The Vote Kyle Lowry All-Star Campaign Is In Full Effect
Holly MacKenzie - Raptors.com
The Kyle Lowry All-Star campaign is in full effect. With the Toronto Raptors player ranking third among Eastern Conference guards in the third return for All-Star Game starters, fans are doing their part to get Lowry to New York City in February.
After an 18-day hiatus from the Air Canada Centre thanks to the holiday break and a west coast road trip, the team returned on Thursday night against the Charlotte Hornets. Although the team dropped the first of six straight games on their home court, fans showed their appreciation to Lowry during a first-quarter video nod to his recent Eastern Conference Player of the Month award.
As DeMar DeRozan has rehabbed from a torn longus adductor muscle over the last six weeks, Lowry has taken over. Brilliant in the month of December, he led the Raptors to an 11-4 record while doing whatever was necessary to try to keep his team moving forward. Those efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. From Dwane Casey’s urging of fans to vote his point guard into the game to Prime Minster Stephen Harper, Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau, Ontario Premiere Kathleen Wynne and Toronto Mayor John Tory among many big names tweeting their vote and support, the country has gotten behind Lowry.
The Kyle Lowry #NBABallot rush didn’t stop at the border. While TNT did not broadcast Toronto’s Thursday night game, the team still got plenty of attention with Charles Barkley showing love to his “favourite city in the NBA” and constantly repeating that Lowry needed to be voted into the All-Star Game.
During recent Raptors games, “Kyle Lowry” and “#NBABallot” have made their way onto Canada’s Twitter trending topics.
As of Thursday morning, Lowry had moved into third place among Eastern Conference guards, leaping ahead of Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving, but trailing Miami’s Dwyane Wade and Washington’s John Wall.
Fans can vote online, via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook by tweeting, retweeting or posting a caption with the player’s full name or Twitter handle and #NBABallot as well as within the league’s NBA Game Time App or by text.
Voting ends Jan. 19 with staters being announced Jan. 22 and reserves announced Jan. 29. Fan votes will determine the five starters in each conference while NBA coaches will select the remainder of the rosters.
Casey has pushed for Lowry’s inclusion in the event repeatedly, saying he would be “really upset at our coaches if they don't vote him in.” One year after Lowry stayed home while DeRozan was selected to represent the franchise as a first-time All-Star, Casey does not want to see a repeat.
“I hope our fans get out and vote and don't put it in the hands of the coaches,” he said. “And if the coaches don't do it I'm probably going to get into a physical fight with those guys.”
For the season Lowry is averaging 20.6 points, 7.6 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game, all career-best numbers. He’s shooting 45 percent from the floor and 38 percent from beyond the arc and recording 1.6 steals per contest.
With game-night staff decked out in Lowry shirts challenging fans in attendance to hit 10,000 votes — which they did — the #WeTheNorth movement morphed into a Kyle Lowry #NBABallot campaign, complete with MVP chants when Lowry stepped up to the free throw line.
While much has been made of the importance of Lowry for the Raptors this season, Casey summed up his point guard’s play simply.
“He is an All-Star and I'll tell anyone who asks that question."