Fan voting for the 2024 NBA All-Star comes to a close this upcoming Saturday, and despite numerous triple-voting days, Devin Booker has not moved up in the standings. The three-time All-Star will once again rely on either the decisions of the coaches or injury replacement to punch a ticket to Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indiana for the game.
As for Kevin Durant, who has been elected to 13 All-Star Games, he finds himself in a familiar position: near the top of the fan vote.
Lakers’ LeBron James and Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo finish as leaders in the NBA’s final 2023-24 All-Star fan returns; voting ends Saturday: pic.twitter.com/Mlp2PWR6cD— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 18, 2024
We spoke about the interesting reasoning behind Booker not receiving much of a fan vote last week. He is disliked by opposing fan bases, and the reasons why are irrelevant. The fact of the matter remains is that, when it comes to the All-Star voting, he doesn’t get any love.
In one week, his total rose 119,572.
While I’ve expressed my frustrations with the fan vote in the past, it bears repeating. It is a popularity contest, not a proper snapshot of who is performing well in a given season. It is an opportunity for fan engagement for the NBA and therefore it will never go away. The checks and balances that remain the fact that the coaches and players get a vote in who appears in the game. The fans decide 50% of the vote, and a combination of coach and player votes determines the remaining 50%.
Have you ever gone back and watched All-Star games on NBA TV? Hell, during the COVID shutdown, it was some of the best TV that was available. Watching games like the 1994 All-Star game, when you have a who’s who of who was actually good that year, makes for a properly nostalgic product.
Do you remember B.J. Armstrong started for the Eastern Conference in the first post-Jordan season?
As for Kevin Durant, it makes sense as to why he has so many votes. First? He is an all-time great player and a top-5 scorer. Ever. He’s having an elite season, averaging 28.9 points on 52.4/47.1/88.s splits. Yes, he should be headed to Indiana. He should be representing the Suns for the effort that he’s put forth.
But what Durant has working in his favor that Devin Booker does not is the mere fact that KD is on his fourth team in the NBA.
Due to his skill set, assassin-like shooting, and overall basketball acumen, he has gained fans at every stop along the way. While he no longer plays for those teams, members of those fan bases still appreciate who he was and how he affected their basketball lives.
Booker, on the other hand, has only played for the Suns. He has not gained new followers who have showered him with respect for his approach to the game. So he remains at the bottom of the standings.
This will be a common theme for years to come. Let’s see if the coaches and players can get it right, shall we? Booker is playing at an All-Star level, scoring 26.2 points and dishing 7.8 assists, and deserves a shot at being in Indiana representing the Phoenix Suns.