|ESPN.com: NBA All-Star 2010||[Print without images]|
“Paper balloting has already closed, but votes can be cast until 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday night on nba.com or by texting a player's last name to 6-9-6-2-2 (MYNBA). Starters will be announced Thursday night. McGrady has a good chance of being passed, as his lead over Steve Nash for the second guard spot in the Western Conference was only 2,375 votes when the most recent update was released Jan. 7. McGrady hasn't been able to strengthen his case since then, since he'd already been granted a leave from the Rockets while they try to find a trade. He has played sparingly in only six games this season since coming back from knee surgery, and Allen thinks commissioner David Stern should consider a rule mandating that a player appear in a minimum number of games to be eligible. "Tracy, if he played, I'm sure he'd play well enough to be an All-Star player, because he's done that his career," Allen said. "But again, that's taking away from another player in the Western Conference that's having a great year, that's been playing, that deserves to be in there." Iverson had a better shot of holding on to his No. 2 spot in the East, leading Vince Carter by more than 185,000 votes. He's listed with West players on the paper ballot after starting the season in Memphis, but his votes count in the East since he signed with the Philadelphia 76ers. He hasn't played at an All-Star level this season, but fans may be looking at what he's done in the past. "A lot of times voting reflects career achievement as well as yearly achievements," McIntyre said. Allen also mentioned getting the coaches, who pick the reserves, involved in selecting the starters. Even that may not guarantee the most deserving 10 players, since coaches could have their own opinions about who belongs in the All-Star Game. During Shaquille O'Neal's unproductive, injury-plagued final season in Miami in 2008, former Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said he planned to vote him as a reserve anyway, recalling that when he played respected older players such as Julius Erving still made All-Star teams late in their careers. That's why Charlotte coach Larry Brown supports Iverson's election. "I've seen Willie Mays and those older guys start based on what they've done in their career in baseball, and we've had that happen in basketball for years, guys that have made a contribution," Brown said. "That's why the fans are involved, and I think it's kind of neat that they are involved. They support the league, they vote for their favorite players. I always look at a guy's body of work." That's fine for some, but it means worthy players are going to be left out. Unlike baseball, which mandates every team be represented in its All-Star Game, the NBA has only 12 spots per conference to fill. "You figure if there's 24 players that get named to the All-Star team, there's always 30 that deserve it, and you figure that's six that should be on the All-Star team," Allen said. Toronto forward Chris Bosh had little chance of starting the game in his hometown of Dallas, sitting well behind LeBron James and Kevin Garnett despite a terrific first half. Yet he doesn't want to change the voting format. "It's all about the fans," he said. "It's all about who they want to see because they generate the dollars, they're going to watch the game, so they're going to vote for their favorite players, and that's probably how it should be." Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
That's taking away from another player in the Western Conference that's having a great year, that's been playing, that deserves to be in there.” -- Celtics guard Ray Allen