NBA All Star Starters Show Rocket Fans Are Lazy Ballot Box Stuffers
Voting for NBA All Star Game starters used to be a much simpler endeavor back in the pre-internet days.
Howard and Harden will be there, but not because of the fans.
You go to a game, you grab a ballot (or handful of ballots), punch out the holes for all of your selections, and slip the ballot in the ballot box. Generally, through the 80's and 90's, the results of this methodology were fairly predictable -- two five man permutations of big market scoring champions, starters on NBA championship teams, and guys who had been in multiple All-Star games.
To a degree, unless your name was Michael Jordan or LeBron James, there was a "career accomplishment" bar that needed to be cleared to get the respect of fan bases around the league and compel them to poke out a chad on your behalf.
Well, the internet has certainly altered the process in two clear ways.
First, it's made the voting available to anybody with a computer. You don't have to attend an NBA game nor even live in the United States to vote for the starters in the game (Yao Ming is aware of this.), which in a way makes the voting a more unilaterally democratic process.
Secondly, Internet voting combined with the "hyperlink room service" of social media has made it much easier for fan bases to engage in mass voting campaigns, better known as "stuffing the ballot box."
Oddly enough, a process that, while more inclusive, would appear to be potentially more flawed yielded a fairly accurate group of NBA All-Star starters for the upcoming 2014 All Star Game in New Orleans. The process also revealed that Houstonians are either surfing porn or downloading music or trolling chat rooms or pretty much doing anything except voting for NBA All Stars in their internet time.
Analysis in a moment, but without further ado, here are the starters in the East and the West:
Forwards: LeBron James (MIA), Carmelo Anthony (NYK), Paul George (IND)
Guards: Dwyane Wade (MIA), Kyrie Irving (CLE)
Forwards: Blake Griffin (LAC), Kevin Durant (OKC), Kevin Love (MIN)
Guards: Steph Curry (GSW), Kobe Bryant (LAL)