STAPLES CENTER – Just for fun, Bogdan Bogdanovic was hoisting 3-point shots in this non-defensive, ridiculous shootout. Bow down to King Bogdan, a 6-foot-6 shooting guard who played more like a Shooting Star than a Rising Star.
Bogdanovic was named the MVP for a World team that pummeled the USA team, 155-124. He had 26 points, four rebounds, six assists and one steal in 22 minutes of an imaginable 3-point contest. It came a night earlier than usual, spoiling the Saturday night festivities.
The 25-year-old rookie known as “Bogi” lit it up from beyond the arc. Might as well give him the 3-point trophy, too, and skip tomorrow’s exhibition and go straight to the dunk contest. The World Team hit 23 of 56 from behind the 3-point line for 41.1 percent, while its opposition shot 11 of 40 from 3. Team USA’s only real chance is at the Winter Games in South Korea.
In his blazing performance, Bogdanovic caught on fire when the world least expected and gained sudden notoriety for nearly blowing up the scoreboard and having a highlight reel posted by him.
Being in the moment, Bogdanovic’s defining moment unbelievably came at the most opportune time. This is one way to catapult himself into fame, shooting 9 of 16 from the field and 7 of 13 on 3-pointers.
“Bogie likes the big stage,” said Buddy Hield, who dropped 29 points. “We both embrace it. We’re both alpha dogs and we’re both competitors.”
Although he still an unheralded player for an inferior Kings with a murky future, the former EuroLeague All-Star has been a great asset since arriving in a trade from Phoenix. As a righteous King, mind you, Bogdanovic is averaging 11.5 points, 3.2 assists, and 2.7 rebounds and shooting a 40 percent from 3-point land.
Four years ago, he was chosen by the Phoenix Suns with the 27th pick of the 2014 NBA Draft. Bogdanovic didn’t ascend to the heights of an All-Star as a member of the Suns. He was traded to the Kings in 2016, barely making his NBA debut this season. Even if he’s unappreciated or clearly just unknown around the league, the Serbian is the highest-paid rookie in the league.
Interestingly enough, he opted to stay in overseas for a few more years before making the transition to the NBA. Despite the fact that this game had no defense, it still overall was a great individual achievement.
”You saw how he got hot earlier, and nothing but love for Bogie,” said Hield. “He’s a team-first Guy.
Bogdanovic is also the first guy of the Kings to win the Rising Stars MVP since Tyreke Evans, dating back to 2010. Long-lived the tale of two Kings, who put on a really good show.
”This show is for him, said Hield, Bogdanovic’s teammate who shot 12-of-22 from the field and 5-of-14 from deep.
He caught the world by surprise, got hot in the early going and never cooled down. No denying he’s a star on the rise, at least in Sacramento where they’ve been searching for that guy.