Earning an NBA All-Star spot is tough. Of the 480 players who have seen NBA action this season, only 57 have made an All-Star Game during their careers. Players have to play hard, produce great stats, and their team needs to win often, plus they need support from fans and respect from other players, media and coaches. Often, all this is still not enough (just ask Mike Conley or Lamar Odom).
Now is the time fans can support their favorite players. The 2019 NBA All-Star Voting tipped off about three weeks ago and will conclude on Monday, Jan. 21. Fans can vote by searching on Google, through the Google Assistant and via the NBA App and NBA.com. All active players are eligible for selection. Fans can fill out one ballot per day, every single day.
For the third consecutive year, NBA players and media will join fans in selecting the NBA All-Star Game starters. Fans will account for 50 percent of the vote. All current players and a media panel each account for 25 percent of the vote. The top vote-getters from each conference will serve as team captains. They will draft rosters from a field of All-Stars voted as starters (by the fans, players and media) and reserves (chosen by a vote among the league coaches), regardless of conference affiliation.
The first “ballot-winners” were players with 100,000-200,000 votes, and now more than 2,500,000 votes are necessary to lead the ballot, but please remember that the #NBAVote hashtag is no longer applicable. Before you go submit your ballot, here are some interesting stats and facts you (probably) didn’t know about NBA All-Star voting:
- Since 1975, the NBA All-Star selections have been left to the fans who vote to determine the starting fives.
- The 1974 All-Star Game was the last time the starting five and three bench players (one per position) were chosen by sportswriters and broadcasters (NBA coaches completed the rest of the bench players).
- Until 1973, each NBA team had to be represented with at least one player and a maximum of three players.
- Only five players in All-Star history were the top vote-getter and won the All Star Game MVP in the same year: LeBron James (2018), Kobe Bryant (2011), Michael Jordan (1998, 1988), Julius Erving (1983), and George Gervin (1980).
- Magic Johnson was the first player to receive 1,000,000+ votes. In 1986, he received 1,060,892 votes.
- Michael Jordan was the first player in league history to receive 2,000,000+ votes. In 1997, he got 2,451,136.
- In 2009, Dwight Howard broke the record for the most votes received. Howard topped the All-Star ballots with 3,150,181 votes, and he became the first player (and the only so far) to get more than three million votes from the fans.
- In 1995, Grant Hill became the only rookie in league history to lead the NBA in All-Star voting. With 6,254,427 ballots submitted, his name was on 1,289,585 of those.
- In 1996, for the first time every starter received at least one million votes.
- In 2003, Ben Wallace led the fan balloting at center with 1,123,090 votes. Wallace became the only undrafted player in NBA history to be voted a starter for the NBA All-Star Game.
- Yao Ming is the only international player to lead the fan balloting. He did it twice in 2005 and 2006.
- Marcus Camby received 4,004,309 votes during his time in the NBA and never made the All-Star Game. That is the most votes by a non-All-Star in league history, and the next most is 2,640,153 (Zaza Pachulia).
- 2009 was an NBA All-Star Game with particularly high votes. 24 players received more than 1,000,000 votes, an all-time record (second most is 18 in 2007 and third is 16 in 2010).
- Michael Jordan was the most popular player nine times, based on the fan votes, an all-time record. Jordan also holds the record for most consecutive ballots wins with seven. Second on the list is LeBron James with five years winning the ballot.
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holds the record for most All-Star Game selections and most All-Star Games played. He was selected 19 times and played in 18 All-Star Games. He received 4,991,706 votes, but never led the fan balloting.
- 14 players in league history received more than 1,000,000 votes in a single ballot and did not make the All-Star roster that year. Yi Jianlian holds the record with 1,813,829 votes (2009), while last season Manu Ginobili received 1,808,860. Ginobili (2018, 2009) and Tracy McGrady (2010, 2009, 2008) are the only players with multiple ballots of 1,000,000+ votes without an All-Star selection in those years.
- Only 10 players were voted first in multiple years: Michael Jordan (1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1998), LeBron James (2007, 2010, 2014, 2017, 2018), Kobe Bryant (2003, 2011, 2013, 2016), Vince Carter (2000, 2001, 2002, 2004), Julius Erving (1978, 1981, 1982, 1983), George Gervin (1979, 1980), Grant Hill (1995, 1996), Dwight Howard (2008, 2012), Magic Johnson (1985, 1986) and Yao Ming (2005, 2006)
- In the second NBA All-Star voting returns this year, LeBron James passed Kobe Bryant for most all-time votes. (1st – LeBron James – 31,038,131, 2nd – Kobe Bryant – 30,260,939, 3rd – Shaquille O’Neal – 23,834,598 4th – Kevin Garnett – 21,570,151, and 5th – Dwyane Wade – 21,294,547)
- Last but not least, it looks like a player will reach 4,000,000 votes this year. LeBron James (2,779,812) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (2,670,8161) expanded their leads in second returns of fan votes for the 2019 NBA All-Star Game.
Statistics used courtesy of Basketball-Reference, ESPN, Wikipedia, and Justallstar.com.