Italian newspaper promotes All-Star votes for Gallinari
Nuggets forward in running for invitation as a reserve
As fan balloting for the 2012 NBA All-Star Game came to a close Tuesday, Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari appeared to be a longshot in his bid to land a spot as a starter for the Western Conference.
It wasn’t for a lack of effort by the good people of Lodi, Italy.
As part of a campaign to support its native son, the Il Cittadino newspaper recently published an article imploring all Lodi citizens to vote for Gallinari as a starter in the Feb. 26 All-Star game in Orlando, Fla.
“Il Cittadino is calling in a loud voice to vote every day,” Il Cittadino writer Lorenzo Meazza urged.
“We, citizens of Lodi, well aware of the quality and the talent of our own boy, can continue to support his candidacy to see for the first time in the NBA history, wave our flag and watch the Graffignana boy illuminating the States.”
Gallinari, one of three Italian-born players currently in the NBA, is averaging a career-high 17.9 points and 5.3 rebounds for the Nuggets. He scored a career-high 37 points against the New York Knicks on Jan. 21 and is big reason behind Denver’s early season success.
Il Cittadino noted that if Gallinari is not voted as a starter – he was 10th among Western Conference forwards in the latest returns – he can still be selected as a reserve by opposing coaches.
“Numbers are pushing more and more overwhelmingly his name among those vying for a call by the coaches,” Il Cittadino’s article noted.
Lodi, a town of about 50,000 people, is about 10 miles from Gallinari’s hometown of Graffignana, which has a population of about 2,000. When told of Il Cittadino’s efforts to get him into the All-Star game, Gallinari expressed his appreciation.
“I’ve always had good support from Italy,” he said. “I’m an Italian in America, trying to live the dream in America.”