Blake Griffin was voted in to the NBA All Star game by fans for the second time, which, under the rules of the new CBA, qualifies him for an additional $16 million over the life of his new five year "maximum" contract. Griffin was designated by the Clippers as their lone player who would be eligible for the "30 percent of the cap" maximum salary rule.
So... if Blake Griffin was named to the team rather than voted by the fans he wouldn't qualify for the extra 5% money. The fans, of course, are responsible for voting in the five starting players. This year's Western Conference winners were Griffin, Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, and Kevin Durant. Don't forget that last year, an inactive, all-but-retired Yao Ming was voted in as a starter. This year, Jeremy Lin came within 50,000 votes of making the team. Lin's fine, but he's no all-star.
Did Dwight Howard deserve to be a starting team All Star? Did Kobe Bryant? They played for a team that isn't anywhere near .500, and is sitting near the bottom of the conference standings. Both their numbers are great and they seem deserving but by what measure? Certainly not success. And did Blake Griffin deserve to be named to be named an all star starter? Over LaMarcus Aldridge? David Lee? Tim Duncan? Zach Randolph? Is Blake obviously that much better than these guys? I'm a Clipper fan, I like Griffin a lot, and he was probably deserving... but there are legitimate arguments that others were better qualified.
Of course there are other ways for Griffin to qualify for the extra dough. He could be named to the All-NBA team twice, or win the MVP award once. James Harden, the only other player who is close to qualifying and has a max contract, wasn't named to the All-NBA team last year, and, unless he's selected MVP, which seems very unlikely, he will fail to get the extra 5%.
How ridiculous is it that the fans are voting to determine player's salaries? Fan voting is fine. And not many NBA fans take the All-Star game very seriously at all, but is there any reason that the fans should control a player's salary?