PHOENIX — The latest round of All-Star voting results came in Thursday, and Tracy McGrady lengthened his lead over Steve Nash from about 1,000 to over 2,000 votes despite not even being with his Houston Rockets team that Nash’s 26 and 12 helped take down on Wednesday night.
With Allen Iverson set to start in the East, it’s safe to say that All-Star voting is a complete sham, not that it bothers Nash one bit.
“I’m heartbroken,” Nash said Wednesday, mustering up as much sarcasm as he could.
Suns head coach Alvin Gentry had a slightly different take.
“I think it’s important because I think it’s only fair,” Gentry said of Nash starting. “I’m probably a lot more vocal than he will ever be. He can care less, all you have to do is see his All-Star video. He doesn’t care about that stuff, but I just think he deserves it because he’s done a great job and he’s gotten himself into tremendous shape, and at his age there haven’t been any other guards that have done what he’s done at this age, and that’s John Stockton and Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas, you can go through all of those guys, Mark Jackson. He’s been tremendous.
“Obviously no one thought that we would be where we are record-wise or anything, so that’s a huge credit to him. I think it would only be right. I just have a problem with Tracy McGrady being ahead of him in the votes, and it has nothing to do with Tracy. It has zero to do with Tracy. Obviously there’s a flaw in the voting. I do think that he deserves to go.”
As per Gentry’s point about how Nash compares to the other greats at his age, Nash averages 18.9 points per game and a league-best 11.3 assists per contest at the age of 35.
Magic retired at the age of 31 after testing HIV positive. He later came back and averaged a 14.6-5.7-6.9 at the age of 36, playing only 32 games and starting nine of them.
Isiah retired as a 32-year-old, putting up a 14.8-6.9 in his final NBA season, and Jackson averaged 7.6 and 8.0 at 35.
John Stockton, perhaps the best comparison to Nash as far as longevity in point guards is concerned, averaged 12.0 and 8.5 at 35. Even the great Stockton never averaged double-digit assists after he turned 35.
Nash, who turns 36 the week before the All-Star Game, surely deserves a trip back to Dallas. Why don’t those Chinese voters remember Nash playing pickup ball with their countrymen this summer?
Amare Stoudemire, meanwhile, extended his lead at the “center” spot over the Lakers’ Andrew Bynum to over 550K votes. Maybe STAT has some fans in China that we don’t know about.