They say game respects game, and if the fan vote is any indication basketball fans have an appreciation for what Nets superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have brought to the floor this season. Both were among the top fan vote-getters in the first round of NBA All-Star fan voting.
Durant led the Eastern Conference in first fan return with 3,118,545 votes, which were announced on Thursday afternoon. Irving led all guards in votes received with 2,071,715.
Neither name should come as a surprise to anyone who has watched a Nets game this season, especially as of late. Durant has been having a career year and is already being talked about for the MVP award, while Irving has settled into the lineup nicely since returning from an eight-game suspension.
Durant has been averaging 29.9 points per game and shooting 56.8% from the field. Irving has averaged 26.2 points and has put himself in a spot so far where it would hard for the Nets not to offer him a new contract.
Both players have made the NBA All-Star game a number of times in their careers, with Durant likely making his 13th appearance and Irving this would be his eighth. Fan votes account for 50% of the decision of will start, with NBA players and a media panel accounting for 25% each.
One of the more surprising names that were among the top vote-getters was Nets’ big man Nic Claxton, who had accumulated 160, 407 votes from the fans. Claxton has been having himself a career year as well for Brooklyn.
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The big man has averaged a career-best in points (11.9), field goal percentage (73.3%), rebounds (8.2) and blocks (2.5).
The fan vote comes as the Nets have turned around their season after stumbling out of the gate and losses piled up. The Nets had their 12-game win streak snapped on Wednesday night in Chicago.