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Kristaps Porzingis getting little All-Star love from voters


Friday, December 25, 2015, 1:46 PM

So far, NBA All-Star voters have generally been overlooking Kristaps Porzingis.Elsa/Getty Images

So far, NBA All-Star voters have generally been overlooking Kristaps Porzingis.

Kristaps Porzingis will need a big comeback to become the first rookie since Yao Ming to get voted into the All-Star game.

Despite the early hype and some intrigue about the international vote potentially pushing the Latvian into the forefront, the first returns of the ballot released on Christmas had Porzingis sitting in eighth place for the Eastern Conference frontcourt players with 85,606 votes, well behind the top 4 of LeBron James (357,937), Paul George (283,785), Andre Drummond (148,278) and Carmelo Anthony (132,119). The top-3 in that category earn a starting spot in the All-Star game on Feb. 14 in Toronto.

Kobe Bryant is leads everybody with 719,235 votes, crushing second-place Steph Curry (510,202). It seems the only thing preventing one last All-Star hurrah from Bryant is if he gets injured.

Porzingis, on the other hand, will likely be limited to the sideshows such as the Rising Stars Challenge. He could also be picked by the coaches as a reserve. The fourth overall pick is the leading rookie vote-getter by a wide margin, despite strong seasons from Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor. The final day for voting is Jan. 18.


Latvia hijacked the NHL All-Star voting last season by transforming undeserving Zemgus Girgenson — nicknamed “The Latvian Locomotive” — into the overall top vote getter. Ming’s popularity in China helped him become the league’s leader vote getter in consecutive years (2005-06) despite Bryant, James, Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Garnett on the ballot. But Porzingis isn’t on that level of popularity. Not yet, at least.

“They probably will be voting for me in Latvia, but I want to really deserve it,” Porzingis told the Daily News last month. “Not just because a country is behind me, I really want to deserve it if I get voted one day.”

Porzingis, the reigning Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month, is averaging 13.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2 blocks on 43 percent shooting. The 20-year-old nearly led the Knicks to a victory Wednesday over Cleveland without an injured Anthony, but was tentative down the stretch and turned into a spectator to Arron Afflalo’s failed hero attempts.

The Knicks (14-16), losers of two straight, play at Atlanta on Saturday to start a weekend back-to-back that ends in Boston.

Anthony is trying to go to his ninth All-Star Game – and seventh straight – but would have to leapfrog either Drummond or George in the voting to get in as a starter. Anthony, 31, is averaging 21.8 points – which, if sustained throughout the season, would represent his lowest scoring output since 2004-05 – but he’s rebounding (7.3 per game) and dishing out assists (3.6) at a higher rate.


Eastern Conference


1 LeBron James (Cle) 357,937

2 Paul George (Ind) 283,785

3 Andre Drummond (Det) 148,278

4 Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 132,119

5 Pau Gasol (Chi) 109,585

6 Kevin Love (Cle) 92,177

7 Chris Bosh (Mia) 91,896

8 Kristaps Porzingis (NYK) 85,606

9 Hassan Whiteside (Mia) 72,923

10 Giannis Antetokounmpo (Mil) 25,926

11 Jonas Valanciunas (Tor) 12,341

12 Joakim Noah (Chi) 10,808

13 Paul Millsap (Atl) 10,501

14 Marcin Gortat (Was) 9,443

15 DeMarre Carroll (Tor) 8,885


1 Dwyane Wade (Mia) 300,595

2 Kyrie Irving (Cle) 138,191

3 Kyle Lowry (Tor) 128,131

4 Jimmy Butler (Chi) 111,220

5 John Wall (Was) 103,094

6 Derrick Rose (Chi) 72,709

7 DeMar DeRozan (Tor) 69,042

8 Jeremy Lin (Cha) 61,832

9 Isaiah Thomas (Bos) 45,014

10 Nicolas Batum (Cha) 20,596

Western Conference


1 Kobe Bryant (LAL) 719,235

2 Kevin Durant (OKC) 349,473

3 Blake Griffin (LAC) 182,107

4 Kawhi Leonard (SA) 164,521

5 Draymond Green (GS) 160,350

6 Anthony Davis (NO) 156,161

7 Tim Duncan (SA) 127,543

8 DeMarcus Cousins (Sac) 101,930

9 Dwight Howard (Hou) 66,598

10 LaMarcus Aldridge (SA) 65,019

11 Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 56,377

12 DeAndre Jordan (LAC) 49,696

13 Enes Kanter (OKC) 47,806

14 Harrison Barnes (GS) 43,343

15 Kevin Garnett (Min) 42,285


1 Stephen Curry (GS) 510,202

2 Russell Westbrook (OKC) 267,699

3 Chris Paul (LAC) 146,335

4 Klay Thompson (GS) 138,587

5 James Harden (Hou) 135,531

6 Rajon Rondo (Sac) 66,164

7 Andre Iguodala (GS) 62,407

8 Damian Lillard (Por) 47,615

9 Manu Ginobili (SA) 42,413

10 Tony Parker (SA) 40,693

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