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Ke$ha becomes NBA fan after Westbrook sings tune

Sunday - 2/17/2013, 10:00pm  ET

KRISTIE RIEKEN
AP Sports Writer

HOUSTON (AP) -- Ke$ha didn't pay much attention to the NBA until recently when she realized she had a fan in the league.

The pop star was shown a video of Oklahoma City All-Star Russell Westbrook singing along to her hit "Die Young" before a recent game against the Mavericks.

"It was the cutest, hottest thing ever to see a basketball player doing that to my song," Ke$ha said.

Told that Westbrook is known as one of the NBA's most fashionable players because of his unique ensembles, Ke$ha wasn't surprised.

"I'm sure he is, if he likes my music then he must have good taste," she said with a giggle.

Westbrook isn't the only NBA player who has taken a liking to Ke$ha's tunes. She's also been alerted to other video clips of ballers enjoying her work.

"Lots of basketball players like to dance around to my songs, so it's made me more and more of a fan," she said.

Ke$ha, who has an upcoming documentary miniseries on MTV called Ke$ha: My Crazy Beautiful Life, headlined a pre-game concert at Sunday night's All-Star game.

"It's really exciting because it was made by just me and my brother and one of my brother's friends and we traveled around the world together," she said of the documentary. "It was very guerrilla style, do-it-yourself capturing everything that you could imagine or not want to see about my life. The documentary is so much more intimate than people would expect it to be."

Another star in town to help out with All-Star festivities was R&B crooner and nine-time Grammy Award winner John Legend.

Legend performed the National Anthem before Sunday night's game. Before that he raved about how much he loves basketball.

"I'm a true NBA fan and this is something that I always look forward to as a fan, and to be a participant in such a big event is always a good thing," he said.

Legend's organized basketball career ended in elementary school, but his affinity for the game never has.

"I grew up in a family that really had two loves, sports and music and they were about equal," he said. "We grew up big football and basketball fans and both of my brothers played basketball very well, but I'm not very good. I always played to just for fun, but I was always better at music."

Legend has a new album coming out in June and is looking forward to seeing how fans will respond to it.

"Everyone always says: 'This new one is my best one yet,'" he said. "And I feel like that, too, but I'll let the people be the judge. I'm really proud of it, and I feel like it's a great statement of where I am in my life and musically right now. I think people are going to dig it."

Ludacris, who also performed in the pre-game concert, has been involved in several All-Star games throughout his career. Still, the excitement of being involved hasn't worn off.

"It's just all in fun and it's good," he said. "It brings a lot of artists and a lot of players together, and we're all friends with each other so we all motivate each other from the players to the rappers and it's just good to see everybody."

Grammy-nominated rapper B.o.B., who is wrapping up a new album, joined Ke$ha and Ludacris in the pre-game concert. He believes professional athletes and musicians share similar qualities.

"I think it's so parallel because you have to pull so much out of yourself to perform on a professional level," he said. "You can't be that good at something unless you love doing it."

Grammy Award-winning singer NeYo performed during player introductions. He enjoyed the chance to part of such an eclectic group assembled for the event.

"It is absolutely a blast," he said. "Everybody who is anybody is here, from R&B stars to rappers to just any kind of celebrity you can think of that is a fan of basketball, so you're definitely going to have a good time."

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SPECIAL TREAT: Past and present NBA stars and WNBA players joined a dozen Special Olympics athletes in a charity game on Sunday afternoon.

Dikembe Mutombo, Detlef Schrempf and Chris Mullin were among the former players and Portland guard Damian Lillard, Denver forward Kenneth Faried and Golden State forward Harrison Barnes were among the current ones who participated in the second NBA Cares Special Olympics Unity Sports game as part of the NBA's All-Star Weekend. WNBA stars Candice Wiggins, Ruth Riley, Nicole Powell and Ticha Penicheiro also played.

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