NBA All-Star Game: Should someone step aside so Jordan can start?

NBA all-star game is tonight, in about 45 minutes. Although Michael Jordan is a reserve for the east, he is not in the starting lineup for his final appearance in this game. More background on this is here.

Should Jordan be in the starting lineup? Of course the lineup was voted on by the fans, and Jordan didn’t make it, but should one of the starters step aside for him? One obvious choice to step aside would be Vince Carter (for several reasons), but he has refused. Tracy McGrady and Allen Iverson have both offered their spots to Jordan, but he has refused. What do dopers think about this situation?

As for my opinion:

I think there should be 5 guys offering their spots to Jordan. He is arguably the best player to ever play the game (definitely one of the best) and one of the most popular athletes of all time. He has contributed to the popularity of the NBA and the game of basketball as much as anyone. He deserves to go out as a starter. I do think he should have gone out as a starter years ago as a Bull, and not came back as a Wizard, but that is beside the point.

I really think the guy to step down should be Vince Carter. Carter has no business being on the team this year, much less starting. He has only played in 15 games this year, and wouldn’t be anywhere near Atlanta if it weren’t for the fans voting. I really think not stepping aside is making Carter look bad. I expect Carter to be booed when he is announced.

I do have one scenario that I really hope happens. Maybe Jordan really will start, and they are just keeping it a surprise. Maybe Carter has even already agreed to step aside, and all the talk about him refusing is just to build up suspense. To be honest, I don’t expect this to happen, but it wouldn’t suprise me.

Dude, Carter stepped aside - but I’m guessing you know that by now.

Should he have stepped aside? Ehhhh. I mean, it was a fan vote, & they voted for Carter, but not for Jordan. It wasn’t as though he muscled his way in; the fans just didn’t vote for Jordan like they did for Carter - them’s the brakes.

I’m not saying that it wouldn’t have been magnanimous of Carter to step aside from the start - Jordan is a legend of the game - but it’s not like he didn’t deserve the position, based upon the criteria for holding said position (i.e. votes).

And although I’m skeptical that he wanted to hang onto his position because it’s what the fans voted for, I gotta agree with it. If the powers that be wanted to honor Jordan during the game, they’d have figured a foolproof way.

I would be more supportive of Jordan if this wasn’t his third “last All-Star Game.”

RickJay nailed it for me. If the fans were so hot on seeing him start, that’s what they would’ve chosen. They didn’t; he shouldn’t have. Not only do I think it was ludicrous for Carter to step aside for him, I think it was a slap in the face to all of the fans who wanted to see him on the court at jump instead of Jordan.

Absolutely wrong. Jordan’s ego rightfully comes before the fans every time.

Based on form, Jordan never should have made the team at all, let alone the starting line-up. He’s not even the best player in his position on his own NBA team this year. And, given that the All-Star teams are not decided based on form, but on what the fans want, why is your vote any more important than that of the 1,000,000+ fans who voted for Carter? Get over yourself.

If they’re going to hand out positions just because someone has been a good player in the past, why not just pick players off the Hall of Fame list? You could have Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Julius Erving, Magic Johnson, etc., etc. on the team every year. After all, these guys fit most of your criteria (great players, popular athletes, etc. etc., yawn, yaaaaaaaaawn).

If they really wanted to select the team based on form, then they wouldn’t have fans involved at all. But they do, and the idea is that the team on the boards is the one that the fans vote for. By arguing that Carter “wouldn’t be anywhere near Atlanta if it weren’t for the fans voting,” the OP conveniently ignores the fact that this is the whole point of the All-Star Game - the fans decide who will start. If you don’t like it that way, then bad luck. Stop whining about how poor MJ got a rotten deal at the end of his great career. “Deserves to go out a starter” my ass. He had that chance on more than one occasion, and if he keeps insisting on coming back then he should face the fact that he might not be selected as an All-Star any more.

And finally, like Peter May, i don’t quite understand all the vitriol directed at Carter. As if it’s his fault he was selected and thus deprived MJ of a spot, and it’s therefore his responsibility to step aside. Give me a break. As May says, based on form it would be hard to make the argument that Yao Ming should have been selected over Shaquille O’Neal, but he was because that’s what the fans wanted. And May’s comments are worth quoting, to finish off:

I find it terribly amusing that Jordan, by hogging the ball in the last 30 minutes of regulation, probably lost the game for the East by bricking two shots while never once even LOOKING to make a pass. Had they not had him on the floor in crunch time the game might never have gone into overtime.

Too bad Jordan didn’t have the class to refuse, and say “the fans have spoken with their votes.” Vince Carter had all sorts of pressure put on him to relinquish the spot, a spot that fans gave to him over Jordan with their votes. Jordan should have spoken up early to take the pressure off of Carter.