In yet another example of why the NBA should do away with fan voting or at least set parameters, early All-Star returns included some laughable names. Missing from the top 10 in Western Conference guards altogether was San Antonio Spurs standout guard Dejounte Murray.
In a press release, the NBA revealed the first returns of fan voting.
Despite numerous campaigns by the Spurs and fans alike, early fan voting results don't look encouraging for Murray despite his stellar season. Making matters worse: multiple inactive players are in the top 10 in their respective categories.
Klay Thompson, who hasn't suited up in the NBA since June 13, 2019, received nearly 368,000 votes, topping Murray and other guys like Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and Donovan Mitchell. Thompson is set to make his much-anticipated return to the court against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Kyrie Irving has been inactive for 35 games this season and just made his season debut in a win over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday. Still, he received 267,929 votes -- sixth among all guards in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, someone who just torched the Spurs recently, Fred VanVleet, is barely making the top 10 with 108,000 votes.
The Results are Disappointing But Not Unexpected
As I've stated a couple of times in previous articles, I think the only way Dejounte Murray gets in is by being selected as an All-Star reserve by the panel of media and current players. With the system as it is, each of those panels account for 25% of the vote each while fans account for 50%.
Looking at the early returns, there are several big-market names that have no business getting as many votes as they did, and I don't expect that to change. Even though some national media praises Murray, they seem to have a misguided sense of why he isn't getting the recognition he deserves.
At this point, the biggest thing going against Murray making the All-Star team is the Spurs' record. If San Antonio can start to turn things around by the time voting ends on January 22nd, he could still have a shot at being selected as a Western Conference All-Star reserve.
The Spurs have three more road games against Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and New York before starting a seven-game homestand, with six of those happening before voting ends.