The franchise that turned its entire fan base away for years and years thanks to decades of purposeful losing (at least that’s what portions of the media told me happened) still seems to have its fair share of admirers.
LeBron/Steph and Giannis/Kyrie lead the first returns of #NBAAllStar Voting 2019 presented by @Google!— 2019 NBA All-Star (@NBAAllStar) January 3, 2019
Vote on https://t.co/R6fBO5LSAS, the NBA App or by searching for your favorite player or team on Google.
Vote now! https://t.co/gcW4K59HC0 pic.twitter.com/JIZFyIC2Pu
In the initial All-Star Starter voting tallies released Thursday, Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler are currently third and fourth, respectively, among Eastern Conference frontcourt players. Meanwhile, Ben Simmons sits fourth among guards. Embiid is somewhat within range of Kawhi Leonard for second among frontcourt players, but the dream of his finishing first among Eastern Conference vote-getters, and getting to be the captain for a televised draft, looks like it may have to be delayed for at least another year.
In Fan Voting is Crazy Edition No. 1,654,567, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, and Luka Doncic would all be All-Star starters if the league relied solely on the current votes (I love Luka, but he ain’t there yet). I wouldn’t be surprised if Kobe Bryant was the leading vote-getter if nothing changed except the NBA put his name on the ballot (the leader of the Kobedicians would make it so).
However, it’s important to remember that even if these votes were to hold, fan voting only accounts toward 50 percent of the selections, with 25 percent going to the players and 25 percent to the media. So a player could theoretically finish outside the top-three in the frontcourt or top-two among guards and still wind up a starter.
Given Embiid’s current standing among the fans, plus his actual on-court production, it would appear likely that he’ll be among the starters in Charlotte next month. Voting continues through January 21, though, so keep voting for Joel, Jimmy, Ben, and anyone else you feel is qualified (come on Australians, Jonah Bolden is practically a regular rotation player now).