COMMENTARY| NBA All-Star voting isn't an exact science.
It's a process that rewards players based on fan analysis, rather than statistical - allowing for anyone with a ticket or a Wi-Fi enabled iPhone 5 to cast their choice for the 2013 Eastern and Western Conference teams.
No worries, perennial All-Stars LeBron James and Kobe Bryant aren't in danger of being left out. Yet recent ballots have yielded head-scratching results, the most notable of which was cast two seasons ago.
Former Houston Rockets center Yao Ming earned an All-Star berth despite playing in just five games during the 2010-11 regular season, all before the middle of November. He garnered 928,928 votes to lead all Western Conference centers - interestingly enough - about 270,000 votes more than Andrew Bynum, who was at that time the center for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bynum, now with the Philadelphia 76ers, isn't quite on pace to reach the near million hole-punches Ming received. He has a better shot at matching Ming's games played mark from that season.
The Sixers 7-footer hasn't touched the court this year, battling recurring knee issues stemming from season's past and possibly a setback from a casual round of bowling. His poor haircut probably isn't helping along his return either. He does hold the honor of being the Sixers' leading vote-getter this season, with the third returns of the 2013 balloting process showing Bynum with 93,611 votes, good for 12th among front-court players in the Eastern Conference and 17th overall. Having not played a minute, Bynum is 27,097 votes ahead of Sixers point guard Jrue Holiday, who is eighth among backcourt vote-getters in the East and 22nd overall.
Bynum's not slated to make the team with those current numbers. Neither is Holiday. The difference being that Holiday is in the midst of a career season, scoring 18.8 points per game and hovering near the top of the leader board for assists per game with nine. With voting for both coming in under the 100,000 mark, it's easy to ascertain that most of the voting coming from Sixers fans is being done on paper ballots at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. It would be hard to believe Sixers fans are flocking to vote with the online crowd with a mediocre team boasting a roster of mediocre players.
So why, with a fan base as intelligent as Philadelphia's, would a player who hasn't seen a minute on the court be so far ahead of a young and entertaining point guard such as Holiday?
Holiday may not past the eye-test for being an All-Star quite yet. He is, however, the MVP of the Sixers nearing the halfway point of the season and certainly the only player on the team worthy of an All-Star vote.
He also hasn't injured himself bowling.
Ming may have carried favor with a strong following during a short, but successful career. Bynum hasn't earned an honorary vote. If you're a Sixers fan stop voting for Bynum. If you're a fan of the NBA involved in the process, stop voting for Bynum.
And if you're NBA commissioner David Stern, start adopting a process that doesn't allow players undeserving of All-Star status to have their name on the ballot.
NBA All-Star voting isn't an exact science. It shouldn't be an embarrassment either.
Rob Edwards lives in New Jersey and has been covering the Philadelphia 76ers for six years. He has been published in the South Jersey Times as well as multiple other newspapers and NJ.com.
You can follow Rob on Twitter @SJsportswriter.
- Sports & Recreation
- Andrew Bynum
- Jrue Holiday
- Yao Ming