All-Star vote based on Twitter jokes, not talent - Heat's Whiteside

By Jordan Heck and Tom Webber 13 January 2017 255
All-Star vote based on Twitter jokes, not talent - Heat's Whiteside

The voting process for the NBA All-Star game relies heavily on tweets, and the Miami Heat's Hassan Whiteside is not a fan.

Whiteside was ranked ninth for a frontcourt position in the Eastern Conference when the NBA released their first count of the data, but Thursday's update had seen him drop out of the top 10.

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has mounted a strong presence on Twitter in his bid to secure a place in New Orleans, and Whiteside feels popularity appears to be more important than talent.  

"It's more so a gimmick," Whiteside said via the Sun Sentinel. "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 hasn't got anything to do really with talent.

"People are going to vote for who they like. It's more of a popularity thing."

The suggestion is borne out through Golden State Warriors center Zaza Pachulia - who is averaging just 5.5 points per game - accumulating more votes than the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis and Draymond Green. Pachulia's votes are believed to be coming from fans in his native Georgia.

Then there is Jeremy Lin, who has only played in 12 of the Brooklyn Nets' 38 games this season and has more votes than Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker, who is 10th in his position in points per game (23.1). 

The good news for Whiteside, however, is the NBA changed its voting process this season. Instead of the fan vote accounting for 100 per cent, it now counts for just 50 percent, with the other half separated equally between a media panel and players.