The NBA recently released their first vote count for the All-Star game next month. I was not surprised to see Lebron had the most votes with 595,288 votes but I was shocked to see that behind Kevin Durrant for the West's big men, Zaza Pachulia is in second place with 439,675 votes. Seriously?
Pachulia has more votes than Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, Draymond Green, DeMarcus Cousins, Karl Anthony Towns, LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin, Marc Gasol, and Deandre Jordan. He is even the 8th leading vote getter for all of the players in the NBA.
This reminds me of when Yao Ming used to get so many votes due to all his fans in China voting. I used to love to watch the All-Star game but it has lost much of it's magic over the years and stuff like this doesn't help. I think the NBA should base their criteria on current year production and stats so players who are having a great year and deserve the honor can be involved. Even though Kobe has been one of the greatest players in the game I didn't think he deserved to be the top vote getter last year, let alone play in the game.
It appears that Zaza's homeland of Georgia got people involved in a campaign to send him to the All-Star game. I'm not sure what they are doing or if they hired computer programmers to assault the system with votes for him but it's working. Even though he is a veteran I don't recall any specific plays from his career or how he has impacted the game. I just hate to see more deserving players get slighted due to the NBA's current criteria for choosing players.
This was just the first round of voting which uses the fan's input so hopefully logic will prevail when the players and media make their votes by February 19th.