BY: BETH HARRIS
LOS ANGELES – Justin Bieber finally won a trophy in L.A.
The teen singing sensation, who was shut out at the Grammys, was chosen most valuable player despite playing for the losing team in the NBA All-Star celebrity game on Friday night.
Bieber had eight points, four assists and two rebounds for the West team, which lost 54-49 to the East at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen led the Magic Johnson-coached East team with 17 points in a game whose defensive highlight might have been Pippen’s third-quarter block of Bieber.
The vertically challenged Bieber scampered up and down the court, his famous shaggy ‘do bouncing with every step as girls shrieked at the sight.
“He has the softest hair,” marveled former Los Angeles Laker Rick Fox, who patted his West teammate Bieber on the head during the game.
Wearing a black T-shirt under his red-and-white jersey, Bieber spent most of the game hitching up his shorts that fell well below the knee. His pregame stretching included trying, but failing, to touch his toes.
Bieber showed off some slick moves, dribbling behind his back, and driving and dishing to taller teammate and ESPN analyst Jalen Rose. Bieber fed A.C. Green for the game’s first basket, and the singer later hit a 3-pointer.
“I’m just running back and forth,” Bieber said during an in-game interview. “I’m controlling this whole team. I’m just kidding.”
With actor Jamie Foxx and Lakers star Lamar Odom watching, Bieber missed a 3-pointer that would have tied it with 30 seconds to go. Afterward, the 16-year-old was hurried off the court by burly security guards.
Bieber’s week began when he lost out on his two Grammy nominations at Staples Center. But things picked up with another TV guest appearance on “CSI” and his “Never Say Never” concert movie was No. 2 at the box office.
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Bieber’s celebrity teammates were Zac Levi of “Chuck,” R&B singer Trey Songz, rapper Romeo Miller, and Rob Kardashian, whose sister Khloe is married to Odom.
“He didn’t embarrass the family,” Odom said afterward.
Besides Rob and Khloe, who stood out in skintight leopard leggings, the Kardashian clan was represented by their stepfather Bruce Jenner and Khloe’s half-sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner.
WNBA player Swin Cash was on the West team coached by Bill Walton. His assistants were actor Jason Alexander and Bill Simmons of ESPN.com.
Celebs on the East team were actor and comedian Nick Cannon, Jason Sudeikis of “Saturday Night Live,” rapper and actor Common, and Michael Rapaport of “Pound Puppies.”
They were bolstered by the shooting prowess of former NBA players Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin, and WNBA player Tamika Catchings. Late night host Jimmy Kimmel and Ty Burrell of “Modern Family” were Johnson’s assistants.
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