Seven-time NBA champion Robert Horry had high praise for Russell Westbrook after teaming with the Thunder point guard and WNBA star Maya Moore for “Team Westbrook” during Saturday night's Shooting Stars.
“Man, I just love the guy. It's certain guys that I admire. He's one of those guys that is just a flat out talent. He's so fast and so explosive,” Horry said. “I sit around sometimes in the barbershop and listen to these guys talking about ‘Man, Westbrook shoot too much.' I say, ‘Dude, that's what he does. He shoots the ball. Y'all don't complain when all these other guys shoot the ball.'
“They like, ‘Nah, he need to give it to Durant.' Durant the leading scorer in the league. I say ‘He must be giving him the ball sometimes.' But I love the guy. I hope he continues to be successful, because he definitely has the potential to be one of the best point guards ever.”
JUST LIKE OLD TIMES
The West team started the second quarter of Sunday's All-Star Game with a lineup that included Westbrook, Durant and James Harden, the first time the trio has shared the court together on the same team since the Thunder's preseason finale on Oct. 24.
The trio scored the West's first nine points of the period, and Westbrook had an assist to Golden State forward David Lee before exiting the game with 7:39 remaining in the quarter.
With 1:17 remaining in the first quarter, Harden and Westbrook hooked up on alley-oop, which Westbrook finished beautifully with a two-handed dunk. As the ball went through the basket, Durant was the only player from either team to rise from the bench. He kicked his leg and did a little shimmy in celebration.
Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard made a 3-pointer with 8:43 remaining in the third quarter and unleashed a familiar celebration.
As he ran back on defense, in the direction of the Western Conference bench, Howard blew fingers on both his hands before holstering his pretend pistols. Howard then smiled and pointed in the direction of Westbrook, who already had both arms raised as he sat on the bench, either showing his appreciation for Howard paying homage to Westbrook's patented move or wondering what on earth was going on.
STERN'S SPECIAL MEMORY
NBA commissioner David Stern, who presided over his final All-Star Game on Sunday, shared his favorite All-Star memory.
“I would have to say my favorite memory actually compounded and growing to the present day is awarding Magic Johnson the MVP trophy in Orlando,” Stern said. “Giving sweaty Magic Johnson a big hug right after he hit the last 3 and still being able to hug him, because he's alive, every time I see him. That is at the top of the list. And it will not easily be dislodged. Even though I do enjoy every All-Star, that one will resonate for the rest of my life.”
NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver said the league is looking into future All-Star plans, which could include international cities, neutral cities and revamping All-Star Saturday night. … Stern said this weekend that “lots of exhibition travel” is on the horizon but said there is nothing to announce at the moment. It's possible the Thunder could soon play a preseason game overseas. … When asked if basketball fans in Seattle should be worried about Thunder chairman Clay Bennett doubling as the chairman of the relocation committee, Stern said “absolutely not.”
FACES IN THE CROWD
Celebrities in the crowd included Jay-Z, Beyonce, Drake, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Kevin Hart, Julius Erving, Gary Payton, Yao Ming, Hakeem Olajuwon, Usain Bolt, Gabby Douglas, Nick Cannon, Terrell Owens, 2 Chainz, Nas, George Gervin and Bill Bellamy.
Stern on the prospects of the NBA in Seattle: “I'd like to see the NBA go back there.”