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Wednesday, February 5
Updated: April 15, 10:01 AM ET
Barkley: Selection proves fan voting doesn't work

Associated Press

MILWAUKEE -- Charles Barkley thinks Vince Carter's inclusion in the NBA All-Star Game is a sure sign that fan voting doesn't work, and the NBA television analyst thinks Carter should have forfeited his starting position.

"I thought that Vince Carter should have given up his starting spot," the former NBA player said Tuesday during a conference call to promote TNT's coverage of Sunday's All-Star Game. "No. 1, he doesn't deserve to be in the game, he hasn't played enough to warrant an All-Star selection. That's one of the reasons I'm against the fans voting, because it shouldn't be a popularity contest."

Carter, who played in only 10 games before the ballots were counted because of knee problems, was third in balloting for the game in Atlanta, trailing just Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady. Carter has played in 14 games this season, averaging 18.4 points and 3.4 rebounds.

Carter has been criticized for not following the lead of Philadelphia's Allen Iverson and Orlando's McGrady in offering his starting spot to Michael Jordan, who has said he'll retire after this season.

"When you're selected on an All-Star team, you're supposed to show your appreciation to the fans, to the people who voted for me," Carter said prior to Toronto's game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night. "I can't make all the fans happy and I can't make all the players happy. I'm definitely not going to make all the coaches happy, so I'm going to do what I have to do to do play hard and be thankful for what I've got."

Jordan, chosen as a reserve for the Eastern Conference team by NBA coaches, said he's happy to be a reserve and turned down the offers from Iverson and McGrady.

Jordan said he doesn't begrudge Carter for not giving up his spot.

"It's a Catch-22," Jordan said last week. "If he gives up his spot, some fans will be disappointed. Even me accepting Tracy's or Allen's spot would make fans look bad. That's not the way it's meant to be. Keep it the way it is. There's no bad person in this whole scenario."

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