The NBA All-Star fan voting system is a pretty cool way for fans to feel engaged and connected to the league. By voting in their picks for the All-Star starters, they get to feel like a part of the process.
Of course, where fans are involved, there's usually some trouble that follows.
The NBA discovered that the hard way in 2017, when veteran big man Zaza Pachulia, who was averaging 6 points per game that season, received over 400,000 votes -- surpassing guys like DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, and Marc Gasol.
To prevent an embarrassing outcome, the league had to institute the "Zaza rule," which counted player and media votes in the selection process.
It was just the first return of votes, but it really is amazing that Zaza was able to get so close to becoming an All-Star starter.
Had that rule not been created, we likely would have seen something similar this season. Guys like Alex Caruso, Tacko Fall, Bol Bol, and Boban Marjanovic jump out as some names the fans would have really pushed for.
Needless to say, the "Zaza rule" was probably a good thing for the NBA, even if some fans disagree.
The point of the All-Star game, after all, is to let the fans see the matchups they want to see. Usually, the NBA's best players happen to also be the most popular.
In rare cases, like with Zaza, a player might have a large fan base based on their country of origin or simply for the memes.
Either way, never underestimate the power of the NBA community...