Happy Leap Day!
My biggest concern about Leap Day is its timing. I get the idea that the actual one-year revolution of the earth around the sun is 365-and-a-quarter days, so every four years we have to add a day. I do. I get it.
But why in the world did the geniuses who figured out the solution to the calendar falling behind decide that we needed an extra day in February?
Of all the months to go into overtime. What would be the problem with putting this make-believe day in July or August?
And, speaking of make believe – yeah, I know, it was too long an introduction to what might actually be a basketball column, but just so topical – the National Basketball League of Canada's make-believe online all-star voting wrapped up last night at midnight.
Why would fan voting be make-believe?
Because the league established a system where fans could vote all they wanted, but the results would be tabulated and then communicated to the league's seven head coaches, who will actually make the All-Star selections.
Basically an advisory role for the fans. Which is code for, "We don't trust our fans."
And guess what?
They were right not to trust the fans. At least not the fans with computers, because going into the final hours of the voting this week, the leading vote-getter was the legendary Nick Lother of the dead-last Moncton Miracles. That would be the Nick Lother with the 3.3 points-per-game scoring average.
Following him are every other Canadian on the ballot, including the Summerside Storm’s Chris Cayole. Cayole, the dual citizen from Vermont, has played in only 16 games, and just parts of three since December, due to injuries. Yet he's still a better choice than most of the players ahead of him in the standings.
There are 42 players listed on the ballot, and you get to vote for 20, which may shed some light on the problem. Suppose you vote for all six of the home team who are listed. Where do you park your remaining 14 choices?
Well, it is the True North Strong and Free, so let's tab all the Canadians, and they're identified on the ballot.
That may explain it, although I'm not sure it accounts for Lother having almost 20,000 votes.
The obvious top choices for the Storm would likely be post player Mike Williams and point guard Al Stewart. Williams is third in the league in rebounding and 10th in scoring while Stewart leads the loop in assists. Next in line perhaps Stephen McDowell.
The All-Star Weekend, with its traditional skills competitions (dunking contest, three-point shooting, etc), will be held the last weekend in March at the Metro Centre in Halifax.
And, speaking of make believe, the game itself will be played on Sunday, April 1. Maybe that's why Lother is leading the fan voting. I sure hope the coaches let him play.
Bob Gray is a freelance journalist with a long history of P.E.I. basketball reporting. He welcomes comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.