Fan voting has been a controversial topic in the NBA for a while and the total # of votes for the injured Kobe Bryant and Asian favorite Jeremy Lin this season just gave fuel to critics of the system. Over in China, it seems they have a similar problem. American Stephon Marbury received the most votes despite being injured and the perception is Sun Yue made the team because he plays for Beijing and was “once a teammate of Kobe.”
via One World Sports.
Sadly for most rational thinking local fans, the selections are an embarrassing reflection on the mindset of the rest of the CBA audience. Marbury has been injured since mid-December and probably will not play, either because he won’t be fit or he will need to rest up for the upcoming playoffs. Sun Yue has made the team largely because he plays in Beijing and once was a teammate of Kobe Bryant. Further up the lineup, the underperforming Han Dejun has only played half of this season and missed much of the previous campaign with injury.
In terms of the South team, Zhu Fangyu is having the worst statistical season in his career and should not be an All-Star starter when he is averaging 10.4 points per game and has come off the bench for most of the year. Wang Shipeng, another celebrated member of Guangdong’s golden generation, is a shooting guard who has only scored more than 20 points in a game three times this season and is essentially the fourth scoring option on his team. As with Zhu, Wang’s selection has raised eyebrows.
Though they will probably brought in by coaches to be replacements, arguably more deserving local players didn’t make the cut. Tianjin’s Zhang Nan, Zhejiang’s Ding Jinhui and Fujian’s young superstar Wang Zhelin all missed out essentially because they play for teams with smaller fan bases that can’t stuff the ballot.
Another issue is the absence of foreign players from both lineups. The league’s leading scorer, Bobby Brown (31.9 ppg and 5.8 apg), is almost certain to return to America with an NBA deal but never figured to make the lineup because he plays on a small team. The stubborn nationalism that permeates Chinese basketball (for example, All-Star MVP and Finals MVP have to be awarded to local players) has reared its head in the voting process once again. As such, Jianlian, ranked 28th in the CBA scoring charts with 21.9 points per game, will be the most prolific scorer among all the starters. Some critics have noted that Brown’s scoring numbers are almost the same as the collective averages of the South team’s entire backcourt.
I’m not familiar enough with most of the players that made the game but we do know Bobby Brown very well, on and off the court, and thought it was a shame that the scoring machine that scored 74 points in a game earlier this season wasn’t acknowledged with a spot on the team.
As for Sun Yue, who One World thought didn’t deserve a spot, he scored 28 points to lead the North 118-102 over the South and won the All-star MVP.
Former NBA player Wang Zhizhi scored 15 points and will most likely retire after this season.
“It’s a pity that Wang missed some shots, he intended to give more chances to the youth. I wanna share this award with him. This may be his last All-star game, he taught us so many things that we can benefit from for the rest of our lives,” Sun said.