Friday, January 3, 2020

Stop Voting Tacko Fall for NBA All-Star


Tacko Fall does not deserve to play in the All-Star Game. He probably does not even want your votes.

If he does want your votes, then by all means, vote for him. It would obviously be fun to watch Tacko hammer down alley-oops and standing dunks alongside NBA elites in a defense-less game.

But my guess is that Fall would rather play in the Rising Stars game with his fellow rookies and let the more deserving players take the big stage.

Guys like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who are vying for their first All-Star appearances, belong in that game. It would be a huge achievement for Boston’s rising stars.

But that experience and accomplishment would be cheapened and overshadowed if there are players on the roster who do not belong there.

It is also demeaning to Fall, a rookie who hopes to eventually crack the Celtics rotation.

Fall has played less than 12 total minutes this season and is fighting back against the hindering narrative that his Senegalese nationality and 7’5 frame make him a gimmicky big man.

That unfortunate narrative has become a major obstacle for Fall, who went undrafted in 2019 despite his obvious sky-high potential.

Voting Fall for All-Star feeds that negative narrative. It does not give him positive recognition.

The Celtics are surging (12-4 last 16 games) and their wins often end with fans chanting for Tacko. Celtics players and fans alike have demonstrated intense support for him.

Even the unflappable Brad Stevens could be seen embracing Tacko Mania when he urged Boston fans to chant louder for Fall if they wanted to see him play.

But Stevens upset some fans on Friday when he admitted he was not a big fan of the 110,269 All-Star votes his reserve center had received.

Coach Stevens was understandably hesitant to support the possibility of players receiving accolades such as All-Star status based on non-basketball factors.

Votes for Fall could displace deserving players, like Bam Adebayo, who is having a breakout year in Miami.

For fringe All-Stars like Adebayo, Tatum, and Brown, making the team could completely transform their career trajectories. It can change their lives.

Boisterous social media support for Zaza Pachulia nearly got him named as an All-Star starter in 2016. Pachulia averaged 8.6 points per game for the Dallas Mavericks that year.

Following that season, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver changed the voting process for All-Star starters to a weighted system which included media and player votes to balance out fans who vote recklessly.

The current situation is arguably worse because Fall is not a longtime veteran receiving ironic or sympathetic votes. He is a hard-working rookie with his entire career in front of him.

Fall wants to improve his game to become a legitimate All-Star someday. Give him time and the opportunity to earn his rightful place amongst NBA elites instead of fueling a dangerous narrative with meaningless undeserved votes.

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

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