In what is probably the more expected, yet still exciting, news of the day, Giannis Antetokounmpo was once again named an All-Star starter by virtue of gobbling up votes from fans, media and players alike this year.
Last year marked his first trip to the All-Star game and the first Bucks participant in the game since Michael Redd in the 2003-04 All-Star contest. Unfortunately, LeBron James usurped him in votes to become the captain of the Eastern squad and earn the right to select the fellows that will be backing him up that night.
Giannis got the 2nd most votes in the East (2,638, 294 for Lebron, 2,530,211 for Giannis.— JP Cadorin (@jpcadorin) January 18, 2018
Of 99 media members, Lebron and Giannis were the only two in the East to get all 99 votes (Kyrie only got 96)
Giannis got 6 more player votes (226 to 220) than Lebron.
Giannis espoused a cunning desire to select Lebron when he lead in votes once upon a time as a way to lure the league’s best player to Giannis’ haven. That plan may not be able to come to fruition, but hopefully Giannis can still get some quality Bron-Bron time in to grease his wheels. The rest of the Eastern Conference starters voted in include Kyrie Irving, DeMar DeRozan, and Joel Embiid.
No surprise here: Giannis Antetokounmpo is an All-Star starter. LeBron James is the captain coming out of the Eastern Conference. Joel Embiid, Kyrie Irving & DeMar DeRozan join them.— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) January 18, 2018
Giannis still finishing second overall in the voting results, even eclipsing Western Conference leader Steph Curry. His continued ascendance, along with the blazing hot merch the Bucks continue to pump out, is even bleeding into team sales too.
Giannis bringing more eyeballs to the Bucks’ franchise is good for a number of reasons, not the least of all being to increase pressure to deliver the kind of results befitting of a superstar. That hasn’t been the case yet this year. For now though, I’m still going to enjoy this silly highlight of Giannis forcing Curry into an early All-Star grave.