The NBA released the third returns on fan voting for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game on Thursday, and haters will stay mad. Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is still leads everyone in votes, while Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard are still second and 10th, respectively, in Western Conference frontcourt voting. Meanwhile, Alex Caruso continues his meteoric ascent, and has now risen to fourth in voting among guards in the West, rising from sixth last week and eighth in the first returns.
Here are the full returns:
LeBron James is still the leading vote-getter for All-Star, and ALEX CARUSO has jumped up to fourth in the West in guards voting. pic.twitter.com/8G9JrmUfVp— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) January 16, 2020
Now, does this mean that the people will get what they want, and that Caruso will actually make the All-Star Game? Probably not, because the NBA hates fun.
Under the new voting system the league put in because Zaza Pachulia was nearly an All-Star starter a few years back, fans only get 50% of the vote to determine the starters, so while Caruso’s ascent has been insane and fun to watch, it’s unlikely that the media and his fellow players (who each get 25% of the vote on the starters, respectively) will vote him in above his more productive peers.
Even to just get into the top-two guards in the fan vote, Caruso would basically need to triple or quadruple his votes to pass James Harden. Voting counts double today, though, so Lakers fans who want to try should give it a shot.
Caruso making the game if he’s not a starter is even less realistic, as it’s also extremely unlikely that the coaches — who vote on the pool of reserves and, critically, also generally hate fun — will do it for the memes and get our balding boy to the game. Caruso is additionally dealing with a head injury of as-yet undetermined severity that he sustained in Wednesday night’s loss against the Orlando Magic, so while that probably wouldn’t keep him out until All-Star festivities, it should still be noted.
Regardless of all that, Caruso’s ascent — and how much it’s upset generalized NBA fans and observers who also don’t like fun — has been hilarious to watch, and a solid reward for a player whose really cool story of two-way player to successful NBA contributor on a contender has continued to get more and more love from his teammates.
NBA All-Star Weekend will take place in Chicago from Feb. 14-16, with the actual All-Star game happening on the final day. Even if Caruso doesn’t make the game, maybe the real All-Star Starters was the fun we had watching everyone freak out over votes that won’t matter for a meaningless exhibition contest along the way.