up there it’s JEFF TEAGUE!!! Williams should be up there long as he doesn’t get injured. other than that i agree with you

      • miamatt - Dec 12, 2013 at 3:49 PM

        As was previously stated, 18+5+5 on over 50% shooting is pretty damn good. That’s THIS YEAR. If you have somebody better to vote for this year, let’s hear it.

        Wade and Kobe do not belong in the same conversation regarding all-star worthiness.

        Yes it’s a popularity contest but who in the East should start ahead of Wade? Nobody.

      • sportsfan18 - Dec 12, 2013 at 4:47 PM

        chadley71

        If not D Wade, then who?

        D Wade PER THIS year is 21.0

        J Wall is good this year, PER is 20.9

        But, when it comes to shooting…

        D Wade true shooting percentage is .572% which is better than his career average by the way so he’s shooting well compared to other yrs.

        J Wall’s true shooting percentage is a VERY bad .513%

        By the way, I’m a Bulls fan, not a fan of the Heat or D Wade at all.

        Chalmers PER this yr is 14.2 which is BELOW the league average PER of 15.0.

        How can he be TOP 4 when he is BELOW league average?

        Now in addition to being a Bulls fan, I’m also a fan of the Pacers (born and raised in Indiana outside of Chicago, went to college not far from Indy).

        George Hill’s PER this season is 14.0, again below league average.

        His true shooting percentage is a low .526%

        He is NOT a top 4 guard even in the east.

    • asimonetti88 - Dec 12, 2013 at 3:32 PM

      Wall, without a doubt. Seeing as there is no longer a defined position, and it is simply “backcourt”, Wall should be a starter over either Irving or Wade. Dude is second in the league in assists on top of having some solid scoring numbers.

  3. davidly - Dec 12, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    From a Pacers fan who thinks that Stephenson should be high on the list, I still say Wade absolutely belongs there. I never liked the calls he gets at both ends of the floor, but that is what it is. He’s having a pretty stellar season, 18 pts per at a 52 percent clip? Come on. Let alone for a guy who’s supposed to have finished knees.

    • zerole00 - Dec 12, 2013 at 3:01 PM

      It helps playing with LBJ, who draws cover from 2-3 guys.

      • davidly - Dec 12, 2013 at 3:30 PM

        It doesn’t hurt. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s the fans voting. It’s just the all-star game–which really says it all. I cannot remember ever being really entertained by it.

      • doc305 - Dec 12, 2013 at 3:56 PM

        right, since Wade was a scrub before Lebron came around…

      • zerole00 - Dec 13, 2013 at 9:35 AM

        The argument was his current playing ability given his knee issues.

    • antistratfordian - Dec 12, 2013 at 5:26 PM

      Good grief. Stephenson shouldn’t be anywhere near the All-Star game. I need to remind myself in our future dialogues that I’m talking to someone with a heavy, irrational Pacers bias.

      • davidly - Dec 13, 2013 at 2:46 AM

        I on the other hand have long known that I’m “talking to” a troll.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 13, 2013 at 3:55 PM

        Again, you’re irrational. Stephenson is not an all-star and I am only a truth teller.

      • davidly - Dec 13, 2013 at 4:25 PM

        You’re a troll.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 13, 2013 at 4:27 PM

        You think Lance Stephenson is an All-Star. I don’t.

        You are unreasonable. I am reasonable.

      • davidly - Dec 13, 2013 at 4:41 PM

        You are a troll.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:12 PM

        Coming from an irrational homer that isn’t saying much.

      • davidly - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:15 PM

        It’s your saying much that makes you a troll.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:16 PM

        yawn. until next time, irrational homer.

      • davidly - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:19 PM

        Next time? Hah. Troll can’t quit.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:27 PM

        zzzzZZZZzzzz

  4. ihavenonickname - Dec 12, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    Gosh it is going to be really hard to pick 12 guys for the east team this year… Geez can they just carry 9??

  5. theromeo2k - Dec 12, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    I can’t believe that Dirk Nowitzki and Damian Lillard are both at the 10th spot in these votings, smh. What are people Thinking!!!!??

    • hannsta - Dec 12, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      But its cool that Lin is #3? And 2 guys who haven’t played all year are above both of them?

    • ranfan12 - Dec 12, 2013 at 11:31 PM

      Lol I think they deserve to be in the roster though. They are both playing at “all star” level at least. Especially dirk considering that lacking season he had last year

  6. claymatthewsisonsteroids - Dec 12, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    The masses are asses.

  7. zerole00 - Dec 12, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    Lin got more votes than Harden and Parker? Seriously?

    • sportsfan18 - Dec 12, 2013 at 4:48 PM

      There are a FEW people in China you know…

    • antistratfordian - Dec 12, 2013 at 4:56 PM

      Lin is the People’s All-Star.

  8. ihitjumpshots - Dec 12, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Stop letting the fans vote. Know why? Because Lin is beating Harden, Russ, TP and Lillard. Because Kobe is #1, but has only played two games. Because Rondo is on the list, period. It’s gotten ridiculous.

    • zerole00 - Dec 12, 2013 at 3:03 PM

      Yeah, but these same fans are also the ones paying $150 for a pair of shoes and God knows how many Lin jerseys. Humoring their stupidity is good for profits.

  9. bucrightoff - Dec 12, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    Its a game for the fans of no defense. Kobe fits right in.

  10. senorpapino - Dec 12, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    East frontcourt is a joke after Hibbert. Both Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond should be on that list.

  11. irvfin3 - Dec 12, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    Pau Gasol, Tim Duncan and Blake Griffin over Lamarcus Aldridge?! Kevin Garnett? Jeremy Lin? WOW

  12. wwttww - Dec 12, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    No Hawks on the lists?…sounds about right to me.

  13. themagicfanguy - Dec 12, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    KG has been terrible this year and doesn’t belong anywhere near the list no matter how popular he is. I understand why it’s a fan vote but it kills me to see Nash and KG on the list when you have players like Afflalo and Teague balling out.

  14. themagicfanguy - Dec 12, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    Plus, WTF no Vucevic?!

  15. unxpexted1 - Dec 12, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    I think Aaran Affalo definitelyh deserves a nod somewhere in the All Star conversation. 21, 4, 4 is not bad at all and def worthy at the 2g.

  16. antistratfordian - Dec 12, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    Hey… Kobe has put in the time – that comes with some perks. Like every first ballot hall of famer, he deserves at least one undeserving All-Star nod.

  17. bealwithit - Dec 12, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    People who ACTUALLY WATCH basketball know John Wall should start based on his play this year.

    People who watch ESPN highlights and pepsi commericals are the ones voting for Kyrie.

    Unfortunately, the mainstream fans are the ones dominating the voting. Let the coaches or players vote.

  18. ranfan12 - Dec 12, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    Lol, wouldn’t mind seeing gasol play a little bit in the all star game.

  19. dinofrank60 - Dec 13, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    You guys shouldn’t be surprised. A league that prides itself on entertainment, thinking all you want to do is be entertained instead of watching the game. The league wants Kobe and DWade in the game, because they know people will watch. Especially non-hardcore fans.

    As long as you enthusiastically endorse this product, the league will continue to give you what you want. Boy, will they give it to you!!!

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