The all-NBA voting would be a media exercise if it were not one little detail – it is one of the qualifiers for a significant pay bump. Just like democracy, it is the worst form of deciding except for all those other concepts.
Klay Thompson’s max is now about $30 million lower because he didn’t make an All-NBA team this year. The guards that did make it are Curry – Harden, Kyrie – Lillard, and Kemba – Westbrook. Klay had quite the reaction when he heard that Kemba and Westbrook made it over him.
As with many NBA awards, the first problem is each voter defines it in his or her own way. How much does team success play into it, offensive vs defensive performance, games played, etc? Do you take off court issues into account? Kyrie has fractured the Celtic locker room, how much is that worth? What about LeBron’s influence on the Lakers and the whole AD fiasco?
It is a regular season award and the 82 game season has a lot of NBA’s finest on cruise control so it often feels that certain players that are killing it in the playoffs right now are cheated out of their place. As Klay said, championships are more important than All-NBA teams. The NBA financial system doesn’t agree.
What can be changed?
For one, All-NBA could become an all-season award. If playoffs and winning it all is the ultimate goal, why not select the teams after the season is done – bring the playoff context into it.
Secondly, the criteria for supermax should be changed as well. Finals appearances/championships won can be included. This would reward major players who sacrifice some regular season stats for team success.
This is all academic as the supermax has mostly been a failure and it is not likely owners will increase the number of players that get to ask so much money.