Wednesday, May 25 2022
Getty Images

After the first phase of his NBA career with the Minnesota Timberwolves was deemed a disappointment, former No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick Andrew Wiggins has flourished as a member of the Golden State Warriors. His efficiency has gone through the roof in a less voluminous offensive role, while he has become an essential member of the top-ranked Warriors defense by taking the challenge of guarding the opponent’s best perimeter scorer on a nightly basis.

All of Wiggins’ progress culminated on Thursday with his selection as a Western Conference starter in next month’s NBA All-Star Game, the first All-Star selection of his eight-year career. The news turned some heads — and perhaps rolled some eyes — as there were several other worthy frontcourt players on the list, including Wiggins’ Warriors teammate Draymond Green, who is likely the leading candidate for Defensive Player of the Year.

When the breakdown of the voting was released, it became clear that fan popularity was the determining factor in Wiggins’ selection as a starter — the fan vote counts for 50 percent, and the choices of the media and players are weighted at 25 percent each. Wiggins’ stiffest competition for the starting spot came from Green, Clippers forward Paul George and Jazz center Rudy Gobert. While Green and Gobert each earned significantly higher rankings than Wiggins from the players and media, neither could come close to his fan voting total.

2022 NBA All-Star voting Fan Votes Player Votes Media Votes

Andrew Wiggins




Paul George 2,805,203 36 3

Draymond Green




Rudy Gobert




So how did Wiggins dominate the fan voting so thoroughly, coming in third in the Western Conference frontcourt behind Lakers star LeBron James and reigning MVP Nikola Jokic?

Some digging by The Athletic’s Anthony Slater gives us a clue. According to Slater’s report, the Warriors’ social media team leveraged their partnership with Thai singer BamBam, a massive star in the K-pop world. The NBA allows fans to vote using hashtags on Twitter, so Golden State enlisted BamBam to solicit votes for players like Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Green.

But when it came to the tweet promoting Wiggins, the Warriors specifically asked BamBam to send it out on Jan. 7, according to Slater, when the NBA ran a “2 for 1” special in which any votes on that day counted double.

The tweet went out to BamBam’s 9 million-plus global followers, garnering nearly 37,000 retweets, 69,000 likes and 3,000 replies. That’s not even counting the potential fans who saw BamBam’s post and tweeted #AndrewWiggins #NBAAllStar from their own accounts. According to Slater, the tweet became Thailand’s No. 1 trending topic, and considering every vote counted as two, the strategic push could have gotten Wiggins hundreds of thousands of votes, enough to eclipse George in the fan vote and edge out Green overall.

Given injuries to Green and George, it’s certainly possible that Wiggins would have been selected as a Western Conference All-Star reserve given his impressive play and the Warriors’ success this season. As our Brad Botkin wrote, his merits have been considerable. But he’ll start in his first All-Star Game next month partly thanks to some shrewd strategy from the organization and the massive reach of a K-pop star.



Bulls vs. Spurs prediction, odds, line, spread: 2022 NBA picks, Jan. 28 best bets from proven computer model


What to expect from White Sox veteran José Abreu in 2022

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Pro Sports Media

Trending Now

Yankees’ Nestor Cortes explains temporarily deleting Twitter account: ‘I’ve grown up… I’m trying to clean that up’

Nestor Cortes Jr. pitches in white pinstripes Nestor Cortes deleted his Twitter account on Monday after inappropriate tweets of his were unearthed in the previous 24 hours. Cortes, whose 1.35 ERA is the second-lowest in baseball, had a series of questionable tweets from 2012-15 which were brought to light during his eight scoreless innings on […]

Read More

Reported pessimism Khris Middleton will return in Game 7 Sunday

The Milwaukee Bucks miss Khris Middleton. Their offense has struggled in the halfcourt against the Celtics, averaging 84.4 points per 100 possessions on their first shot in the halfcourt, the worst of any team in the second round of the playoffs and 10 points per 100 below their regular season average. Part of that is […]

Read More

Cardinals vs. Pirates live on Peacock: How to watch, stream, start time, TV channel for MLB Sunday Leadoff game

It’s the St. Louis Cardinals vs the Pittsburgh Pirates live from PNC Park at 11:30 AM this Sunday on Peacock. 18 MLB games will be featured on the streaming service this season. Live coverage begins at 11:00 a.m ET. See below for additional information on how to watch the game. RELATED: MLB schedule 2022: Every […]

Read More