New York Knicks fans eagerly awaited 5 p.m. ET on Thursday to learn whether or not Jalen Brunson would be named an All-Star starter. If Brunson was left out, the thought that it would've been because of Donovan Mitchell or Tyrese Maxey. Instead, it was neither.
After announcing Tyrese Haliburton as the first player in the East backcourt, Kenny Smith revealed that Damian Lillard would be starting in Indianapolis. Ernie Johnson went over the player and media votes, and he said the media voted Brunson was the No. 2 guard in the East. Johnson added that Brunson and Lillard finished the same in player and media voting, but he got the starting nod because Lillard received more fan votes.
A reminder that fan votes counted for 50%, while players and media accounted for 25% each. Brunson finished in sixth place with 1,058,273 votes, and Lillard finished in third with 1,815,898 votes.
It's an unfortunate reminder that fan votes are worth more than they should be and that enough Knicks fans didn't show up at the All-Star polls. To be fair, though, Lillard is a household name and has more fans outside of his fan base than Brunson, meaning there weren't as many non-Knicks fans voting for Brunson as there were non-Bucks fans voting for Lillard.
Knicks fans react to Jalen Brunson being snubbed as All-Star starter
Putting fan votes aside, there is no way to justify Lillard being an All-Star starter over Brunson. Here's a look at their stats side-by-side:
How have fans taken the news? Well, exactly as expected!
Okay, so Kevin O'Connor isn't a Knicks fan, but if as a Celtics fan he can admit that Lillard starting over Brunson is a "crime," that says something.
Kendrick Perkins can have some wild takes, but this is one we agree with! Coming from former players, this holds some weight. Speaking of former players...
Chuck gets it! He called the Brunson free agency signing the best in team history and said the point guard has propelled New York back to relevancy.
The good news is that Brunson will still be named an All-Star reserve, but that won't be made official until next Thursday. It's a shame that his name wasn't called as a backcourt starter, but let's not forget that there's a chance Brunson and Julius Randle will be in Indiana! It's been 11 years since the Knicks had two All-Stars, dating back to Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler in 2012-13.
Maybe next year, the league will alter how All-Star starters are chosen.