The NBA released its first returns on all-star voting and despite his torrid scoring streak over the last nine games and the Knicks resounding success over the last month, Amar'e Stoudemire is trailing Kevin Garnett by a wide margin for the second forward spot among Eastern Conference All-Star starters.
LeBron James leads all forwards with 607,994 votes and is a given for one of the two starting forward spots. Garnett is second with 456,111 votes, which is well ahead of Stoudemire's 327,626 votes.
Regardless of the fan vote, Stoudemire seems a lock to have a spot on the East all-star team as a reserve if he doesn't get the starting nod. But it's worth noting that the Knicks haven't had a player voted as an all-star starter since Patrick Ewing in 1992-93, just before Shaquille O'Neal ended his brief run as the East's starting center, which began in 1989-90.
Of course the Knicks hadn't had an all-star of any kind for almost 10 years, until David Lee was added to the all-star roster last season. Can the Knicks send two players to the game in Los Angeles in February? Raymond Felton right now is certainly a viable candidate to join Stoudemire on the East squad.
Stoudemire, a five-time all-star who was voted an all-star starter in the West in each of the last two seasons with the Suns, is tied with Kobe Bryant for second in the NBA in scoring at 26.7 points per game.
Garnett has had a strong season so far, but his numbers (15.7 points, 9.8 rebounds) pale in comparison. But all-star voting among fans hasn't always been about the better player, but the more popular player. And while Amar'e has the New York market, Garnett, who has a sneaker deal with Chinese company, Li-Ning, has a bigger presence in the coveted Asian market.
Perhaps Amar'e needs to start up a campaign like he did in 2009: