The NBA All-Star voting process seems to up the ante on ridiculousness every year and 2022 is no exception

This year multiple players should not be included on the ballot for many reasons. Can we honestly say Russell Westbrook is having an All-Star caliber season? If you think he is, then you’re a lost cause. Right now, Westbrook is sixth among guards in the West. That places him ahead of Chris Paul and Donovan Mitchell. Paul’s team has been among the top two teams out west all season, with him leading the way. Until recently, Mitchell had the Jazz in third place through most of the season. Now they’re fourth in the conference. But now we’re supposed to believe Westbrook deserves to be in the game? Ok, that makes sense.

DJ No-Vax, aka Kyrie Iriving, ranks sixth among guards in the eastern conference. He just returned to the court this month and can’t play in games in Brooklyn. Unless the Nets are willing to take advantage of a “loophole” that will allow Irving to play. Right now, it seems the NBA is not going to let this happen, but we’ve already seen them change their minds before, so we’ll all need to stay tuned. Carmelo Anthony is also pretty high on the ballot in the west this year. He’s seventh among front-court players, ahead of Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert, and Deandre Ayton. Seriously? You’ve gotta be f’n kidding. But these are the types of shenanigans I’m talking about.

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All-star voting is nothing but a popularity contest, and understandably, fans want to see their favorite players in the game. Although we’ve heard complaints for years that the players don’t play hard until the last five or six minutes of the game anyway. And that brings me back to my original point about the fan vote playing such a massive role in the process. People vote in who they want to see, then complain that they aren’t performing up to their standard year after year.

Fan votes are worth 50 percent of the total, then players and media members are worth 25 percent, respectively. If the NBA doesn’t want to entirely rid itself of the fan vote, how about dropping it down to 25 percent for fans and possibly adding a coach’s vote as another 25 percent. I doubt the league will completely take fans out of the equation, so something like this might suffice. Or just take players that haven’t played all year off the ballot. But that feels like too easy of a solution, so I’m confident the Association won’t do that. 

Kevin Durant takes his bad guy persona to new heights

Honestly, the person who should have been called out here is the referee standing 12 feet away, who was looking directly at Moore as he went through the steps of this maneuver. I’m almost certain there was at least one other ref on the floor, but neither blew a whistle to wave this off because it is a travel, double dribble, and possibly some other type of violation as well. In the clip, someone can even be heard saying, “it’s a travel.” They aren’t wrong.

Durant took it too far, though, in his criticism of Moore, who was in sixth grade when he performed the move featured in this video. Believe me, I get the tough love approach, but sometimes you just need to chill out. KD could have found the kid and reached out since he is on Twitter, then given him some constructive criticism. I’m sure Jayden would have appreciated something like that and even said as much after learning of Durant’s response to his video.

“Like, what made him take time out of his day to say something negative instead of encouraging me or telling what really needs to be done and then texting me privately or something like that,” Moore said.

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Moore has apparently taken Durant’s unprompted roast in stride and kept it moving. Of course, after the Twitterverse jumped to Moore’s defense, KD took exception to this and doubled down on his initial comment. KD told one Twitter user, “it’s about habits man.”

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Durant certainly has a point here, but there’s a time and place for everything. The same message can be conveyed through a different delivery message. But Durant either doesn’t get that or just doesn’t care.

That saying about never meeting your heroes is proven to be accurate here. Jayden didn’t even have to meet KD, or seek him out, to feel his wrath. Hopefully, this will serve as motivation for Moore over the rest of his high school hoops career and beyond.

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But Durant may have done this kid a favor without even knowing it. All this publicity Moore is receiving after Durant slammed him publicly is putting so many more eyes on his basketball skills. If he’s good enough, scouts that may not have found this kid will see all these news stories and Twitter clips on Moore, and they might want to see him play in person. So, if Moore and his parents play this right, it could be a blessing in disguise. NIL, meet Jayden Moore. As for Durant, he should purify himself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka.