Curry, Lee Could Split Warriors Vote

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OAKLAND – The fact literally looms over the Warriors every time they practice at their downtown facility, the way the long rectangular sign attached high on one of the walls lists their All-Stars of the California era.

The recent history – or lack thereof – is impossible to avoid. Players have learned it by osmosis by now. Latrell Sprewell made the 1997 showcase in Cleveland as a reserve and no Warrior has since. It looks down as a constant reminder.

That will almost certainly change in the 2013 game in Houston. Golden State is 22-10, has the fifth-best record in the Western Conference and is playing particularly well as coaches begin to focus on the vote to fill out the roster following the fan selection of starters. The Warriors have two deserving candidates, David Lee and Stephen Curry. At least one should make it.

Should.

Unless Lee and Curry come close enough to splitting the coach’s balloting, Lee in the frontcourt and Curry among the guards, that they cancel each other out and end up hurting the Warriors’ chances of ending the dry spell.

Will it happen? Probably not.

But could it happen? Yes. Agonizingly, frustratingly, disappointingly yes.

“Who knows,” said Warriors coach Mark Jackson, who will be able to lobby colleagues but not vote for his own players. “I can’t figure out these coaches sometimes.”

Lee is averaging 20.2 points and 11.1 rebounds while shooting 53.8 percent. Curry is at 20.4 points, 6.5 assists and, although 43.6 percent overall, 45.6 percent from behind the arc. Both are leaders in a very good locker-room atmosphere. Both have been huge factors as Golden State made the move from lottery regular to playoff possibility and then kept going, all the way to being part of the lead pack for home-court advantage as the season nears the midpoint.

Western Conference coaches will reward the Warriors for the start, made all the more impressive because it has come mostly without Andrew Bogut and entirely without Brandon Rush. Exactly how they will reward is where it could get interesting. Golden State expecting two representatives in Houston is probably overly ambitious given how many other teams need to be similarly saluted, and so it becomes a numbers game at some point. Curry over Lee, Lee over Curry – this could become a conflict.

“Great problem to have,” Curry said. “That’s all I can say. You can play out all the scenarios and say who deserves what. But the fact that you have two legitimate shots at having a Warriors representative in Houston after 15, 16 years, that’s a big deal.”

External factors are at play as well. If Jeremy Lin of the Rockets moves back ahead of Chris Paul of the Clippers in fan voting and joins Kobe Bryant as the starting guards, Paul takes one of the reserve spots and hurts Curry’s chances. But if Lin does not win the popularity contest and Paul is in the opening lineup, there is more room for Curry.

This may end up with Jackson on the spot, with coaches asking him who is more deserving of the two. He wouldn’t like that and he would never say which Warrior got his nod if it came down to that, but it’s realistic to think he will have some voice in a situation where his team may not get the ideal outcome of both Lee and Curry going.

“I would hope that it’s realistic,” Jackson said of the chances of having two representatives. “And again, if we continue to do what we’re doing. I will say that because there’s some tough games coming up. But to me, as a coach, I would get phone calls from coaches last year asking or making their case for their players. I think it’s important for coaches around this league to not just jot down names because they’re names. I think it’s important. And I’m not saying this because it’s my guys. I took pride in doing it last year and there were none of my guys. Whoever it may be, if there’s a guy that’s deserving of an All-Star opportunity, put his name down and disregard that his name does not sound as hot when you write it down as somebody else’s.”

Jackson is partly wrong – Curry and Lee are hot names, not long-shot underdogs trying to establish themselves in the league. But point taken. It could get that interesting come voting time.

26 Comments

  1. A says:

    maybe let the coaches pick ALL the all-stars and then let the fans vote on starters from that bunch

  2. John says:

    The only thing all star about Lin is his paycheck

  3. Nandan Raghavan says:

    Vote for Danilo Gallinari!

  4. J.Gonzo says:

    David Lee is the best PF in the game right now and should make it over Curry. They both should make it but if David Lee doesn’t get in it’ll be a crime. He’s only guy averaging 20 and 10 in the league and 2nd in Double Doubles. It’s really unfortunate that the whole thing is just one big popularity contest

  5. GSWRaider says:

    I think both players deserve to be there but probably Lee more than Curry because he is more consistant…Curry still has some bad games, But i do think Curry would cause more excitement in the game by draining alot of 3’s

  6. CroFan says:

    West reserves should be Harden,Westbrook,Parker,Curry,Duncan,ZBo and Lee

  7. dean says:

    I’ve never liked fan voting. Leave it entirely to the coaches (and possibly the players and selected sportswriters – though even the players and writers can be biased or uninformed). All-Star games would have a lot more credibility if this was the case and this fan would be more inclined to watch or care. I like Lin but he obviously doesn’t deserve to be on the All-Star team. If he does get selected I would like him even more if he declined (of course Stern would probably put pressure on him to participate). It would be cool though if Lin was invited to participate in the skills competition since he is so popular and the game is in Houston.

