Despite playing in only 6 games this season (3.2 ppg in 7 mpg) since returning from microfracture surgery last season, McGrady is set to start in the ASG. He keeps gaining votes even though the Rockets have refused to play him and want to trade the 7 time All-Star and his $23 million expiring contract.
T-Mac’s popularity in fan voting has caused major controversy: does he deserve to be an All-Star when he isn’t even playing for his team? No doubt it’s fans from China, who are so devastated by the loss of Rockets center Yao Ming through injury, who are voting for T-Mac and Rockets teammates Trevor Ariza and Aaron Brooks in their hordes. How else can you explain Aaron Brooks getting more All-Star votes than Brandon Roy, Billups and Tony Parker?
Even though McGrady is a few years past his prime and ultimately doesn’t deserve an All-Star spot, if the fans want him to start, it’s their prerogative. The All-Star game is a spectacle for the fans, and they pick who they want to see. The T-Mac situation is nothing new: no one moaned when Magic Johnson was voted in as a starter for the 1992 ASG despite having retired and not played a single game that season. And no one kicked up a fuss when Vince Carter gave up his starting spot so Michael Jordan could play in his final ASG in 2003.
So many people complain about pro sports being out of touch with its fan base, but the All-Star game is a game for the fans, and they choose their favourite players. And even though T-Mac doesn’t deserve it, you cannot deny the concept of fan voting. Just don’t expect Deron Williams to be overjoyed when he gets another snub for the All Star game because of the overcrowding of guards in the West….