The first returns in the 2023-24 NBA All-Star fan voting were released on Thursday, and there were some pretty intriguing numbers involving the Milwaukee Bucks.
Not only did Giannis Antetokounmpo lead the Eastern Conference with 2,171,812 votes, but that was also good enough for the most in the entire league. It seems crazy to say, but even Giannis surpassed Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, who had 2,008,645. Given LeBron's global status over these past few decades, this is undeniably an impressive achievement for the Greek Freak.
Meanwhile, Giannis was not the lone Buck on the fan ballots, as Damian Lillard, in his first season in the Eastern Conference, finished second in the conference among guards (955,751). He trailed only Indiana Pacers' Tyrese Haliburton (1,380,795), a player the Bucks have gotten familiar with lately.
It should be noted that this is not the final straw for voting and that there will be more results in the coming weeks. Furthermore, voting is split up three ways, with fans accounting for 50 percent, the media accounting for 25 percent, and the players accounting for the other 25 percent.
First All-Star voting returns produce eye-catching results for Milwaukee Bucks
At the end of the day, All-Star voting is not the most important thing, but it is nice to see that the Milwaukee Bucks have two incredibly high-ranking players. Imagine hearing 10 years ago that not only would the Bucks have a player with the most votes league-wide but that they would also have another player who could very well be an All-Star starter. Times have certainly changed.
Giannis is heading toward his eighth consecutive All-Star nod, and rightfully so, as he's currently in the middle of one of his best seasons to date. The Greek Freak has been a two-way monster, and it appears that NBA fans have taken notice.
It's more surprising to see Lillard ranking so high. Of course, he is a premier guard in this league on a contending team, but he's struggled for a good portion of the season as he continues to gel with his new team. Yet, fans clearly want to see him in the big game.
Voting is still very much open, so be sure to vote for Antetokounmpo, Lillard, and other Bucks by following this link.
Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis.