Hashtag NBA ballot. Hashtag NBA ballot. Hashtag NBA ballot.
Those three words in succession will haunt my dreams until the final rosters for the 2015 NBA All-Star team are finally revealed.
For those of you who are unaware, you can place a vote for any one of your favorite players by typing #NBABallot next to their name in a tweet. That, along with all RT’s, go a long way towards determining who will start for the East and West.
North of the border, Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors has the people of Canada standing behind him as he looks to become an All-Star for the first time in his career.
— Matt Devlin (@Matt__Devlin) January 14, 2015
The last All-Star returns have Lowry ranked third in backcourt voting with 406,947 votes. John Wall of the Washington Wizards (564,977) and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat (507,326) are slotted in as the starters.
The gap between Lowry and Wade hasn’t stopped the fan base from holding on to the dream that a Toronto Raptor can be an All-Star starter in 2015 with the basketball world watching.
He certainly deserves it. In 39 games, Lowry is averaging 20.1 points, 7.8 assists and 4.8 rebounds in 34.5 minutes. He’s seventh in the East in scoring, second in assists and seventh in steals (1.62).
All-Star voting has always been a popularity contest, though. The big names with proven track records always get the support. That’s why Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers will more than likely be starting at guard for the West, even though his team sits near the bottom of the league at 12-29.
Lowry doesn’t have that luxury. The hope is that fans who don’t follow the Raptors as regularly as those in Toronto have taken notice of the success he’s been having.
He’s so close. That means the movement on Twitter has been put into hyperdrive. My Twitter timeline is swarmed with #NBABallot tweets for Lowry on a daily basis.
I want to see Kyle Lowry represent at the NBA All-Star Game! #NBABallot
— Tamberlyn's Tip-Off (@TTOTambz) January 16, 2015
The passion is extraordinary, but slightly annoying.
To top it all off, Raptors play-by-play man Matt Devlin (as seen above) has this habit of saying “Hashtag NBA ballot” nearly every time Lowry comes up with a big play.
Clutch three-pointer? Hashtag NBA ballot. Big defensive play? Hashtag NBA ballot.
It reeks of desperation. It’s too much. It’s just too much.
Lowry is going to make the All-Star team, whether he’s a starter or not. Coaches aren’t crazy enough to leave him off the team as a reserve with the season he’s having.
Fan voting comes to an end on Jan. 19. The madness will end, I’ll be happy and life will go on.
Watching Lowry compete at Madison Square Garden with the best of the best in the NBA will be an absolute pleasure. That’s what matters. He’ll be on the court, running the point and playing alongside the NBA’s elite.
So what if his name isn’t announced as a starter? Bless your hearts for trying. Try not to be upset if your Twitter cavalcade doesn’t pan out as you envisioned.