New Zealand, it's time to get off your butts, unite in your admiration of Steven Adams and vote him to the NBA All-Star game.

Polling for the February 19 fixture in New Orleans has taken on a distinctly nationalistic edge that threatens to make mockery of the selection system. Why not take full advantage of that?

No way should cement-shoed Golden State Warriors giant Zaza Pachulia be second among Western Conference forwards in latest fan voting, which accounts for 50% of the All-Star selection criteria.

Pachulia trails only superstar team-mate Kevin Durant in the western frontcourt standings, despite averaging just 17 minutes, 5.2 points and 5.8 rebounds this season - all below his career averages.


Among those lagging behind him are San Antonio Spurs swingman Kawhi Leonard (24.0 points/5.9 rebounds), New Orleans big man Anthony "The Brow" Davis (28.6 points/11.9 rebounds) and Warriors utility Draymond Green (10.9 points/8.5 rebounds/7.6 assists).

DeMarcus "Boogie" Cousins, Karl-Anthony Towns, LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin, Marc Gasol ... they're all far more deserving then Pachulia.

Even Adams, who has continued his meteoric development as the Oklahoma City Thunder centre, has a stronger case, averaging career-high 12.1 points and 7.8 rebounds across 30 minutes a game.

But it helps when you have an entire nation behind you, in Pachulia's case, the former Soviet state of Georgia (population 3.7 million).

Green, for one, is seething at Pachulia's lofty standing among voters.

"Nah, I can't believe it," he says. "He just won't tell me how he keep doing it.
"Whatever he's doing, he won't share the wealth."

"It definitely pissed me off last year and this year, it's funny."

Last year, Pachulia fell just short of supplanting Leonard for a spot in the Western starting line-up, an anomaly that was attributed to a) the support of his native country and b) some internet tricksters rigging the vote.

But old concrete feet is far from the first foreigner to exploit the system though. Over an eight-year career, Chinese legend Yao Ming was always among the most popular in All-Star voting and 1.4 billion countrymen gave him a great headstart.

The difference was that Yao was a true megastar of the game and thoroughly deserved his berth, almost single-handedly spearheading the NBA's entry into the huge Asian market.

Thankfully, parochial fans only get to vote on starting line-ups, with coaches from each conference selecting bench players. If Pachulia can't retain his current ranking, he likely won't be chosen among the reserves.

Also, after last year's Pachulia scare, the NBA adjusted the all-star voting mix, so fans only account for half the final outcome, with media and players contributing another 25% each.

In other words, sanity will ultimately prevail (although the world probably thought that about a recent presidential election).

But that doesn't mean we shouldn't give Adams a taste of the action. While he is not the first New Zealander to play in the world's leading basketball league - take a bow Sean Marks and Kirk Penney - he, like Yao, has raised interest in the NBA to a whole new level in his native land.

Dame Val's little brother has also created his own cult following among American fans for simply being very Kiwi, a charm that really sets him apart in Trump's playground.

Besides, Georgia is one of the very few nations in the world we actually out-number. We don't even need a lame medal-per-capita contest to win this one, surely.

So, get out there Kiwis, and help send our boy to "The Big Easy" next month.

NBA fans may submit one full ballot each day through, the NBA App (available on Android and iOS), Twitter, Facebook and Google Search, as well as via Sina Weibo and Tencent Microblogs in China. All current NBA players are available for selection. Fill out one full ballot per day (once every 24 hours) on from a desktop or mobile browser. Fans can select up to two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference when choosing starters.

NBA App: Access the ballot and vote through the app, which is available on Android and iOS. Fans can fill out one full ballot per day and select up to two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference when choosing starters.

Twitter: Tweet, retweet or reply with an NBA player's first and last name or Twitter handle, along with the hashtag #NBAVOTE. Each tweet may include only one player's name or handle. Fans may vote for 10 unique players each day throughout the NBA All-Star voting period.

Facebook: Post the player's first and last name along with the hashtag #NBAVOTE on your personal Facebook account or comment on another's Facebook post. Each post may include only one player's name. Fans may post votes for 10 unique players per day throughout the voting period.

Google Search: Search "NBA Vote All-Star" or "NBA Vote Team Name" (eg: NBA Vote Celtics) and use respective voting cards to select teams and then players. Fans may submit votes for 10 unique players per day throughout the voting period.

Voting closes January 17 (NZ time).