From here on out, the All-Star fan vote, otherwise known as the great popularity and Twitter contest, is forever going to have drama. Because fans can get their vote out pretty easily via Twitter, and because celebrities can push their cause on their social media accounts, you never knew who is going to sneak over the finish line and debunk a popular star. Kyrie Irving seemed like a lock. Zaza Pachulia almost made it in. Anthony Davis lost some serious dough. Here’s how it all went down.
Kyle Lowry: Last year, he overcame a 100,00 vote deficit and knocked Dwyane Wade out as an All-Star starter. This year, he did it again with help from Drake and the Canadian prime minister, ruining Kyrie Irving’s night. Lowry overcame Irving’s 32,000 vote advantage. This wasn’t a case of fan bias, just fan energy. Lowry is having a career year: 20.9 points, 6.5 assists.
“It is an honor to be voted as a starter for the All-Star Game, especially for one in my home arena. I am thankful to all the great Raptors fans across Canada and throughout the NBA.”
Kawhi Leonard: He beat out Draymond Green last year for Defensive Player of the Year and he beat him out this year as a starter in the All-Star game. Green had been leading by 12,000 votes but the Spurs fans pushed Leonard over the top. Leonard is the only starter making his first All-Star appearance which probably will be a trivia question one day. What NBA player made his first All-Star appearance when Kobe Bryant made his last All-Star appearance: Kawhi Leonard.
Leonard is having a dynamic season. He is the Spurs leading scorer at 20.1 points and is the best two way player in the league.
Carmelo Anthony: He passed Pau Gasol by 360 votes to start for the Eastern Conference. Anthony is not having his greatest season but he was good enough to be voted by committed Knicks fans. Should Andre Drummond have started? Yes. But the Detroit fans are not all in on the Pistons or Drummond just yet. The Pistons have one of the lowest home attendances in the league, worse than the 76ers. An apathetic fan base is not going to get it done.
Anthony Davis: Anthony Davis max contract kicks in next season and the amount may be drastically reduced if he isn’t voted All-NBA or MVP. It is called the Derrick Rose Rule. The rule states that if a player during his rookie contract is selected as an All-Star starter for two years, then, when his max deal kicks in, he is entitled to the same salary as a 7-to-9 year veteran would receive, not the salary of a 0-to-6 year veteran. (Davis is a 4 year veteran). In essence, Davis could have made up to 30% of his team’s salary cap by being a two time All-Star starter. All Davis had to do was be voted in. He wasn’t. He won’t be league MVP, so he has to hope he gets All-NBA. The no All-Star nod cost him $24 million.
Zaza Pachulia: In a mad push by international fans, Zaza Pachulia of the Dallas Mavericks finished ahead of Draymond Green for the 4th forward spot. Those saying Kobe ruined it for Draymond Green…uh…no. If Kobe wasn’t an All-Star then Zaza would be. Rest assured, Zaza won’t get an All-Star invite, but he got mad love by Mavs fans all over the world.
All-Star Reserves announced next week.
photo vial llananba