Giannis Antetokounmpo

Is Giannis Antetokounmpo losing out on All-Star votes because of spelling errors?


Every NBA writer — I would hope — knows how to spell Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s first and last name by now. It’s a uniquely challenging to spell far beyond the likes of Dwyane Wade or Kyle Lowry. But some fans are still having trouble getting it exactly right when it comes to online voting for the 2017 All-Star Game, and now Antetokounmpo says it’s costing him votes.

But is he correct?

Via Twitter:

The NBA released their first tallies in voting — including those garnered using the #NBAVote hashtag — and Antetokounmpo had 500,663 votes, trailing only Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James for forwards in the East.

The same issue, if true, has likely plagued guards Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors and Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics.

But there is a ray of hope.

The NBA league office responded to NBC’s request for clarification on the issue, saying the Globe is correct in that minor spelling errors will be accounted for in terms of voting.

This would make more sense, given that people would misspell names like Embiid to Embid, Lowry to Lowery, Dwyane to Dwayne, Isaiah to Isiah, and Antetokounmpo to Antetoukomounkiosmoinmpounmpo.

So the only remaining question is how minor of a spelling error you’ll make when trying to vote for Antetokounmpo.

To sidestep the issue, teams are now urging people simply to tag the handles of players they want to vote for rather than risking spelling their name wrong while voting.

So, no, Giannis isn’t losing out on half a million votes due to misspellings. If you do want to vote for the Greek Freak, maybe just hit him up on Twitter? His handle is @Giannis_An34.

Devin Booker drops 70 points for Suns in loss to Celtics (VIDEO)

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Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker is just 20 years old. He’s a League Pass favorite, and indeed he should be a favorite in Phoenix for years to come. On Friday, Booker dropped 70 points — yes, 70 — in a loss to the Boston Celtics.

Booker’s 70 points is the best outing of the season. It also made him the youngest player to ever reach 70 points.

His final stat line, as you might imagine, was ridiculous. Booker shot 21-of-40 from the field, going 4-of-11 on 3-pointers and a whopping 24-of-26 from the free-throw line. The Suns phenom also grabbed eight rebounds to go with six assists.

Despite the loss to Boston, 130-120, it’s still an incredible milestone for Phoenix and for Booker. There’s a bright spot out there for the Suns.

Magic’s Aaron Gordon skies to finish amazing alley-oop (VIDEO)

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Aaron Gordon may not have had the best dunk contest this year — apparently drones and dunks don’t mix well — but the guy can still get up and finish with the best in the league.

As he did on this alley-oop against Detroit.

Elfrid Payton had to throw a lob that would get over Andre Drummond, but how many guys in the league can get that high, reach back and finish that? Damn.

Former Hawk Pero Antic’s celebration accidentally punches teammate in face in Eruoleague (VIDEO)

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Former Atlanta Hawk Pero Antic is now playing for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, in case you were not aware.

Fenerbahce was facing Anadolu Efes in a EuroLeague game, it was tight late and former NBA player Ekpe Udoh was at the free throw line for Fenerbahce. He missed his second shot, but the rebound caromed out-of-bounds off an Anadolu Efes player. Antic was pumped.

Maybe a little too pumped.


That was Nikola Kalinic, by the way, the guy Antic now owes dinner to. Kalinic would like the dinner more than the hug and kiss he got from Antic right after the play.

Also, Anadolu Efes held on to win 80-77.

(Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie.)

James Harden helped recruit Lou Williams to Houston

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The Lakers had been shopping Lou Williams around in the run-up to the trade deadline, the only question was would they get a first-round pick for him. Rumors around the league say that Houston had offered them one weeks before, it was on the table, but the Jim Buss/Mitch Kupchak front office held their cards close and hoped a better deal would come through.

While all that was going on James Harden decided to ease the process and did a little recruiting calling up Williams, the sixth-man guard told Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

“When James called, he asked me if I was interested in playing with them,” Williams told The Vertical. “I told him that I loved the Lakers, but James and them have a group that fit my personality, fit how I play. He said he was going to make it happen.”

Williams then laughed, sitting on the edge of a visiting court following a recent practice. “I’ve heard that before, so I didn’t really put stock into it,” Williams told The Vertical. “I guess James did put the word in, and the team made it happen.”

We all know what happened, Jeanie Buss removed her brother and Kupchak a few days before the trade deadline, Magic Johnston stepped in, called around, and quickly pulled the trigger on a trade that sent Williams to Houston (the Lakers also got Corey Brewer). Williams has averaged 14.5 points per game and had some strong performances with the Rockets, although he’s still finding his groove with the team on the court. Still, he’s been an upgrade for the Rockets’ bench.

Harden knew he would be, so he did his part to make sure it happened.