Style Points: The Super Bowl’s Unlikely Hero and Russell Westbrook’s Best Dunk of the Year

  • Malcolm Butler

    This was karma not only for Butler, but for the Patriots. After seeing Jermaine Kearse come down with another one of those miracle receptions to set up what should’ve been a ring-winning touchdown, this game had that funny deja vu feeling. Was it happening all over again? First, David Tyree. Then, Mario Manningham. And now Kearse? And not only did he make that miraculous catch but he did it against Butler, an undrafted rookie. How did Butler come back? He made one of the greatest plays ever on the goal line, jumping Russell Wilson‘s pass and getting the interception that’ll be playing in NFL highlight videos for the rest of his life.

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  • Lance Stephenson

    As bad as this season has been for Charlotte, take a look at the Eastern Conference standings. The East is so bad that the Hornets are now locked into the conference’s final playoff seed. Crazy.

    Offseason signee Lance Stephenson is struggling as well, but this move he put on Shabazz Napier was one of the nastiest in-and-out dribble drives we’ve ever seen. That’s a highlight.

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  • Andy Lucien

    A 6-6 junior in high school, out of North Olmsted, Ohio, Andy Lucien secured his 15 minutes of fame recently with this jam that nearly broke the Internet. Lucien not only put his knee in that cat’s face but he dunked it SO HARD, and THEN stood over the fallen. You have to feel bad for the kid.

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  • Russell Westbrook

    It’s ironic to think that even as Westbrook is having his best season, some thought he shouldn’t have made the All-Star Game. Look at his numbers: He’s averaging 24.8 points per game, 7.4 assists, 5.9 rebounds, and he leads the league with 2.2 steals per game. He’s also sixth in the NBA in PER with a ridiculous 27.08. I mean, the guy deserves to be there, one way or another.

    But it’s everything else that has kept him in the limelight even as OKC has struggled. From his absurd media interviews to his reckless abuse of rims around the country, this guy might be our favorite player.

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  • John Wall

    There’s a reason why Wall leads the NBA with over 10 assists per game: He has a unique ability to see over the top of the defense at 6-4 and he has a bunch of teammates who can all finish.

    There’s also the fact that Wall is a GREAT passer, which I think gets overlooked too often because of his athleticism. This play was just sick.

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  • Kobe Bryant

    In all likelihood, the Mamba’s season is over after the 36-year-old decided to have season-ending surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff. The reactions have run the gamut between folks happy to see the shot-happy All-Star sidelined, all the way to those who are truly depressed, knowing there’s a possibility Kobe might decide to just hang them up this season. I fully expect him to play next year, if only to come back, play out his massive contract, and leave the game on his own terms. There’s also this: The guy’s will is unparalleled. That’s not a myth. It’s a fact. Just watch this Vine where Bryant made a turnaround shot with his left hand AFTER sustaining the injury to his right shoulder. Absurd.

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  • Wale 2014 Tribeca Film Festival

    Jim Spellman/Getty Images

    Wale and Kanye West

    Wale and Kanye are not only icons in the music industry, they’re also pillars when it comes to style. Wale is one of the few legit sneakerheads out in the limelight, a rapper who actually loves sneakers rather than the hype. And Kanye’s forays into fashion have made him perhaps the single most influential person in the world among the young demographic.

    As the new Creative Liaison of the NBA’s Wizards, looking to make an impact in his new gig, Wale reportedly reached out to Kanye for help on redesigning Washington’s new uniforms. Considering they got new uniforms just a few seasons ago, I can’t see this happening anytime soon. But with those two working on them behind the scenes? That’d be amazing to see.

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  • I'm loving our new #BlackTie uniforms... @miamiheat #heatnation

    A photo posted by dwyanewade (@dwyanewade) on

    Miami Heat's new uniforms

    The all-black jerseys that the Heat debuted during the Big Three era were dope enough. But now by adding in the “Black Tie” theme, they are looking like some of the best digs in the league. Miami’s blackout uniforms were recently updated for a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Tuxedos and hoops never went together so well. Dwyane Wade predictably loved them.

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  • Malcolm Butler Super Bowl interception
  • Lance Stephenson crossover
  • Andy Lucien dunk
  • Russell Westbrook
  • John Wall
  • Kobe Bryant
  • Wale 2014 Tribeca Film Festival
  • Dwyane Wade

I had no words last night. Seeing the Seahawks lose, seeing them lose like that, was so shocking I couldn’t speak on it. Couldn’t talk. Couldn’t write. Couldn’t do anything. I wouldn’t call myself a fan of Seattle but I kind of wanted to see them win, just to see someone win two Super Bowls in a row for once. Maybe they could be a dynasty? Maybe they could’ve been the first team to ever three-peat next season? I just wanted to see it.

Then the shotgun happened. From the half-yard line. Then the interception by the Super Bowl’s unlikeliest hero, Malcolm Butler. Then a half-dozen Seattle defensive players were so shocked and frustrated that they nearly started a riot. Now I feel bad for the Seahawks. I feel really bad for their fans. With my social media timelines full of Bostonians ready to celebrate, someone needs to say it: This was the craziest finish to any Super Bowl I’ve ever seen.

But those aren’t the only style points we’re giving out this week.

In Style Points, it’s never about what you do but how you do it. And in this rendition, you see that over and over again. From Russell Westbrook to Wale to some high school kid you’ve probably never heard of, you have to bring the swagger if you want to get recognized.

Today, in Style Points: The Super Bowl’s Unlikely Hero and Russell Westbrook’s Best Dunk of the Year.

Follow Sean on Twitter at @seanesweeney

image via Timothy A. Clary/Getty Images