Cousins is averaging 23.3 points, 11.5 boards, 3.1 assists and a 27.1 PER through 34 games this season. The challenge is that he's doing his yeoman’s work in the Western Conference, where the competition for votes is fierce. The volatile big man was in 11th place in the All-Star voting for frontcourt players as of January 9.
If it were up to LeBron James, Cousins’ spot would be a done deal.
Balloting concludes on Monday, January 20 with starters being announced live on TNT on Thursday, January 23. The NBA All-Star Game itself will be broadcast on TNT on Sunday, February 16.
Ranadive has taken to social media with a get-out-the-vote campaign that targets his native India. Check out the video to the right:
Ananth Pandian of Hardwood Paroxysm points out the reasoning:
With the second largest population in the world, India, could have an impact on the vote if only a small percentage of Indians actually vote for Cousins. Former Houston Rockets center, Yao Ming was an annual All Star starter mainly due to the large number of Chinese and Asian voters that would vote for him. Currently, Houston Rockets guard Jeremy Lin, is fourth in the backcourt for the Western Conference mainly because of his large international following that are pouring in votes by the hundreds of thousands for him.
Pandian goes on to point out that basketball isn’t a particularly popular sport yet in India, making the task an uphill battle.
Still, the effort by the Kings’ owner is a sign of the continuing globalization of the NBA. As Ranadive points out, he’s the first Indian to own an NBA basketball team. As for "Boogie" himself, he’s just 23 years old and his day as an All-Star starter will certainly come.