Bill Simmons’ All-star Ballot

He’s been in the writing wilderness since leaving ESPN and recently wrote a pile of donkey plop regarding a fantasy DeMarcus Cousins trade to Boston – but this is Simmons back to doing what he does best:

Starting this winter, fans control only 50 percent of the vote; players and media members split the other half. My media ballot arrived last week; the NBA wanted votes for two “backcourt” starters and three “frontcourt” starters in each conference. None of this matters — not when the All-Star Game will be hijacked by the relentless awkwardness of Russell Westbrook playing with Kevin Durant again. Will they interact? Will they look at each other? It’s like if Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were to cohost the Oscars, only if Jolie were a constant threat to whip a line-drive pass at Durant’s head. We won’t even notice the other 22 players unless Giannis dunks from the 3-point line or something.

Wait, you want to hear about my ballot? I’m so glad you asked!

Western Conference Frontcourt

Now that we’ve left centers for dead, the NBA wants us to reward the three best “frontcourt” dudes without considering seemingly important questions like “Who would protect the rim in an actual game?” or “What would happen if any of the five starters had to defend Joel Embiid or Marc Gasol?” Apparently, it doesn’t matter who wins or loses the All-Star Game anymore; we’re 10 years away from not keeping score and handing out participation trophies. As an unconventional weirdo who likes watching basketball games that, you know, make sense, I couldn’t follow those instructions. I needed rim protection. So there.

I crossed off the following frontcourters: Karl Anthony-Towns (the West’s center for the Good Stats/Bad Team All-Stars — not a compliment) … LaMarcus Aldridge (the league’s best player that you’d never want to pay to see) … Blake Griffin (injured again, possibly in need of a basketball exorcism) … Gordon Hayward (just good enough to help you get to Round 2, not quite good enough to win Game 7 on the road) … DeAndre Jordan (officially underrated, probably makes it in the East) … and Marc Gasol (properly rated, beloved by basketball nerds, unquestionably makes it in the East).

Read the whole article here.

Obviously, I don’t agree entirely with his ballot, but I was entertained – and that’s what matters most.