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Haynes: Ballot Rule Led to Blazers G Damian Lillard's Snub

An NBA All-Star ballot rule led to the exclusion of Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and other rookies.


Portland Trail Blazers rookie guard Damian Lillard was not included on the 2013 NBA All-Star ballot. Chris Haynes of reports the reason: a little-known rule preventing rookies, except the No. 1 overall pick, from being included.

Houston Rockets beat reporter, Jonathan Feigen, of the Houston Chronicle - who is one of four on the 2013 All-Star committee - says that every year, only the No. 1 pick of the draft has an honorary slot on the ballot. Every other rookie is excluded. The ballot does not reveal that rule.

"Most of the complaints I've been receiving about players who have been left off the ballot have been about Lillard and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Mostly Lillard," Feigen said. "But that's the reason he's not on there."

Feigen is not sure how long that exclusion has been in place.

In addition to designating a certain amount of guards and frontcourt players, the voting committee must also select three players from each team.

I can't say I had heard of this rookie rule previously. The balloting process, voting panel and procedures undergo tweaks from year to year.

Last year, for example both Cleveland Cavaliers rookie guard Kyrie Irving, the No. 1 overall pick, and Minnesota Timberwolves rookie guard Ricky Rubio were included. Perhaps some exception was made for Rubio because he wasn't selected in the 2011 class.

-- Ben Golliver | | Twitter