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PHOTO: (Left) AP

THE ALL-STAR starter list was released this morning, Philippine time, and in the Western Conference, one name popped out and shot up the Twitter trending charts: Andrew Wiggins.

As of posting, Wiggins has more than 76,000 tweets mentioning his name — dwarfing every other player in the trending charts list.

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The former number 1 pick in the 2014 draft joined Golden State teammate Stephen Curry (on his eighth All-Star appearance), the Lakers’ LeBron James (his 18th), as well as Memphis’ Ja Morant and last season’s MVP, Denver’s Nikola Jokic.

In his second season with the Warriors, Wiggins has been averaging 18.1, 4.2 rebounds and 2 assists per game, and has proven a reliable backstop to Curry as Draymond Green got injured and Klay Thompson regained his footing.

Nevertheless, many on Twitter did a double take on his inclusion in the list.

Fans doubted Andrew Wiggins’ caliber as an All-Star starter

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Others knew he was worthy

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Some fans chalked it up to the ‘Kpop fans’ theory

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A bit of explanation about Wiggins’ association with Kpop. As explained by SFGate’s Alex Shultz, Andrew Wiggins may have gotten a huge boost on social media thanks to the endorsement of BamBam, a member of South Korean group GOT7, who, earlier this month, was named as a global ambassador for the Golden State Warriors.

On January 8, BamBam posted a tweet endorsing Andrew Wiggins, saying, “It’s the best time to begin 2022! He is one of the best two-way players! Wiggs deserves to be an All-Star, vote Andrew Wiggins into the 2022 NBA All-Star Game.”

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As Shultz wrote, “In terms of engagement, BamBam's tweet about Wiggins appears to obliterate every other NBA All-Star vote endorsement except for one ... another tweet of BamBam's from Christmas Day about Steph Curry.”

Of course, it will be impossible to quantify the impact of BamBam’s tweet on Andrew Wiggin’s inclusion into the All-Star starter list. For now, let’s just congratulate our Western conference team, who’ll be facing off against team Brooklyn's Kevin Durant, Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo, Philadelphia's Joel Embiid, Atlanta's Trae Young, and Chicago's DeMar DeRozan.

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PHOTO: (Left) AP
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