As a journalist, I’m really not supposed to partake in popularity contests such as fan voting for the NBA All-Star Game, even when an All-Star injustice is being perpetrated.
But I’m also a ticket-buying NBA fan, and it was in that spirit that I went online this week, lapsed ethically and voted for Amar’e Stoudemire as a starter in the Feb. 20 showcase.
The Knicks (20-14) open a four-game road trip on Saturday in Phoenix, the birthplace of Stoudemire’s NBA stardom and a city he represented as an All-Star starter the past two seasons. Frankly, it is a disgrace that the basketball savior of America’s most populous city trails in fan voting for the Eastern Conference’s two starting forwards.
Despite Stoudemire’s status as perhaps the NBA’s leading MVP candidate at midseason, 34-year-old Celtics forward Kevin Garnett was dusting him by 24,059 votes as of Thursday (voting at NBA.com continues through Jan. 23). For resurrecting a franchise and adding new dimensions to his already elite skills, Stoudemire, 28, is a lock to be chosen by coaches as a reserve. But it’s clear that he should be the Knicks’ first All-Star starter since Patrick Ewing in 1992.
New York: Time to do your part.
Max J. Dickstein (@amNYsports) is amNewYork's sports editor.