Last January, thanks to Georgians stuffing the online ballot box, Pachulia came within 15,000 votes of becoming an All-Star starter. Now, even after the NBA changed its voting system to prevent a similar situation, the longtime role player is making an unexpected surge in the All-Star ballots.
Per fan balloting returns released Thursday, Pachulia (439,675 votes) checked in at the Western Conference’s second starting frontcourt spot behind Warriors teammate Kevin Durant (541,209) and ahead of San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard (341,240). Such results only reinforce the rock-star status Pachulia still holds in Georgia
— 2017 NBA All-Star (@NBAAllStar) January 5, 2017
“Every step I make, honestly, in my career, Georgia is always on my mind, just like the song,” Pachulia told Basketball Insiders. “I feel like, when I’m in Georgia, I represent my city, I represent my family. But, when I’m outside my country, I represent my country as well because, right now, being the only player, unfortunately as of today, but obviously we have multiple players [eventually] coming from Georgia to play in the NBA. So, there’s something that I have on my back or on my shoulders,”Pachulia said earlier.