NEW YORK—Invading the glitz, glamour, and blinding lights of the Big Apple, a West-coast star stole the show in Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game.
A product of Long Beach, California, and eventually, UCLA, Russell Westbrook scored 41 points in the star-studded showcase, leading his Western Conference team to 163-158 victory over the Eastern Conference.
Sure, the NBA All-Star game is all but a glorified passing, dunking, and shooting contest. But in a singular game in which the world’s most gifted and skilled basketball players are bizarrely in the same building, playing the same game at the same time, Westbrook shined above all others.
Sure, Westbrook’s performance will have about as much influence as Christina Aguilera’s pre-game concert, or Ariana Grande’s halftime appearance.
Westbrook’s Oklahoma City Thunder are struggling through a lackluster 2014-15 campaign, in which Westbrook himself has come under media fire.
But for those who enjoy the spectacle of supreme athleticism, the point guard’s All-Star Game highlight reel, featuring eye-popping slams and high-flying alley-oops, you would be lying if you said you watched Sunday’s game with your mouth entirely closed.
“He’s an unbelievable talent in our league,” said Eastern Conference select Lebron James. “His motor, his athleticism, his demeanor about how he approaches the game, it’s all great.”