Taylor Swift‘s squad is growing! The pop star made a surprise, pre-taped appearance at the inaugural NBA Awards on Monday, June 26, to congratulate Russell Westbrook on winning the 2017 MVP Award.
“Russell, it’s Taylor. Remember? I was the one who taught you how to play basketball. I was the one who taught you to dribble, to shoot hoops, you know?” Swift, 27, said in the video message.
“I remember the first time you beat me at basketball and I was very upset, and you said — if you remember correctly — you said, ‘You just have to shake it off,’ and I got an idea,” the singer continued, referencing the title of her hit 2014 single. “So, essentially we have each other to thank for these careers! Obviously. So, that’s why I’m part of your congratulations video, because we go back, what, 20 years?”
At the end of the video, Swift admitted that she was just kidding about her friendship with the Oklahoma City Thunder point guard, 28. “We’ve never met, and that’s a fake story, but I wish it were the truth,” she said. “You are amazing! You’re the MVP. I’m so happy for you. Sending you the biggest hug ever. Congratulations!”
During Westbrook’s acceptance speech on Monday night, he became emotional as he thanked his parents. “You guys did any and everything to make sure me and my brother [Raynard] had anything we wanted,” he told the audience. “I told myself I wasn’t going to cry, but I can’t say thank you enough. You guys sacrificed everything. … There’s so many things I could say about you guys for putting me here. I’m just thankful for having you guys in my corner. I love you guys.”
Though the NBA star and Swift have never crossed paths, the admiration is mutual. Westbrook has shared several videos of himself singing along to the Grammy winner’s songs on his Vine and Instagram accounts through the years, and was even spotted at her Los Angeles concert in 2015.
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