Kyrie Irving’s All-Star vote count proves how influential a player he is

The day after Kyrie Irving returned to the court for the Brooklyn Nets, the league released its first fan returns of the NBA All-Star Voting. As expected, Kevin Durant was the highest vote-getter in the East, as was Steph Curry in the West, but there was a surprise.

Irving’s currently received the sixth-most votes for guards in the East, although he’s only played in one game. Against the Pacers, he scored 22 points and added four assists, three rebounds, and three steals in 32 minutes. Surely that performance helped him garner several votes, but not enough to account for all 267,929 of them.

If Irving had been playing for Brooklyn all season, there’s no doubt that his name would be even higher up on the All-Star vote count list. It’s clear that his late debut and part-time status won’t impact the chances of him traveling to Cleveland in February.

James Harden and LaMarcus Aldridge joined Durant and Irving on the list for Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving has high number of All-Star fan votes.

It should be noted that Irving’s vote count is more than Darius Garland and Fred VanVleet’s combined votes. You’d think that Garland’s vote count would be higher, considering that the game will be hosted in Cleveland.

Additionally, VanVleet, who is averaging a league-high 37.5 minutes per game to go along with 21.3 points, 6.7 assists and 4.9 rebounds is a bonafide stud and has been among the best in the league at his position. Irving’s impact in the voting despite the fact he’s been surrounded by more drama than positivity this year just goes to show how influential a player he is based on his body of work throughout his NBA career.

Irving also currently has more fan votes than four Western Conference guards: Donovan Mitchell, Damian Lillard, Russell Westbrook, and Anthony Edwards.

The All-Star voting began on Dec. 25 and will end on Jan. 22. Fans can vote for their favorite players once a day, other than the five days that votes will be counted twice (Dec. 25, Jan. 7, Jan. 13, Jan. 17, Jan. 20). Voting can be done at NBA.com, on the NBA App, or on Twitter.

Fans make up 50% of the final All-Star votes, with players and media members account making up the other 50%.

Nets fans still have plenty of time to vote for Irving to earn his eighth All-Star selection. Between now and the All-Star break, Irving will have the opportunity to play in a total of 12 more road games for Brooklyn, and that’s excluding the team’s two away games against the Warriors and Knicks. If the mere announcement of his return as a part-time player impacted the voting this much, just wait and see what happens if he continues to blow the competition away when he takes the court between now and Jan. 22.