NBA All Star Game 2015: Latino Basketball Players Showing Off Talents In Front of the World, Gasol Brothers Lead the Way
In the highest scoring All-Star game ever on Sunday, the Western Conference defeated the Eastern Conference, 163-158.
Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook was awarded the MVP of the game with 41 points and five rebounds. Even though Westbrook had just one assist, he also had just one turnover as well. Many NBA fans believe that James Harden should have been the MVP, but there's still no denying that Westbrook deserved it.
Aside from virtually no defense being played, video game statistics and LeBron James surpassing Michael Jordan in All-Star scoring, many Latino players were on display.
Without a doubt, the most recognizable (literally) were Marc Gasol and Pau Gasol. This marked the first time in NBA history that two brothers had ever started against one another in an All-Star game. Marc Gasol was named the starting center for the West, and Pau Gasol was named the starting power forward for the East.
To no one's surprise, the Gasol brothers were the best defenders on the court Sunday night. Marc led the West in rebounds with 10, and Pau led his squad in rebounds, grabbing 12 boards. Tim Duncan of the United States Virgin Islands had the third-most rebounds in the game with nine. In a game where almost nobody put any effort into playing any defense, the Gasol brothers stood out.
This season Marc Gasol has the Memphis Grizzlies in first place in the Southwest division ahead of the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Pelicans. Gasol is averaging 8. 1 rebounds per game and a career-high 18.3 points per game. As for big brother, Pau Gasol also has the Chicago Bulls in first place, in the Central division. This season Pau Gasol leads the Bulls in rebounds, blocks and shots made.
Who knows, we may just see these two meet again in the NBA Finals.
Without Tiago Splitter, Manu Ginobili and Nene at Madison Square, it looked like Latin America wouldn't get its proper representation. That was until Al Horford was selected. Horford made his third career All-Star game appearance this season, deservingly so.
The 28-year-old Dominican center played very well at the 2015 All-Star game, making 66 percent of shots from the field and grabbing seven rebounds in just 14 minutes. Despite seeing just 14 minutes of action, Horford's efficient playing style paid off big time. Horford finished the game with a plus-11 scoring rating, the second-highest in the game and highest on the Eastern squad.
Horford has the Atlanta Hawks in first place in the NBA standings with a league-high 43 wins. The Hawks will most likely capture the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, thus securing home-court advantage in the playoffs.
The NBA can't match the global diversity of most soccer leagues, but its demographics are growing across many Latino backgrounds at a pace much faster than most sports leagues. Broadening the game is something the NBA and commissioner Adam Silver love to see, and many young Latino basketball players are doing just that.
Subscribe to Latin Post!
Sign up for our free newsletter for the Latest coverage!