KC Johnson: Robin Lopez said he voted for himself at all 5 positions for All-Star: “I told you I’m an innovator.” (That’s what he said after face pass.)
In a Globe straw poll that included 24 of the 100 media members invited to vote, Thomas was the leader among guards in the Eastern Conference. He appeared on 16 of the 24 ballots, with Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan (14) close behind. Then there was a significant gap, with Raptors guard Kyle Lowry in third (9), followed by Washington’s John Wall (5) and Irving (4).
For Thomas, support came from all corners. The Celtics, Red Sox, Patriots, Utah Jazz, Seattle Seahawks, and Seattle Mariners all vouched for him. He also received support from celebrities such as boxer Floyd Mayweather, the rapper Chuck D, “Entourage” actor Jerry Ferrara, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, Red Sox legend David Ortiz, and basketball Hall of Famer Allen Iverson, among others.
“I’ve always dreamed of being in this position,” Thomas said, “but it doesn’t seem real when you’ve got the Patriots, you’ve got Gronk tweeting you, you’ve got [Seahawks cornerback] Richard Sherman, all these top athletes taking notice of what you’re doing. It says a lot, and things are starting to pay off.”
Miami’s Hassan Whiteside believes his numbers stack up to any center’s in the East and said if his name was not attached to his statistics, the All-Star voting “would be different.” Whiteside is not sure why he believes there is a bias against him but he just thinks there is one. “You put my numbers up and just don’t put a face up there I feel like the (voting) numbers would be different,” Whiteside said today following the Heat’s shoot around in preparation for tonight’s game against Houston.