Thunder fan Brittany Henry wants Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Jeff Green and Thabo Sefolosha to be in this year's NBA All-Star Game. To show her support, she cast her vote for all four players.
The 19-year-old Oklahoma City resident punched out 10,004 holes for her Thunder foursome, usually with a straightened paper clip. "I have a lot of dots all over my house," Henry admitted.
Henry freely admits she's more than a tad crazy about the Thunder. "I'm obsessed, pretty much," Henry said, whispering with a hint of embarrassment. "I have their stuff all over my walls, and I'm almost 20."
Initially, Henry planned on voting only once. When ballots became available inside Oklahoma City Arena, Thunder officials informed fans they could get a free water bottle or key chain if they filled out 50 ballots.
"I kind of looked at him like he was nuts," Henry said. "Then I realized I could take the ballots home, fill them out and bring them back."
Henry innocently asked if she could take an entire box home, not realizing the box contained 1,250 ballots. (The Thunder had 240,000 available ballots.)
When she returned the first box, Henry thought, "That wasn't terribly hard, so I decided to do another box."
Two boxes, plus the original ballot, equals 2,501 votes.
Ballot-stuffing has existed since the inception of All-Star games. Fan participation is the primary purpose, and some fanatics go passionately overboard.
Asked specifically if Henry casting 2,501 ballots was frowned upon, NBA senior vice president of communications Tim Frank responded: "We have no issues with our fans demonstrating their passion for their favorite players and teams as long as they aren't doing it in violation of our balloting guidelines."
Henry broke no rules, nor did the Thunder offering free water bottles or key chains to stuffers.
Paper balloting continues through Monday at NBA arenas, but the Thunder's last home game before the deadline came Thursday night against Orlando.
Fans can continue to vote online (NBA.com) through Jan. 23, but are limited to one vote per day. Fans also can print out paper ballots with a specially coded ballot, and mail as directed on the form through Monday.
For SMS voting, fans can vote for players by texting the player's last name to 6-9-6-2-2 ("MYNBA"), or by visiting m.nba.com on any wireless carrier. Fans can cast one SMS vote per day, per phone number until Jan. 23. Fans also can vote by visiting Thunder.NBA.com.
Henry's mother, Julie, and close friend Johnna Conaughty helped Henry fill out ballots. "They think it's cool what I did, but they kind of look at me funny," Brittany said.
Ninety minutes before the Orlando game, Henry and Conaughty lined up along the front rail on the arena floor, waiting for a potential autograph. Henry had cast all those votes, yet had never met a Thunder player or asked for an autograph until Thursday night.
This wound end up being a great night for Henry: Durant signed the back of her blue Thunder jersey; she also received autographs from Green, Nick Collison, Nenad Krstic and James Harden; her father, Bob, purchased a pair of 200-level seats that became available shortly before tip.
Plus, the Thunder won the most exciting home game of the season, 125-124.
Henry is home schooled and enrolled in OU High School. She also has been a figure skater for the last 12 years. "I think that's why I did so many ballots because I understand how much effort all the players put into what they do," Henry said.
Henry chose to vote for every Thunder player on the official ballot. She could have added a write-in candidate such as Krstic, Collison or Serge Ibaka, but filling out her name, e-mail address, zip code and age on every ballot was taxing enough.
Durant is the leading vote-getter among West forwards and will start in the All-Star Game, which is Feb. 20 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Westbrook stands sixth in voting for West guards, but is a prime candidate to be voted in by West coaches as one of seven reserves. "I've got my fingers crossed for him," Henry said of Westbrook.
Despite Henry's gallant effort, Green and Sefolosha remain out of the top 10 in voting.
This is Henry's first year as a season-ticket holder/ballot-stuffer.
Will she stuff the box for the 2012 All-Star Game? "I'll probably do it again," Henry said with a chuckle.