With statistics significantly better than Kevin Garnett, Chris Bosh trails the Celtics center by nearly 30,000 votes for the Eastern Conference’s third frontcourt position among projected All-Star starters.
The third batch of All-Star voting returns was released Thursday, and Garnett had 390,751 votes. Bosh was fourth among Eastern Conference frontcourt players with 362,973 votes. Garnett is averaging 14.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 0.71 blocks per game. Bosh is averaging 18.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.55 assists and 1.27 blocks per game.
“I don’t care about voting,” Bosh said. “It’s a popularity contest. I’m not running for president — just trying to win basketball games. You know, that doesn’t always mean you’re going to be the winning vote-getter or something like that.”
The Heat led the Eastern Conference with a record of 22-8 entering Friday’s game against the Bulls. Boston, ninth in the Eastern Conference, was 14-17 entering Friday’s game against Indiana.
“I know [Garnett] is a very popular player, and I am not as popular, obviously,” Bosh said. “I don’t really look at it as a whole. I’ve had some good games. I just try to improve as a player every day.”
This is the first season for the fans to vote for three “frontcourt” starters in the All-Star voting rather than two forwards and a center. Bosh, a six-time All-Star, hasn’t started in the game since the 2007-08 season. Coaches select the All-Star reserves.
“[Bosh] always should be talked about as an All-Star starter,” LeBron James said. “I mean, you got three frontcourt players in the Eastern Conference, so he should always in the discussion. We’ll see what happens. I would be great to have him out there as an All-Star starter.”
Bosh wasn’t always so dismissive of the All-Star voting process, of course. While in Toronto, Bosh made a funny video short promoting himself as an All-Star. In the sketch comedy, Bosh was a used car salesman with a cowboy hat and a thick Southern accent.
“That was for fun back then, and I was just trying to be an All-Star,” Bosh said. “I was a younger basketball player and, you know, being in Toronto you get starved for attention because you don’t get any south of the Canadian border, really.
“Not only was that for me. I really wanted to focus on the team, too, because I felt we had a chance to be a good team. ... Now, I don’t care about attention as much.”
Dwyane Wade, who had knee surgery in the offseason, is the leading All-Star vote getter (765,077) among Eastern Conference backcourt players. Rajon Rondo of the Celtics is in second place with 675,822 votes. Wade is averaging over 20 points game and recently ran off a stretch of six games with a field-goal percentage above .600.
“He’s says his legs are feeling, getting better,” James said. “A lot of people forget that he was coming off of knee surgery.”
James leads all Eastern Conference players in All-Star votes with 1,151,304. Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony is second with 1,054,099. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is the league’s leader in All-Star voting with 1,177,456.
“It looks like I’m going to be a starter,” James joked. “Surprising.”