The voting for the NBA All-Star starters was properly instructive to both Adam Silver and the public at large about exactly what the game is meant to be – which is why I totally get their decision not to televise the All-Star draft.
It’s really a personality test for everyone involved, for good and ill.
I think having a draft nobody can see is idiotic, stealing an idea the NHL used and then discarded years ago and then not employing the reason why they did it to begin with, but if the All-Star Game is really an expression of ego, then the next best thing to having no draft is having one nobody can see.
The All-Star Game really only functions as a coronation of the elite by the elite, a festival of mutual backslapping friend-rewarding that has nothing to do with the playing of the game, or the moving of the T-shirts or jerseys or expensive hotel rooms. This is about stratifying the player pool so that everyone knows who’s who and what’s what.
Everything else is irrelevant, and the draft reinforces that. Kevin Durant not wanting to be a captain is strategic thinking by a future industrialist. Stephen Curry not minding being a captain is the perfect who-cares statement for someone who doesn’t mind playing the game because objecting to it takes too much work. LeBron James being a captain is the perfect political muscle-flexing that fits his personality.
Damian Lillard already assuming that he won’t be named to the team is a statement about his being considered the perpetual one-level-down guard. Russell Westbrook being named and then controlling the ball as he would in a regular season game is a statement about how he views his place as a disruptor. And on and on and on – the All-Star Game more and more reveals personalities rather than skills.
Does televising the draft help us understand the actual meaning of the event? Maybe, but the NBA would prefer you consider it a festival of the game itself, which it plainly isn’t. Proof, you say? 192-182 in 2017. 196-173 in 2016. 163-158 in 2015. 163-155 in 2014. There hasn’t been a normal-looking score in 15 years, which means it’s not a game at all.
That isn’t the news, though. It’s that the NBA has made this is a three-day event – the day the captains and starters are named, the day the reserves are picked, and the day that teams are chosen. And every bit of it is about the reaction to that. There is no show thereafter, and the players know it. They care about the selections, because that’s how they’re keeping score.
So go team. Whatever the hell that means.
The player(s) have spoken. They want Jack Cooley at All-Star weekend.
Hidden amongst the NBA’s All-Star balloting there is always a nugget or two that catches your eye. According to the final tallies, Cooley got some love in the player voting for the NBA All-Star team.
Selected players who got at least one All-Star Starter vote from NBA players: Kyle Kuzma (16), Jahlil Okafor (4), Cole Aldrich (3), Royce O'Neale (2), Gordon Hayward (2), Jack Cooley (1), Tyler Lydon (1), Johnny O'Bryant III (1), James Michael McAdoo (1, recently waived)— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) January 18, 2018
Cooley has played a total of two minutes for the Sacramento Kings this season. Maybe it’s the way he hustles all over the court or his debonair throwback look during a media day photo shoot. Something about Jack Cooley draws you in.
The 26-year-old big man took to Twitter to thank the anonymous voter Thursday evening.
I don't know who voted for me, but I just want you to know that I love you. ❤️ https://t.co/oXJB4MIc20— Jack Ryan Cooley (@JackCooligan45) January 19, 2018
Playing on a two-way contract for the Sacramento Kings, the former Notre Dame star is currently posting 15.5 points and 8.5 rebounds for the Reno Bighorns this season.
In addition to the single vote he received from the players, Cooley also garnered 956 votes from the fans and finished with a weighted score of 79.5 in the voting process.
Rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic led the Kings in fan voting with 33,842 votes. Georgios Papagiannis was second with 20,082 votes.
H/T to Andy Larsen of KSL.com.
UPDATE (10:12 p.m.): Cooley had some more fun on Twitter after this story's initial publication.
I don't know what to say, I'm a man of the person. 🤷🏼♂️😂— Jack Ryan Cooley (@JackCooligan45) January 19, 2018