  8. mrrg says:

    Clown show. As long as the NBA continues to view the All Star Game as a fan driven popularity contest (and who can argue if the product is eyeballs for advertisers) then whomever gets selected to go will always exclude some who should go based on their performance. It isn’t a meritocracy, it’s a business.

  9. slider821 says:

    Wow and Steve Nash is 6th place in the West and he’s played…what 3 games. This is a disgrace.

  10. slider821 says:

    The whole All Star game is a sham if Lin gets voted in. Maybe they should remove the fan vote if it’s abused like this. Imagine seeing Lin out there with 9 other legit all stars, what a joke!

  11. Lacedogg says:

    David Lee is the best power forward in the league thus far. Crown him.

  12. Duv says:

    The person who made the comment about Yao being undeserving of All Star teams obviously never watched Yao play. GTFOH! Sure there was one year he was voted in when he was injured but the man could play!

  13. Duv says:

    I’m a Rockets fan and Lin does not deserve an All Star spot. He is showing great improvement but I’d hate to see China/Asia vote him in when others are more deserving…like Curry. Prove me wrong Jeremy, prove me wrong.

  14. Ant says:

    I am a Warriors fan, but in my opinion, if their can be only one that can make it, I would rather see David Lee in the All Star game because he is older and it might be his only chance to make it in his career, but Stephen Curry is still pretty young, and he will probably have lots of chances in his career of making the All Star game. It would be just awesome if they can both play in Houston, they are both extremely talented players, and they are so underated!!
    David Lee for Most Improved Player!!!
    #GoDubs

    • Tony says:

      If you were a true Warrior fan you would know David Lee has already made it. Facepalm*
      Now you’re gonna check his bio in 3, 2, 1…

    • TJ says:

      David Lee can’t get most improved player because he has played this well for quite a number of years, as well as having notched an all-star berth whilst in NY.

    • Joanne says:

      David Lee was once upon a time was a New York Knick, And he showed all that he was the greatest player the Knicks had, He was then traded to another team and he excelled even more for that other team. But when he was a Knick there were times that he did not stand up right for NY and he was booed by the fans of the Knicks…….But now that he is with another team he performs much better than he did when he was in New York.

      It seems that when a player is traded to New York, They tend to slack off and somehow they are taught how to play for the team but then they are traded and they excelle better than when they were a Knick.

  15. Badgers says:

    The fact that Jeremy Lin is in with a shot of getting to the all star game shows how the voting system needs to change. Sure the fans should have a say, it is for us after all, but maybe give us a list of who we want as starters where people like Lin, Ming, Iverson etc. aren’t options.

  16. Jah.Martins says:

    Well its kinda obvious that Curry will get a nod over Lee,

    I mean even if David Lee has been playing good basketball for like 5 years, ( he has been a 20, 10 guy all those years) ,
    yet he has ZERO media coverage, no one talks about him, …. because his white , I mean just look at Kevin Love, his a beast but according to Minnesota he is not a ” Star ” player, but if Lee or Love was black had less basketball IQ, but a bit more athletic, I bet you the media would be all over them.

    • slider821 says:

      ohh that reverse racism, nice. Lee was already an all star as was Love so not sure how that makes any sense. Curry deserves it, it would be his first time and he’s having a career year.

    • AJ Mills says:

      Ah, so black players are more athletic but white players have higher basketball IQ? Stop being racist, Jah.Martins, and get your facts (and your grammar) right.

  17. Run TMC 17 says:

    As of the third ballot returns, Chris Paul has 651,893 votes to Jeremy Lin’s 605,624. So to all Warriors/Curry fans, Clippers fans, and anybody else who’s actually watched an NBA game this season: Keep voting for CP3!

  18. Big Euro says:

    Moral of the story is please don’t vote for Jeremy Lin just because you want to perpetuate his hype machine. Vote for those who deserve it.

  19. Ben says:

    It’s a tough call in the west this year.

    If Lin makes it, you have Westbrook, Paul, Harden, surely. Then Duncan and Randolph are surely forward locks. This leaves two spots with Lin, three without Lin, for the rest – Marc Gasol, Parker, Curry, Lee, Love, Aldridge, Gay, Batum… and that excludes everyone from Denver (where it’s hard to find a single candidate to represent their current standings).

    I think we can eliminate Nowitzki and Pau Gasol completely this year, at least.

    I’d kind of like to see Lin in for a Houston ASG, but there is no doubt he would eliminate a deserving player. For me, the best picks are probably Curry, Aldridge and Love – although that is completely unfair on Lee, Parker and Gasol. If Lin comes in, Love drops out. I think Curry and Harden must make their debuts.