Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban had a lot of fun when discussing the numerous NBA players who mocked the league’s system by voting for players with minimal or no playing time this season to start in next month’s All-Star game.
Cuban’s answer took on a political overtone, starting with him explaining how Golden State Warriors reserve center JaVale McGee received four votes from his NBA contemporaries.
“There must have been voter fraud, because I would have bet JaVale McGee really got three million (votes), and him and (Mavs rookie center) A. J. Hammons probably split that,’’ Cuban said. “I know I was registered with five different teams, and I’m not eligible to vote.
“I’m calling for an executive investigation and I’m going to sit down with (NBA commissioner) Adam Silver and we’re going to get to the heart of this, I truly believe. If we can’t protect the integrity of All-Star voting, this league has serious problems. I think Space Ghost even got a vote in there.’’
This is the first year the NBA has allowed players to vote for the players who will start in the All-Star game. But it’s a weighted voting system with the fan votes accounting for 50 percent of the results, the media votes accounting for 25 percent, and the player votes covering the other 25 percent.
A total of 324 players voted for the All-Star starters, and 154 of them didn’t vote for Kevin Durant and 128 of them left LeBron James off their ballot. Cuban had an explanation as to how that happened.
“It’s just unfortunate, but when we went to the Electoral College format, and there were segments of the NBA who got votes,” Cuban said. “I know they won the popular vote, but we went away from just the popular vote to the Electoral College version of NBA voting, and that is what you get.
“I think (President) Donald Trump tweeted about it a couple of years ago, and he was right.”
Cuban went even further by saying: “The three branches of NBA government — the players, the media, and the fans — you would think would be able to make it all work. But I understand if the guys who are All-Stars won in the NBA Electoral College, if they would have thought they were at risk they would have campaigned at different games.
“But the system is the system. They campaigned in the states — and in Zaza (Pachulia’s) case — the countries where they needed to. There’s a Pew Study that talks about the difference between digital straight-up fan voting and the NBA Electoral College, and that’s what I pin my hat on.”’