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Hassan Whiteside: All-Star voting about Twitter jokes, not talent

Philadelphia 76ers v Miami Heat

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 21: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers drives on Hassan Whiteside #21 of the Miami Heat during a preseason game at American Airlines Arena on October 21, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

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Hassan Whiteside is excelling for the Heat this season, averaging 17.5 points, 14.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game.

But you wouldn’t know it from All-Star fan voting, where Whiteside doesn’t even crack the top 15 among Eastern Conference frontcourt players.

Whiteside, via Shandel Richardson of the South Florida SunSentinel:

“It’s more so a gimmick,” Whiteside said. “I look at guys and they just do stuff to win the fans over, make jokes on Twitter to get people to vote for them. It ain’t got nothing to do really with talent.”

I quibble with that. Talent matters, and most superstars get votes without begging for them. But for the next class of players – which includes Whiteside – teams and players campaigning can make a difference for otherwise-similar candidates.

But, mostly: Yeah. The real question is why it took Whiteside so long to figure this out.