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Posted at 4:17 PM ET, 11/19/2010

Canadian Bacon Democracy

By Lee Friedman

The NBA released their annual All-Star ballot, and conspicuously missing from it was one Andray Blatche. Just to clarify, I’m not saying Blatche should be voted into the All-Star Game, just that he should be considered -- 16 ppg and 7.5 rpg certainly warrants being on the ballot, even if his innovative New Coke-like approach to guarding the pick-and-roll may not get him on the team. Don’t worry Andray, you aren’t bad at defense, you’re just ahead of your time.

I give the NBA credit for transparency, they let fans know exactly who to blame for this oversight. Your 2010 Ballot Selection Committee: J.A. Adande (, Marv Albert (TNT), Art Garcia ( Marc Spears (Yahoo! Sports), Doug Smith (The Toronto Star) and Ian Thomsen (Sports Illustrated).

Most of those guys are national media and probably don’t have a strong allegiance to any particular team. Although seeing New York Knick Danilo Gallinari being included (15 ppg but only 4 rpg and 32% 3-point shooting), it sure looks like Marv Albert left his (bite) mark on the ballot.

I recognized most of the names on the Selection Committee except for one, Doug Smith from the Toronto Star. He also seems to be the only team beat writer in the group. According to his bio he has covered the Raptors for 15 years. Maybe being part of the Committee is a reward for being subjected to having to watch the Raptors for that long.

I’m not one to allege a conspiracy (unless it involves referees or Area 51…not together though), but if I told you two players made the All-Star Game ballot with the following statistics you’d think something was up:

Forward X: Last Season: 9 ppg and 4 rpg; This Season: 11 ppg and 3 rpg

Guard X: Last Season: 8 ppg; This Season: 12 ppg

Not awful, but certainly not All-Star level numbers. Well Forward X happens to be Linas Kleiza aka The Poor Man’s Darius Songalia and Guard X is DeMar DeRozan, the fifth best player to come out of Compton, CA. Oh yeah, and they both play for the Toronto Raptors.

We can’t blame Canada for everything though, among the other possible future All-Stars deemed worthy by the Selection Committee:

  • Mario Chalmers, Miami: 7 ppg and 3 apg last year with an All-Star-like 1 ppg and 1apg this year after having been beaten out for the starting job by Carlos Arroyo.
  • Ben Wallace, Detroit: After averaging a stellar 5 ppg and 8 rpg last year, he is averaging 3 ppg and 8 rpg this year, did Ben Wallace get grandfathered onto the ballot?
  • Derek Fisher, LAL (8 ppg and 3 apg) and Thabo Sefolosha, OKC (4 ppg and 4 rpg): Simply starting on a good team does not qualify you for an All-Star Game, gentleman.

I literally could have thrown a dart at a wall filled with NBA players and ended up with this group. How about a rule that if you are not averaging at least double figures in one category during this season or the last one, you can’t be considered for the All-Star Team ballot? Personally I’m in favor of the Russian-oligarch model of democracy: let the players vote on it.

By Lee Friedman  | November 19, 2010; 4:17 PM ET
Categories:  Lee Friedman, Wizards  | Tags:  Lee Friedman, Wizards  
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??? Does this guy really know what he is talking about?

Posted by: SlipperyRock | November 19, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

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