Andrew Wiggins, though it feels as thought he's been in the NBA forever, is still somehow only 26 years-old. He's having a damn good year for the Golden State Warriors as they attempt to return to another Finals after the public deemed their title window closed. But not, like, a spectacular individual campaign.
The small forward is 71st in the league in PER and 38th in scoring. He's the fourth-best player on his own team and someone who has never gotten All-Star Game buzz. And yet on Thursday night, he was named a starter for next month's festivities in Cleveland.
How? Well, to understand that it to understand how little the system cares about meritocracy and where the locus of power resides in the year 2022. NBA All-Star Game starters are determined by a proprietary formula that mixes 50 percent fan voting with 25 percent media voting and 25 percent player voting. Everyone is honor-bound to chug whatever cloudy concoction remains.
So when the Golden State Warriors named BamBam, a K-Pop sensation with nearly 25 million combined followers on Twitter and Instagram, a global ambassador, he did what he could to get the word out about Wiggins.
The likes and retweets piled up, every one of them essentially counting as a vote for Wiggins. BamBam did the same shoe-leather activism for Stephen Curry with similar results.
There are few universal truths these days but one that remains is this: if you want to get something done online, you want K-Pop fans involved. In matters that matter those that don't. Though on a much lesser scale, the Wiggins All-Star thing is their best work since sabotaging Donald Trump's Tulsa rally in 2020.
Let's be perfectly clear. If you care deeply enough to get truly angry about who is and who isn't playing the first six minutes of an exhibition basketball game, it might be time for a deep breath. Simply tip your cap to the Warriors' organization here for being ahead of the curve and designing an incredible online ground game to reward their players. The NBA is a copycat league so it wouldn't be surprising to see the other franchises out there making an aggressive pitch to other influencers in the K-Pop space.