When Andrew Wiggins went to the Cleveland Cavaliers with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, he likely thought he had numerous All-Star selections in his future. He has failed to live up to the massive hype so far, but the Golden State Warriors forward has finally become an All-Star in his eighth season.
That’s not it, either. Wiggins actually earned starting honors for the 2022 NBA All-Star Game.
So, how did we get here? How did Wiggins go from being someone who hadn’t received any recognition since his first season when he won Rookie of the Year to now starting in the All-Star game? Well, he apparently has K-pop sensation BamBam to thank for his latest accomplishment.
Andrew Wiggins has officially become an All-Star for the Golden State Warriors
There were seasons where Andrew Wiggins had more on his plate. He averaged as many as 23.6 points in 2016-17 with the Minnesota Timberwolves, who traded Kevin Love for him following LeBron James’ return to Cleveland in 2014. But more points don’t always equal higher quality play, and that was the case for Wiggins.
Now, though, the Kansas product is an essential piece to a Warriors team contending for a championship this season. He’s averaging 18.1 points and 4.2 rebounds, and he’s shooting career-bests 48.3% from the field and 41.2% from 3-point range. For reference, he’s just a 44.8% shooter and makes 34.9% of his long-range attempts for his career.
Wiggins, who received All-Star level praise from teammate Stephen Curry earlier this month, has also been great defensively. He’s third on the the Warriors in defensive win shares (which estimates the number of wins he has contributed to Golden State with his play on that end of the court) with 2.2.
So, considering his efficiency this year, the NBA honored him for his play on Jan. 27 by naming him an All-Star for the first time in his career. He also earned starting honors, as Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Ja Morant, and Nikola Jokic joined him in the Western Conference, while Kevin Durant, DeMar DeRozan, Trae Young, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Joel Embiid earned the recognition in the Eastern Conference.
Andrew Wiggins can thank K-pop sensation BamBam for helping him become an All-Star
Andrew Wiggins certainly deserves to be an All-Star, but his starting status came as a surprise to everyone. He beat out guys like Draymond Green, Rudy Gobert, and Karl-Anthony Towns.
But according to SFGate’s Alex Schultz, Wiggins may not have received the honors had it not been for BamBam, a member of the K-pop band, GOT7.
Fans help determine the All-Star starters with 50% of the final vote, while players and media members make up the other 50%.
And it appears fans helped Wiggins significantly. The media votes ranked him sixth among Western Conference frontcourt players, placing him behind LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Gobert, Green, and Towns. Players, on the other hand, ranked him fifth behind James, Jokic, Green, and Gobert.
Wiggins received the third-most fan votes behind only James and Jokic, which allowed him to have the better weighted score than Green, Gobert, and Towns. He ranked third overall. Had he ranked any lower, he wouldn’t have been a starter.
So, where did all these fans come from? It seems a lot of the votes were because of BamBam. According to Schultz, the singer announced his new role as the Warriors’ global ambassador on Jan. 7. That same day, he sent out his All-Star fan ballot for Wiggins to his nine-plus million Twitter followers. Fans could vote once per day on Twitter, and retweets counted.
As of Jan. 13, the post had significantly more engagement than any other tweets fan used to vote for a player. That is, other than one BamBam tweeted out about Stephen Curry. It also had more retweets than any other post using the #NBAAllStar hashtag.
All in all, it’s unclear just how much of a role K-pop fans played in Wiggins becoming an All-Star starter, but it seems it may have been a massive one.
How do his numbers compare to the stats of other NBA players?
If you’re wondering whether Wiggins truly had good enough numbers to beat out guys like Green, Gobert, and Towns for starting status, here’s a look at their numbers.
You can be the judge.
- Andrew Wiggins: 18.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.9 steals, and 0.6 blocks per game; 2.2 defensive win shares
- Draymond Green: 7.9 points, 7.4 assists, 7.6 rebounds, 1.4 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game; 2.4 defensive win shares
- Rudy Gobert: 16.0 points, 15.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.8 steals, and 2.3 blocks per game; 2.8 defensive win shares
- Karl-Anthony Towns: 24.3 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game; 1.8 defensive win shares
Unfortunately, we could not quantify the number of K-pop fans each player has supporting them, but Wiggins likely dominates that category.
Either way, Andrew Wiggins has been performing at an All-Star level for the Warriors this season. His starting status, though, may have never came had it not been his new die-hard fans.