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Fixing the All-Star game

My latest column, in which I argue that players should vote for All-Stars, is up at FanHouse:

I asked Cleveland's Ben Wallace what he thought about allowing the players to choose the reserves, and he wasn't sure if it would make a difference. "Players can be biased, too, so it doesn't matter," Wallace said. "You put it on the coaches and let them make decisions. Bottom line, I guess you can't put everybody in the game, but every year we're going to have somebody left out for one reason or another, somebody looked over for one reason or another."

But that's the thing: If All-Stars are selected by players, there's no room to complain about being snubbed. If you didn't get picked, it's because your fellow players didn't respect you enough -- and whining about that lack of respect will only make things worse.

Think of it this way: It's rare that a referee can blow a whistle in an NBA game without at least one player complaining, but if you put those same players on a playground in the summertime, they'll call their own fouls without worrying about the ticky-tack stuff. You can fool or intimidate a referee into making bad calls, but you'll be laughed off the court if you try doing that among players policing themselves.

I also talked to Kevin Garnett, Mo Williams, Ray Allen and LeBron James. To be honest, I was surprised at how many guys were fine with the status quo, but Allen (who handled his snub with absolute class) was definitely open to the idea, suggesting the coaches and media, as well as the fans, should have a say in the starters.

It's not as strange as it sounds -- the NFL Pro Bowl does something very similar. I know this argument has been made a few times, but there's my two cents.

The Rotation: Let the Players Choose [FanHouse]