You know how I know that your fanbase wrecks All-Star voting . . .

. . . because your fanbase votes in Los Angeles Lakers' A.C. Green over the Utah Jazz' Karl Malone to be an NBA All-Star starter.

Democracy is a crazy thing, specifically when it comes to voting. It enforces the idea of universal equality (for all people who have their vote still), and makes it fair by being a simple thing of counting votes (right Florida?). That said, not all people who vote know as much as every other person who votes. Sometimes a lot of people end up voting for ‘their guy’ vs. ‘the RIGHT guy’. This is most clear when it comes to voting for the NBA All-Star game. You don’t have to take my word for it, ask Shaquille O’Neal what he thinks of all those Yao Ming votes back during Shaq’s prime when he was still better than the Rockets center. But back before Lakers players were getting the wrong end of the stick there was the 1990 NBA All-Star game vote fiasco. Here’s the actual vote tally for the Western Conference Forwards list:

Western Conf Forwards Fan Votes Season PER
James Worthy 163,053 19.8
A.C. Green 160,788 14.7
Karl Malone 159,562 27.2
Xavier McDaniel 158,759 17.9
Kelly Tripucka 77,832 13.6
Chris Mullin 72,817 22.7
Derrick McKey 67,430 15.6
Thurl Bailey 64,102 13.4
Tom Chambers 64,028 20.9
Danny Manning 58,593 16.3

An Alternative title could be "A list of forwards all better than A.C. Green, and A.C. Green" list.

There are many ways to be angry about this in the "right" way. The most obvious one, if you were just an NBA fan and not a Utah Jazz fan, would be to state the obvious.

"Hey, wasn’t Karl Malone the MVP of the All-Star game LAST YEAR?" – Joe Average Fan

The answer is, obviously, yes.


28 points (12/17 shooting), 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, all in 26 minutes to help the West win 143-134 in the Houston Astrodome.

And it’s not like Karl was having a horrible season in 1989-1990 – or that A.C. Green was having a great one. It’s just flat out an example (of thousands in the sporting world) where the more deserving guy got shafted by dumb people stuffing the ballot boxes for their guy – no matter how badly the other guy was better.

After the jump – a lot of evidence to state the glaringly obvious: two time MVP, two time Gold Medalist, and Hall of Fame inductee Karl Malone is a better basketball player than A.C. Green – and he was during the first half of the 1989-1990 NBA season as well.

A look back at the 1989-1990 NBA season

Before the All-Star game Karl Malone was averaging 30.4 ppg (58.4 fg%), 10.8 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.6 spg, and got to the free throw line 11.0 times a game. And the Jazz had won 33 out of a maximum possible 47 games. That’s a winning percentage of 70.2%. That is on pace to win 57 games in an 82 game season, the fact that the Jazz finished the season with only 55 wins that year means nothing for All-Star voting. The Jazz were winning, and Malone was putting up numbers that we’d call MVP-like in today’s NBA.

The Showtime Lakers had played 46 games before the All-Star break and won 35 of them – an even better 76.1 winning %. No doubt, a huge part of that team’s success could be easily traced back to the great seasons Magic Johnson and James Worthy were having. Before the All-Star game Magic was putting up 21.4 ppg, 11.8 apg, 6.6 rpg, and 2.0 spg. Worthy was giving the opposition a full serving of 21.3 ppg, 3.5 apg, 6.8 rpg, and shooting 53.2 fg% as a small forward. Amazing! Less important to the Lakers success early on that season was the whole "A.C. Green factor". Don’t get me wrong, I love A.C., he was one of my favorite players growing up. But he was not better than The Mailman that year, and fans were just dumb about it. He did manage pre-All-Star game averages of 13.3 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.8 spg, and 4.8 free throw attempts per game. I’m sure a lot of that could have been attributed to playing for the Showtime Lakers, playing on a team with such a high pace (LAL played at a higher pace that season than UTA, naturally), and playing with a number of HOF guys – and the defense worrying about them more than they worried about you.

This may sound like sour grapes, but it’s immoral to suggest that the fifth option on a team that had 2 more wins is a better guy than the primary option on a team that had 2 less wins – when the All-Star break happened. Especially if the guy who was vote in by the fans didn’t even average HALF the number of points as the guy who wasn’t voted in. And when one dude gets voted over the other, that means he’s ‘better’ according to the simplistic ideals of what a vote attempts to enumerate.

Great job Lakers fans.

Oh, and by the way … A.C. Green went 0/3 and finished with zero points, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist in that All-Star game.

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Reaction to the snub

All Jazz fans know that the first game after the voting results were announced Malone was pissed. Who wouldn’t in his situation? So, he took it out on the poor Milwaukee Bucks. The next game after NBA Fans (most likely Lakers fans) stuffed the ballot box in favor of A.C. Green, Malone stuffed the basket for 61 points (21/26 shooting, 19/23 from the line), 18 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 assists in the Jazz 144-96 dismantling of the Bucks. You can even see all of his points here:

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The Legacy:

It’s ridiculous to even go on in this discussion defending the notion that Malone should have been voted in over Green. It’s a natural law of the universe by now. It’s also pretty indefensible to support homer fans who just vote en masse in these blocs for their guys. The All-LA All-star team this year is possibly yet another example. Andrew Bynum is having a nice season, not statistically significantly more nice than the Memphis GrizzliesMarc Gasol, or further down Utah Jazz’ Al Jefferson. Years from now we’ll see if it was as absurd a pick than the A.C. Green one.

No, even if Marc Gasol becomes the best player ever, it wouldn’t be as bad as this Green over Malone hogwash. Malone killed Green. But the Lakers still won. Woah. Microcosm/Macrocosm in effect.

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