Friday, November 23, 2007
Yi Jianlian--NBA All-Star?
The proud city of New Orleans. 58 Days to go. NBA All-Star 2008.
The annual (a.k.a. "most likely") West starters most likely Yao Ming at Center (no contest here with an entire country voting for him); Tim Duncan (which was sketchy at first since he was initially listed as a Center. But now since he was able to sequester a reprieve on his All-Star ballot position listing (which would have most likely taken him out of the West starters if he didn't get it since Yao Ming has owned the Center slot since he entered the league in 03') and last year's league MVP Dirk Nowitzki at Forward; and Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady at Guard.
While the annual (a.k.a. "most likely") East starters would be Shaquille O'Neal at Center (no doubt moving to East to South Beach really helped in this department); newcomer Kevin "KG" Garnett and LeBron "LBJ" James as the Forwards; and Dwyane Tyrone Wade, Jr. and Gilbert "Agent Zero" Arenas at the Guard positions.
That is "most likely" and probably how the vote will turn out. New Jersey Nets point guard Jason Kidd (who currently has three triple-doubles this early into the 07'-08' season) should be the most viable replacement for the injured Arenas.
As for the West, I am not a big fan of Tracy McGrady and in all honesty, a natural point guard should start for the West and my vote goes to 2-time MVP Steve Nash (which won't happen because of McGrady's popularity).
Now to the main topic.
Question: Will Milwaukee Bucks forward and China's own Yi Jianlian make the NBA All-Star team?
I say YES!
Not because I'm a fan of Yi (which I am not), nor because the NBA seemingly decided to leave the 20 year-old Jianlian off the All-Star ballot.
Yi Jianlian will make it with his countrymen backing him up via the NBA's online All-Star voting system. They may have taken Yi off the ballot but NBA fans are more educated these days as there is always the "write in player" option.
Yi won't surpass "The Chosen One" LeBron James but he has a shot at Kevin Garnett's starting slot.
Yahoo Sports wrote:
China's basketball press lamented Friday (November 16, 2007) the absence of rookie Yi Jianlian from the 2008 NBA All Star ballot, reporting that the world's top basketball league may fear the voting power of Chinese fans.
Yi's name was absent from the ballot released Thursday (November 15, 2007) in the United States, making it much more difficult for Chinese supporters of the Milwaukee Bucks power forward to vote for him to start in the annual All Star Game.
The 20-year-old rookie has impressed in his first month in the NBA, averaging 11 points and 6.9 rebounds a game and replacing Charlie Villanueva, who is on the ballot, as the Bucks starter.
Yi's absence dominated the sports pages of many Chinese newspapers on Friday.
"The NBA does not dare to put Yi Jianlian on the ballot because the voting power of Chinese fans is too big," Titan Sports Weekly said in an editorial.
"If the NBA put Yi Jianlian on the ballot without careful consideration ... he would surely start for the East.
"The NBA fears that if a guy like Yi becomes an All Star and only scores two points in the game, they would lose the meaning of the All Star (game)."
Wouldn't it be fun to see the system work against the NBA?
So what are you waiting for?
Click here and vote today!
Now playing: Kenny G - The Christmas Song