Zaza Pachulia knew something was up when his iPhone kept dying Thursday afternoon.
“I had to charge my phone three times,” Pachulia said after Warriors shootaround Friday. “I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ I went to social media, and it was blowing up.”
For the second straight year, the longtime role player had made a surprisingly strong surge in voting for the NBA All-Star Game. Pachulia (439,675 votes) was in line for the Western Conference’s second starting frontcourt spot behind Golden State teammate Kevin Durant (541,209), per initial fan balloting returns released Thursday.
Pachulia, who is averaging 5.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, was ahead of San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard (341,240), New Orleans’ Anthony Davis (318,144), the Warriors’ Draymond Green (236,315) and Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins (202,317). It was the product of a grassroots campaign from Pachulia’s native country of Georgia, where basketball is arguably the most popular sport.