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2021 NBA All-Star Game: The weird votes and wonderful surprises from the fan, media and player tallies

No matter how everyone feels about it, the 2021 NBA All-Star Game is going to happen. COVID-19 and all, the league is moving forward with the event, though they have condensed it into a one-night only production set for March 7 in Atlanta. 

On Thursday night, we learned the 10 starters, headlined by LeBron James and Kevin Durant, who will operate as captains by virtue of receiving the most fan votes. Joining them are Luka Doncic, Steph Curry, Kawhi Leonard, Nikola Jokic, Kyrie Irving, Bradley Beal, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid

Next week the reserves will be announced, and on March 4, LeBron and Durant will sit down to pick their teams in the All-Star draft. Until then, there will be plenty of discussion about which players should or shouldn’t have made the cut, as there is every year. 

But instead of doing that, let’s embark on a different exercise. Now that voting is over, the league has released a complete audit detailing the exact amount of votes each player received from the three different voting groups: fans, media and players. It’s a pretty interesting look at how the players are viewed by those different groups, and also produces some strange and funny results. Without further ado, let’s dive in. 

Player with the most fan votes not named a starter: Anthony Davis

There were 11 different players to receive at least three million fan votes, and four of them were Western Conference frontcourt. But only three of that group could start, and Davis was the odd man out. In the end, that will probably actually work out well, as Davis is dealing with a calf injury and might end up missing the All-Star Game altogether. 

Player who received the fewest fan votes: Nate Hinton

Most people probably don’t even know who Hinton is, and honestly that would be fair considering he’s only played 19 NBA minutes. But there are some people that are familiar with the Dallas Mavericks rookie — 238 to be exact. That’s how many fan votes Hinton received, which was the fewest of any player. You might be thinking like, “oh, that’s kind of embarrassing” but honestly it’s cool that even the least known players still have a big support group that’s always there for them. 

Players who received exactly one player vote:

Players are allowed to vote for themselves, and you have to imagine that’s what happened in at least some of these cases. And if so, right on. What’s the point of being in the NBA if you don’t vote for yourself to make the All-Star Game?

Eastern Conference guards:

Eastern Conference frontcourt

Western Conference guards:

Western Conference frontcourt:

Players who received exactly one media vote

For the most part, there wasn’t too much disagreement with the media voting; to wit, eight of the 10 starters were on at least 80 out of 100 media ballots. But that actually makes it more interesting when there were outliers. Of all the players to receive a media vote, only five got exactly one:

Player who received the most fans vote without a player or media vote: Alex Caruso

Caruso has become something of a cult hero in Los Angeles, and the fans did their best to get him voted into the game. He finished eighth in fan voting among Western Conference guards with 371,648 votes, but wasn’t on a single player or media ballot. 




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