As the NBA passes the midway point in terms of games played, the unofficial halfway point for the NBA has always been All-Star Weekend. The Los Angeles Lakers probably won’t be represented in the game itself, but that doesn’t mean fans didn’t widely support their favorite players.
The top Lakers’ vote getter probably comes as a bit of a surprise as Jordan Clarkson finished sixth among Western Conference guards in the fan vote via Mark Medina of the LA Daily News:
Jordan Clarkson got a good amount of support from fans for All-Star votes pic.twitter.com/TEJ4M1HFq4
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) January 21, 2017
Clarkson’s sixth place finish put him ahead of the likes of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs, and Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Not to mention teammate D’Angelo Russell who finished 15th in the fan vote.
In addition to local Lakers fans throwing their votes behind Clarkson, he likely also benefitted from his home country of the Philippines voting for their countryman. It isn’t at all shocking for international votes to have a huge impact as evidenced by Zaza Pachulia ranking so high in the front court. Of course with the changes made to All-Star voting (50% fans, 25% players, 25% media), the chances of an unexpected player making the team has lessened significantly.
Even with the Lakers unlikely to be in the game itself, they should have some people participating in the weekend festivities. Russell and Brandon Ingram are likely to be a part of the Rising Stars game while both Russell and Clarkson could be potential participants in the Skills Competition.
Many have also called for Nick Young to be in the Three-Point Shootout and everyone wants Larry Nance Jr. in the Slam Dunk Contest. Though with Nance just getting back to practice after the bone bruise in his knee, that may not be a possibility.