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OKC pushing to make Steven Adams an All Star as voting for showcase game opens

Voting has opened for this season's NBA All Star game and the Oklahoma City Thunder are already making moves to try and make Steven Adams the first ever Kiwi to take part.

Oklahoma City Thunder is pushing to make Steven Adams the first Kiwi All Star in NBA's showcase game. Source: Oklahoma City Thunder / Facebook

The Kiwi centre was the first to get a call to vote him in for next year's game in Charlotte with the Thunder sharing a picture of Adams along with one simple word - VOTE.

The Thunder went on to share similar photos of their two all stars Russell Westbrook and Paul George.

Adams is having a career-best season for the Thunder, who currently sit third in the Western Conference with 21 wins and 11 losses.

So far this season, Adams is averaging an extra minute per game (33.5). He's also seen his numbers rise in points, rebounds, assists and steals.

Cody Zeller goes up for a basket over Steven Adams. Source: Associated Press

He's averaging an extra two points per game (16.1) as well as an extra rebound per game (10.0) - with those numbers, Adams is for the first time in his career averaging a double-double.

His numbers elsewhere are smaller improvements with his assists up to 1.5 per game and steals at 1.4 per game.

The All Star event celebrates the best talent in the NBA with a three-point shootout competition for sharpshooters, a dunking competition for high flyers capped off with the All Stars game - a game played by the best players of the NBA.

Players don't make the All Star teams on statistics alone - fan votes, player votes and media votes are the only way to make the side, which means teams often focus their efforts promoting a few players or else they spread their fan base's vote too thinly.

Who is Steven Adams up against?

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, right, passes over Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic. Source: Associated Press

It's not going to be an easy path for Adams to reach the All Stars game as the Thunder centre is up against plenty of talent for the 12 available slots.

With Oklahoma City sitting in the Western Conference, teams such as the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets are all vying to have their players reach the team as well.

As a centre, Adams' biggest competition comes from other "frontcourt" players - meaning he will compete against other forwards and centres for slots in the side looking to take down the Eastern Conference's All Stars.

That means players such as LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns can all pip the Kiwi to the post - especially since all three have already made the All Stars team before.

But with fans able to vote once each day until the window closes, there is a chance Adams could get a dedicated bunch pushing him in despite the fact he's previously stated he "doesn't care".

Adams' popularity with fans has grown thanks to his relaxed, Kiwi nature in interviews and quick wits while analysts respect him for his play style as an "old-school" centre who plays physically and near the rim, rather than looking for three-pointers.

Voting for next year's event closes on January 22 NZT. Selections will be announced shortly after before the All Star Game takes place on February 18 NZT.