Zach Lowe Chris Herring Credit: The Lowe Post Podcast via ESPN on YouTube

Longtime NBA analyst Zach Lowe announced on Friday that he will not have an official ballot for league All-Star rosters or end-of-season awards this year.

The ESPN senior writer said Friday on his Lowe Post podcast that he was disenchanted by new Collective Bargaining Agreement rules linking media awards votes to player salaries.

“I surrendered mine, just to take a break,” Lowe said. “I was like, ‘I’m gonna take a break from having a ballot and all the noise.’ Not for All-Star necessarily, but the determination of some bonuses and super maxes. I was like, ‘I’m starting to feel a little icky.’ I’m out of the ballots for a year.”

Agents can negotiate bonuses related to awards in most sports. But in the soft-capped NBA, the difference between a player being able to make 25, 30 or 35 percent of the salary cap in any given year is often determined by them making the All-NBA team or winning a season award.

Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum spoke out against these rules in 2022, when he lost nearly $33 million because the media did not name him to an All-NBA team.

“There’s no criteria set for the voters on who they should vote for,” Tatum told JJ Redick. “It’s all opinion-based. … It’s all like, ‘Well, you know, I like this guy a little bit more.'”

So rather than continue getting between athletes and their money, Lowe will not be an official voter this season. As his readers and listeners at ESPN know, Lowe is well-documented in obsessing over these votes.

The decision truly seems personal. Lowe is not using the opportunity to make a stand against the NBA. He simply doesn’t want the stress or burden of determining another person’s salary. And who would want that kind of power?

[The Lowe Post]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.