NBA All-Star Weekend is here. The league's midseason showcase will see some of the biggest stars meeting in Cleveland to play for bragging rights and to benefit multiple charities.
But before captains LeBron James and Kevin Durant picked their squads, several All-Stars were supported by social media campaigns to help ensure their spot on the roster. These posts targeted fans, who accounted for 50% of the final All-Star vote that determined the starters.
Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker is among the several players who received a social media-charged boost. On Jan. 7, the 25-year-old guard received a loving endorsement from Jenner, whom he began dating in 2020. She took to Twitter, where she asked her 31.8 million followers to vote for Booker.
A host of teams and superstars looked to improve their favorite players' shot at making the roster. Here are some of the memorable efforts:
Young was selected eighth overall in the All-Star draft by Team Durant. Atlanta's creative campaign included a "SpongeBob Squarepants" meme reference and parody of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire."
Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, James Harden
The Nets came up with their own version of "Wordle," the daily word puzzle that has become quite popular among online users.
Brooklyn also created a mock-up tracklist complete with song titles inspired by the nicknames of its All-Stars.
Ironically, the NBA trade deadline coincided with the day of the All-Star draft, so Harden, named a reserve, was a member of the 76ers. This turn of events led to Captains James and Durant sharing a laugh during selection.
LaMelo Ball, Miles Bridges, Terry Rozier
Remember the 1997 comedy flick "Good Burger" starring Kel Mitchell and Kenan Thompson? The Hornets decided to put their own spin on it with Buzz City Burger portraits that were influenced by the movie. Oddly enough, Rozier is the only one from the trio who was alive when the film was released.
Cleveland leaked a new Pokemon card, in favor of Allen, who was named as James Harden's replacement by NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
Denver didn't have to look far for a source of inspiration for Jokic's All-Star campaign. The team's social page compiled a couple of funny facial expressions by "The Joker" to get their point across.
Stephen Curry, Andrew Wiggins
Golden State capitalized off of Curry's first game-winning buzzer-beater of his career with this tweet. Talk about a high-IQ play.
Wiggins finished with the fifth-highest fan vote total en route to his first All-Star selection. He also had a very vocal (and viral) supporter in BamBam, a member of K-pop boy band GOT7. The Thai musician posted on his Instagram that he was "very honored to be named as the Golden State Warriors' Global Ambassador."
His endorsement of Wiggins on Twitter was retweeted nearly 40,000 times.
In the second week of fan voting, James' total trailed Curry for most in the Western Conference. Lakers' Twitter noticed that and got to work with a simple, yet effective post that earned plenty of engagement.
The next time fan voting totals were announced, James had a comfortable hold of first place with a cushion of over 800,000 votes.
Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. The Grizzlies' cartoon depiction of Morant was well-received among fans.
Memphis also dropped a post that featured art inspired by Atlanta-based rapper Gunna's "Drip or Down 4" album cover.
Philly incentivized its fans to retweet with a lighthearted post. For every 200 retweets, it enlarged the size of Embiid in a photo. By the end of the thread, he towered out of the Wells Fargo Center and even made it to space.
Toronto's mascot had a memorable interaction with Devin Booker when the two met on Jan 11. The Raptor caused such a ruckus behind the basket during Book's clutch-time free throws that the referees relocated him to the sideline for a timeout.
The team's Twitter page kept the jokes flowing and used the situation as fuel to boost VanVleet's vote total.
Steph, LeBron lead NBA All-Star voting after second round
Stephen Curry and LeBron James remain the top vote-getters in the second fan returns of NBA All-Star voting.
LeBron, KD have a laugh as Harden picked last in All-Star draft
LeBron James and Kevin Durant have a laugh as James Harden ends up being the last pick in the All-Star draft.