NBA All-Star voting will be expanded to both players and media members this season, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein. Fan voting will still count 50 percent towards who starts the All-Star game, while the player and media panels will each be weighted at 25 percent.
The change comes a year after Mavericks center Zaza Pachulia came 15,000 votes from being voted an All-Star starter. Pachulia’s candidacy was a hilarious mixture of his home country rallying around him and a Vine star promoting him, made even funnier when you realize Kobe Bryant (voted in purely out of his legacy) was the one who kept him out. Clearly, the NBA didn’t want a John Scott situation, like the NHL mishandled last year.
That makes sense, because All-Star appearances are often used as contract incentives and weighted for Hall of Fame voting. Fans voting on something that actually has major monetary or legacy impact isn’t ideal when they often screw it up. While they still have half of the vote, a media and player panel can help smooth that over.
All-Star reserves for both conferences will also still be chosen based on a vote of each conference’s head coaches.
This year’s All-Star game will be played in New Orleans after being moved from Charlotte in response to the state’s anti-discrimination law.