By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The shower of love upon gargantuan Celtics rookie Tacko Fall was all fun and games. And then the internet started pushing to make him an All-Star.
As fun as it's been to ironically treat the 7-foot-6 Fall like he's must-see TV - to be fair he's friggin' massive, a sight to behold - Celtics head coach Brad Stevens didn't hesitate to plop a wet blanket on the whole idea of Fall getting All-Star votes. Now why you gotta be a party-pooper, Brad?
Stevens explained his very respectable, professional opinion on why Fall's ridiculous number of All-Star votes is no laughing matter when he joined 98.5 The Sports Hub's Zolak & Bertrand for his weekly interview on Wednesday. Fall came in at sixth in All-Star fan voting to become one of three frontcourt starters for the Eastern Conference when the first round of results came out last week, and Stevens didn't have fun with it. But he explained his stance more in-depth with Zo & Beetle.
“Well, the reason I said I don’t like it is because there’s a lot of guys that have played however many [games] ... and those guys have all busted it to have great years, whether they’re on our team, other teams, whatever the case may be,” said Stevens. “I think if we’re gonna have an All-Star game, you try to pick the guys that impact winning for the very best [teams]. But you know, that’s probably not possible. I realize it’s a mix of a popularity contest and what you’ve accomplished, and how you’ve played thus far.
“The message that I would have for our guys: it’s not important if you’re named an All-Star, it’s important that you’re playing like one. At the end of the day there’s so much subjectivity in that ... certainly the 12 guys that get voted on always are deserving, but there’s also eight more that are too. I don’t think Tacko, as much as I love him and as much as I enjoy having him around, should be the starting center for the east."
Stevens previously said on Fall's appearance in All-Star voting results, via NBC Sports Boston's A. Sherrod Blakely: "I don't love it. I don't love the idea, when you talk about awards ... not being based on what's solely happening on the court."
Ultimately, Fall was only sixth in voting and lagged behind the top-5, which included teammate Jayson Tatum. It appears that Fall is not a real threat to actually make the All-Star game. But if internet trolls care enough, they might be able to sabotage the voting process like NHL fans did with John Scott in the 2016 All-Star Game.
But in the NBA, being an All-Star is a legit distinction due to the relatively small rosters. You really do need to be among the best of the best to make the team. So Fall shouldn't be in the same galaxy as top vote-getters like Giannis Antetokounmpo or Joel Embiid. Stevens understands this and wasn't afraid to be honest about it without playing along with the joke of Fall appearing in voting results in the first place.
Anyway, Stevens said Fall will be available for the Celtics' next two games against the Spurs and 76ers in a back-to-back on Wednesday and Thursday. You can listen to his full interview with Zolak & Bertrand below, starting at the 31:00 mark.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].