Here’s why voting for Tacko Fall and Alex Caruso is disrespectful and selfish

Point guard Alex Caruso and center Tacko Fall have become fan favorites for the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics this season. When the two enter a game, they elicit cheers that rival those of the franchise superstars: LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum.

That’s all fine and good if all of this screaming and yelling was genuine, but let’s not get it twisted: the support for Tacko Fall and Alex Caruso isn’t sincere whatsoever. The so-called support very much in the vein of Brian Scalabrine, Chuck Nevitt, Earl Boykins, and Boban Marjanovic. That is the fans aren’t cheering loudly out of pure basketball enjoyment or deserving play, but as comic relief.

This kind of tongue-in-cheek, cult worship isn’t new and is never going to stop, but the fact that both are in the top ten in early all-star voting is another thing entirely. I find it both utterly selfish and disrespectful to everyone and everything involved.

When it comes to all-star predictions, no serious list would have included either Caruso or Fall.

Disrespectful at Best

Let’s start with the 25 year old Alex Caruso.

To be completely blunt about the Caruso fanboys is that these fans love that Caruso looks like a balding white guy you’d see at the YMCA. Part of Caruso’s “draw” is that the 6’5 everyday-looking guard sometimes pulls out a highlight-worthy dunk.

I’ll get in front of the comments by saying that there are no precedents for dunking role players coming off the bench getting this many votes. This is especially true for ones that are averaging 5.4 points, 2 rebounds, and 1.7 assists, but let’s entertain this argument. If being a dunking bench player was a factor in all-star consideration then Gerald Green, Terrence Ross, Dennis Smith Jr. and Derrick Jones all would have been all-star starters.

Yet here we are with Caruso’s 92,233 votes. His tally is more votes than fellow West guards Devin Booker (25.6), CJ.McCollum (22.3), Lou Williams (19.1), Andrew Wiggins (24.8), Buddy Hield (20.4), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (19.9) and Ja Morant (17.6). How ridiculous is that?

That’s rhetorical, it’s completely ridiculous. No matter what Anthony Davis and Frank Vogel think.

The Rise of Fall

In the Eastern Conference the appearance of Tacko Fall fis even more egregious.

The former University of Central Florida product is being treated like sideshow royalty.  Tacko’s “fan base” voted for the 7-6 center in part because he’s like an exhibition; something to be gawked at. The other part is that his Senegalese is pronounced like the traditional Mexican food taco.

Is this how basic our human brains are?

Is this how our culture treats differences in 2020?

Again, a rhetorical question: Yes, it is.

Let’s go over the numbers. With over 110,000 votes, Fall is 6th in all-star votes for the Eastern Conference front court. Did we mention that Tacko has played in just three games all season with averages of 3.7 minutes,  4.3 points and 2.3 rebounds?

No? that’s because we shouldn’t have to.

These numbers aren’t worth mentioning in the all-star orbit. Still here we are with Fall garnering more votes than legitimate all-star contenders Bam Adebayo, Andre Drummond, Domantas Sabonis, Khris Middleton, and teammate (and former all-star) Gordon Hayward.

It’s Like High School, But as Adults!

We didn’t write this to disrespect either Caruso or Fall, but we felt the need to call out the selfish mob mentality that is essentially bullying two talented basketball players because of their genetic differences while making a more of a mockery of fan voting.

This is just another example of where fan voting goes wrong. It’s one thing to truly support a player because you like their game, but it’s wholly when you only vote for them as the worst-kept, inside joke.

I liken it to voting a challenged or disadvantaged student as Homecoming King/Queen in high school. At best, it’s patronizing, at worst it’s bullying. The motive isn’t because they think that person deserves the recognition, but because the voters think they deserve to have fun at the expense of the classmate.

“I don’t love (Fall being so high up),” Boston coach Brad Stevens said, via NBC Sports Boston. “I don’t love the idea, when you talk about awards … not being based on what’s solely happening on the court.”

We understand that fans like to have fun, but there’s no real defense for this and there are no winners. It’s both disrespectful to Caruso and Fall and the fringe all-star players that actually are deserving of those votes. Stop it.

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