Matt Bonner was in line at a local deli not long ago, preparing to do the thing he does second-best — put together a primo sandwich — when the sub artiste stopped him mid-order.

The man behind the counter interrupted to boast he'd just joined the Twitter movement bent on getting Bonner, the flame-haired Spurs' forward, into the NBA's annual 3-point contest.

"He told me he had 'hashtagged' me," the social media-shy Bonner said. "So I had to look up what 'hashtag' meant."

The campaign — #LetBonnerShoot — began as a joint venture between Bonner's younger brother, Luke, and his friend Dave Hartley, bass player for the indie rock band War on Drugs.

Luke penned a tongue-in-cheek plea for Bonner's inclusion in the Feb. 16 shootout in Houston during All-Star weekend for the website, while Hartley posted a similar message on his band's website and opened a petition online at

When Hartley first broached the possibility of starting an Internet drive on his behalf, Matt Bonner didn't think much would come of it.

"My first thought was, 'War on Drugs is a great band, but they're not U2,'?" said Bonner, 32.

In short order, the grassroots effort spread like digital wild fire, attracting support from names as varied as New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, actress Eva Longoria and members of the musical group Arcade Fire, another Bonner favorite.

Last week, the movement went mainstream, with Luke Bonner granting an interview to NBA TV, and his older brother talking with ESPN during the national broadcast of Saturday's Spurs-Dallas game.

Though the #LetBonnerShoot movement is not what you'd call high-minded — the Bonners aren't aiming to end poverty or cure rickets — its goal is to right what many in the Spurs' organization view as an annual injustice.

Though perennially one of the NBA's top 3-point shooters, with a career success rate of 41.6 percent, Bonner has never been asked to participate in the league's annual All-Star weekend extravaganza.