Bam Adebayo criticizes All-Star Game fan voting

January 26, 2023

In just a month away, NBA All-Star Weekend in Utah, Salt Lake City for the 2022–23 season is set.

Voters will need help navigating the 24 combined player rosters for the Eastern and Western Conference All-Star Games, which include 12 players from each conference.

With only three frontcourt starting spots available, one of the top players in the East, including Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum, Kevin Durant, and Joel Embiid, won’t start the All-Star game. The Western Conference experiences the same problem in the backcourt but to a lesser extent. There is a scenario in which Luka Doncic, another MVP contender in his own right, and Stephen Curry—who leads the West in voting despite missing most of the season due to injury—do not receive the starting nod over Ja Morant.

Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat is a guy who should be given All-Star consideration but couldn’t even make the top 10 frontcourt players in the Eastern Conference. Here are his remarks on fan voting, as provided by Miami Herald reporter Anthony Chiang.

Adebayo remarked, “I’ll leave fan vote to fan voting.” Certain men have no business being on that list—however, it’s fan voting. It would be best if you accepted that since the situation is what it is. I’m currently in a position where it depends on the Eastern coaches.”

Adebayo’s remarks highlight a marketing challenge for the brand and its fan base in addition to addressing the drawbacks of fan voting.

Sports media marketing is much simpler today than it was ten years ago when digital media first emerged on the scene. There are still ways for the 25-year-old star to make it, as fan voting is only part of the be-all and end-all for All-Star contenders. Only 50% of the votes for All-Star starters come from fan voting, and once the starters have been decided, the coaches choose the reserves.

Although there are a number of frontcourt players in the East who (probably) shouldn’t be ahead of Adebayo, like Kyle Kuzma, Nic Claxton, Paolo Banchero, and Julius Randle, who are all having excellent seasons,

That is not meant as a criticism of those players. Banchero is having a historically smooth rookie season, possibly the best since LeBron James, and is the undisputed frontrunner for rookie of the year. Kuzma is averaging 22-8-4 and could be a top-tier trade contender for any team needing a starting power forward (I). Claxton is having a phenomenal breakout year for a Brooklyn Nets team that has surged up the Eastern Conference standings after their disastrous start under former head coach Steve Nash.

That is not meant as a criticism of those players.

For a Brooklyn Nets team that has risen to the Eastern Conference standings despite their disastrous start under former head coach Steve Nash, Claxton is having a stunning breakout year.

Banchero is the overwhelming choice for rookie of the year thanks to his historically strong rookie campaign, which is the finest since LeBron James.

For any group searching for a starting power forward (I can think of one! ), Kuzma, who is averaging 22-8-4, might be a top-tier trade target.

Compared to his 2020–21 season, when he was selected as an All-Star and made the All–NBA team, Randle is undoubtedly enjoying a better season.

Miami would be destroyed without Adebayo, another guy having a tremendous statistical season—possibly the best of his career. He is shooting 54.0 percent from the field and 79.8 percent from the free-throw line, averaging a career-high 21.6 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, considerably exceeding his 15.9 points in 2019–20 when he made his first All-Star game.

According to Cleaning The Glass, Miami performs 9.9 points better per 100 possessions with Adebayo on the court as opposed to without him in non-garbage time scenarios. This number falls within the 93rd percentile of all bigs. The conversation around back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid has become much more interesting due to Adebayo’s statistical achievements.

From the standpoint of the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets, they are the two largest media markets in the US, with the former having the most devoted following in the entire league. Popular candidates, such as Austin Reaves, or well-known figures, such as Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook, will get a lot of votes, whether or not they deserve it.

However, concerns will be raised if up-and-coming artists with fan bases in much smaller locations (such as Sacramento, Indiana) are outvoting Adebayo by two, three, or even four times.

Fair enough, the Heat’s social media crew tried desperately to get the word out about him and Tyler Herro. However, it didn’t influence enough of the fan base, which has occasionally been highly critical of Adebayo’s playing, or other people to vote for either of them. The Heat doesn’t play a less visually pleasing type of basketball, they keep all the drama that fuels the fire within, and they aren’t the most well-liked franchise nationwide.

Adebayo, however, is the straw that stirs the water for Miami, a top-6 seed with a record of 27-22. Above all, he has been the main factor in convincing basketball and Heat supporters to watch games every night. He is gradually but indeed, becoming the face of the franchise thanks to his continued aggression, playmaking, and unmatched in-space defense against every type of player.

Miami has dominated the national spotlight, and correctly so, because of Jimmy Butler. He is a tremendous talent who has supported Miami in crucial situations. Due to injuries, Butler has been sidelined 15 of Miami’s 49 games, but many other stars league-wide have also missed time, so it’s not all that shocking.

This team’s MVP for the season has been Adebayo, one of the NBA’s most underappreciated stars. He isn’t necessarily wrong when he claims that certain players shouldn’t be on the list. That’s also not a criticism towards the players that received votes for the top 10. Although it’s a popularity contest, and it’s not the end of the world if he doesn’t get in the top 10 of fan voting, there is cause for concern over the number of votes he received.

Since I’m leading the NBA in paint points and am a contributing factor in our success, I’ll be [upset] if they tell me someone else performed better than me this season, Adebayo remarked. “So, for me, fan voting is just fan voting. I’ll leave it alone. However, I feel more deserving of inclusion when coaches are casting their votes.