Just as soon as you thought the Knicks had left the news cycle, with a league announcement that Carmelo Anthony had been selected as injury replacement for Kevin Love in Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game.
There are arguments for a handful of qualified Eastern Conference players (Al Horford comes to mind), but it’s Bradley Beal and his semi-controversial comments that are grabbing headlines.
“I’ll never say a player doesn’t deserve to be on the all-star team. For one, Carmelo is a great player. Hell, he’s been one of the best offensive threats in the league for years now, and I’m taking absolutely nothing away from him. But the process of it does not make sense,” Beal told the Washington Post Thursday morning. “If they reward winning, then I don’t understand how the decision was made…It was kind of weird to me.”
A young man such as Beal should be well aware that a quick google search on this subject is about as easy as simply opening one’s eyes. The NBA posted the results of the fan, player and media votes (including which media members voted), and how the votes were calculated in determining the starting lineups.
According to the league, “Each player’s score was weighted based on 50% for fan vote, 25% for players vote and 25% for media vote. The formula to determine a player’s score is (Fan Rank * 2 + Player Rank + Media Rank)/4.”
So how did the votes come out…
Carmelo unsurprisingly won the fan vote with over 544,000 votes, compared to Beal’s approximately 48,000.
When voted on by their peers, Anthony earned 50 total votes, good for sixth amongst East frontcourt players (one shy of Knick neophyte Kristaps Porzingis), while Beal earned 16, earning him sole place of eighth amongst a competitive backcourt field. Neither player earned enough votes from the media members to come close to starting.
The coaches confidentially vote for the reserve selections and are required to select a lineup that includes two backcourt players, three frontcourt players and two wildcard players that can play any position. Without being able to see the coaches votes, the public may never know where exactly the two players finished in relation to each other. Brian Mahoney, who covers the NBA for the Associate Press tweeted, “Adam Silver went with coaches’ votes when making injury pick. Carmelo, still very respected by opponents, was next up”, in response to Beal’s comments.
This will hardly satisfy the detractors who will echo Beal’s sentiment regarding the Knicks record as validation for an All-Star selection. The Knicks are 23-34 while the Wizards are 34-21, but the votes were cast in early January at the latest when the Knicks hadn’t yet fallen apart. Could this part of the process be changed in the future for teams that struggle early? Absolutely. But to adjust course this late on a whim seems something more in line with what the NFL would do, and no one wants to follow their lead these days.
What about the season stats though?
Well, Beal has been averaging 22/3/4 with a 19.6 PER and 5.5 win shares in 50 games. Carmelo Anthony’s average statline is 23/6/3 with 19.4 and 4.5 win shares in 56 contests. Not much difference there, however Beal has been much more efficient tallying a 55.9% eFG as compared to Anthony’s 49.9%*. If being 6% more efficient is the tie breaker for you, bully for you friend. Although I will say (write) this: It reeks from the bowels of suckitude that Bradley Beal isn’t joining his backcourt mate John Wall in New Orleans (full stop).
I get it, I really do. But Carmelo Anthony won the popular vote, the player vote, probably the coaches vote, and if you’re keeping score at home, that’s all the votes. Anthony’s season stats are also comparable to Beal’s. The winning record argument doesn’t even hold up when you add in records for other people who made the roster (wassup Giannis and Kemba!) Let’s not forget to mention Beal plays with one of the top guards in the league (which could theoretically work against his case) and also doesn’t even fill the injured player (Love’s) position.
Furthermore, unless something insane happens over the next 10 years Bradley Beal should not sniff the Basketball Hall of Fame, and they let anybody in so I don’t want to hear anything about “legacy”.
Enjoy the All-Star Weekend everybody, and remember…this game means absolutely nothing!
*stats from basketball reference