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Crawford: All-Star Anomaly

Check this out. I was investigating the All-Star returns, looking to see if Warriors fans had Andris at least somewhat close to the top. I hadn’t looked the entire time, figuring no Warrior had a shot. But tonight I looked.
Sure enough, Andris was not even close. According to the fourth returns, put out Jan. 8, Biedrins had 170,732 votes. He was behin Yao Ming, Shaq, Andrew Bynum, Mehmet Okur and Greg Oden.
But guess whose name I did see? Jamal Crawford. He was sixth among West guards!

Immediately, I thought “He must’ve got a lot of New York votes. Wrong.

The first returns came out Dec. 11. Crawford was traded by New York to the Warriors on Nov. 21. He didn’t make the top 11 for either conference. Houston point guard Rafer Alston was 11th with 73, 614 votes. Gilbert Arenas was 11th in the East with 64,450.

I checked the second returns, which came out on Dec. 25. Still no Crawford in the East or West. Denver’s Chauncey Billups was 11th with 170,645.

On to the third returns, unveiled on Jan. 1. Still no Crawford. We know he had fewer than 205,554 votes, which is how much Billups had at he bottom of the top 11.

Then, suddenly, on Jan. 8, when the fourth returns are released, Crawford has 462, 039 votes? That’s more than 255,000 votes he’d accumulated in that one week! What happened? Did he hold a ballot punching party somewhere, or are Warriors fans falling in love?

Crawford won’t get voted in, and he probably won’t be added by the coaches. Still, these All-Star stats have some interesting tid bits in them:

* He has more votes than Steve Nash (even though the All-Star Game is in Phoenix), Jason Kidd, Rafer Alston (who has the China vote by virtue of playing with Yao), Brandon Roy, Chauncey Billups, Deron Williams and, yes, Baron Davis.

* He is sixth among guards, but the ballot doesn’t break it up into point guards and shooting guards. If you go by position, he’s third among point guards – behind Chris Paul and Tony Parker – and fourth among shooting guards – behind Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady (who also has the China vote) and Manu Ginobili.

* Of the five people ahead of him, only Kobe and CP3 have played at least as many games as Chris Paul. McGrady has hardly played and Giniobili and Parker missed chunks at the beginning of the season

* The only East guards with more votes after the fourth returns were Dwyane Wade, Allen Iverson, Vince Carter, Ray Allen and (barely) Devin Harris.

*This has nothing to do with Crawford, but how does Joe Johnson have just 236,883 votes – fewer than Luke Ridnour!

* Baron had 499,186 total votes last year total. Remember, Crawford had 462,039 when they announced on Jan. 8. The voting ended today. So Crawford was 37,000-plus votes behind with 11 days to go. But Crawford has been here for seven weeks. Baron had been here for three years and had led the team to the playoffs the year before for the first time in 13 years.

* Swingman Stephen Jackson, the team’s leader, is nowhere to be found. He was on the ballot as a guard. The fourth returns had Roy as No. 11 at 267,053. So Crawford had some 200,000 more than Jackson!

Why is Crawford getting so much love from Warriors’ fans? Was it the 40 in the home opener? Was it the 50-point game? Was it the game-winner against Indiana? Is it the good-guy personality?

Someone explain this to me.

Marcus Thompson