The first wave of fan returns for the All-Star voting are in, and the Phoenix Suns have a pair of guards that appear in the top 10.
Devin Booker sits in 6th place with 173,755 votes and Chris Paul is right behind him in 7th with 128,127 votes. Ja Morant and Donovan Mitchell sit just ahead of the Suns’ backcourt duo in 4th and 5th place respectively.
Ultimately this is 50% of the voting for the starters in each conference (media and players account for the other 50%). Looking at the numbers, the leaders Steph Curry and Luka Doncic hold it seems set in stone at this point that those two are going to start based on fan vote. Damian Lillard is their biggest threat in third place, relatively close to 2nd place vote holder Luka Doncic.
How the voting process works
Ultimately, the fan vote accounts for 50 percent of the total vote that determine the starters for the NBA All-Star Game. Along with that, (current) players and media members split the other 50 percent of the votes to decide the 5 starters for each conference.
Each ballot consists of 2 guards and 3 front court players.
For more: How To Vote
Devin Booker finished 8th in the fan voting amongst guards last season, but 4th in the player and media voting which boosted him up to the brink of the all-star game, and ultimately led to him serving as a replacement for Damian Lillard. The respect from the players is there, so that is something to monitor yet again.
If Booker was having a vintage D-Book season right now there would be a much higher chance of him starting alongside Steph Curry in the backcourt. That being said, it’s imperative for him to close this stretch strong before the voting period closes if he wants to make it as a reserve, who are voted on by coaches.
The Jenner/Kardashian effect
There is one interesting wrinkle that is in play no matter how you feel about the Devin Booker/Kendall Jenner relationship, and that is the astronomical amount of followers the Jenner and Kardashian family has on social media.
Kendall Jenner follow count: 150 million (instagram) + 30.7 million (twitter)
Khole Kardashian follow count: 129 million
Why include Khloe Kardashian in this? Well, to put it simply she has already posted on her instagram story to vote for Devin Booker (and Tristan Thompson) to her nearly 130 million followers.
That could be one reason for the bump in votes for Booker at this point despite him not playing to his standards this year. Another reason that can’t be ruled out is the bubble exposure along with the increase in nationally televised games this season.
We are one Kendall Jenner instagram post/tweet away from nearly 180+ million folks being told to vote for Devin Booker.
Look, vote for our guys. The system is flawed and rewards team success and past achievements over actual results from time-to-time, so why not have Booker benefit from it for once?
Personally I do not care about the all-star game or any individual awards or accolades for this team, I’m much more invested in the wins and losses for a team that hasn’t played in the playoffs since 2010. HOWEVER, it is nice to see players like Booker that have stuck it out through the bad years get some recognition on the national level.
The fan voting will conclude on February 16th.