The first All-Star fan voting returns are in and they have given us a clear snapshot of what NBA supporters are feeling so far this season.
Warriors’ Stephen Curry and Nets’ Kevin Durant lead the NBA’s first All-Star fan voting returns: pic.twitter.com/3812PFdcGb
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 6, 2022
But there are a few inclusions that have caught people off guard and have proven that popularity is a tricky, stubborn thing with NBA fanatics.
What are the biggest All-Star voting shocks so far?
3. Klay & Kyrie?
That’s a bit surprising, to say the least, considering Thompson hasn’t played a single game since 2019 and Irving just played his first game back in the association after being sidelined because of his COVID-19 vaccine stance.
Despite their little-to-no playing time, fans are still rooting them on and considering them two of the best guys in the league.
Of course, All-Star voting is a huge popularity contest so the allegiance of fans isn’t always based on actual playtime but rather die-hard loyalty.
It’s a little silly that both Thompson and Irving made the cut after being absent for so long but it’s a good reminder that these two are still supremely popular.
Another note: Thompson and Irving made the cut but no Kawhi Leonard?
2. AD Is Back
For the first time since he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, people are openly wondering if it’s time to send Anthony Davis away.
There are some who propose that the issues plaguing the Lakers are partly because of Davis’s troubled season and multiple injuries.
There have been numerous critics who have said that Davis doesn’t seem as driven as he once was and that perhaps his heart isn’t in it anymore.
That message never made it to fans, apparently, because Davis pulled in 592,281 votes.
Yes, he has his nay-sayers and doubters but Lakers fans are still rallying behind their big man.
1. LaMarcus Returns
Before exiting the Brooklyn Nets for medical reasons, LaMarcus Aldridge wasn’t playing like his old self.
Now that he’s back with the Nets, he’s doing much better and has even made his way into the starting lineup.
LaMarcus Aldridge is averaging 22.5 points and 10 rebounds per 36 minutes!
— Hammer Wager Official (@hammerwagers2) November 24, 2021
Because of all this, Aldridge has made his way back into All-Star voting.
It’s true that Aldridge is toward the bottom of the list of Eastern Conference frontcourt players but he’s still in there – a testament to the fact that Brooklyn fans are noticing his resurgence.
This should only be seen as inspiring news because Aldridge wasn’t supposed to play another game of NBA basketball due to medical reasons.
But his second chance at professional basketball has given him a second wind – and the voting public is taking note.