Watch Taylor Swift Congratulate NBA MVP Russell Westbrook - Rolling Stone
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Watch Taylor Swift Re-Emerge to Congratulate NBA MVP Russell Westbrook

In first appearance in months, pop star cheekily recalls teaching Thunder star basketball basics, how he inspired “Shake It Off”

Resurfacing for the first time in months, Taylor Swift fondly recalled the years she spent serving as Russell Westbrook’s basketball sensei in a cheeky video congratulating the Oklahoma City Thunder point guard on winning the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award.

“Russell, it’s Taylor, remember? I was the one who taught you how to play basketball,” Swift joked in the clip posted to the Thunder’s Twitter. While Swift (standing in front of a nondescript hedge) humbly took credit for schooling Westbrook on basketball basics like dribbling and shooting, she admitted their teacher-student relationship was symbiotic.

“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,'” Swift said. “So essentially we have each other to thank for these careers, obviously. So that’s why I’m a part of your congratulations video because we go back, what, twenty years – actually that’s a fake story and I wish it were the truth.”

Westbrook accepted the MVP award Monday during the NBA’s inaugural end-of-season awards show. The Thunder star earned 69 of the 101 first-place votes for his remarkable 2016-2017 season, during which he became the second player ever, and first since Oscar Robertson in 1962, to average a triple-double. He also broke Robertson’s record for the most triple-doubles in a season with 42.

Swift, meanwhile, released her most recent song “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” with Zayn late last year. The track appears on the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack. The pop star has been relatively quiet otherwise, though she did recently reverse course and make her music available on all streaming services; she’s stayed in the headlines regardless, thanks to Katy Perry’s recent comments (and flag-waving) about their years-long feud.


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