The NBA has announced the participants for its annual All-Star Celebrity Game, and it is very clear that the game will include celebrities and even an ex-NBA All-Star.
Beyond that, your level of recognition might struggle to keep up with those who compiled the rosters, as helmed by coaches and SportsCenter anchors Michael Smith and Jemele Hill. The game will be “exclusively” documented by ESPN on the Friday before the league’s All-Star weekend commences, this Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. on the network.
Two-time NBA All-Star Baron Davis (still in hopeful NBA comeback-mode) will lead the West team alongside 58-year old Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and WNBA superstar Candace Parker. They’ll be joined by platinum-selling rapper and 1999 Charlotte Hornets training camp invitee Master P.
(Don’t worry, Master P’s son Romeo Miller will also be there, teamed alongside his father. You will not, however, be allowed to refer to the former USC point guard as “Lil’ Romeo.”)
The Eastern team will be coached by Jemele Hill, and it is led by Nick Cannon, whom we’ve been told is hilarious. Arcade Fire’s Win Butler will return to try to repeat as the game’s MVP. Jason Williams will act as the squad’s ex-NBA stud of note, he’s still clearly got the goods, and 56-year old Milwaukee Bucks owner Marc Lasry will be there to counter Cuban. The team also features Minnesota Lynx star Lindsay Whalen alongside former NBA bit player and, “social media star” Brandon Armstrong.
Armstrong, heretofore best known for his part in the 2001 draft night trade that helped bring current Cleveland Cavalier Richard Jefferson to the New Jersey Nets, has spent his last few years providing us with unerringly accurate impressions of all manner of NBA players. You might be familiar with his portrayal of All-Star guard Russell Westbrook:
… or Kawhi Leonard:
He might even pull out his “Marc Lasry” for the big game!
The Western club will also feature 11-year old actor Miles Brown, TV’s “Ed” and three-time (though it feels like he’s included every year) Celebrity Game veteran Tom Cavanagh, recording artist Andy Grammer, actor/model Jiang Jinfu, actor Anthony Mackie, “The Daily Show” correspondent Hasan Minhaj, with highly respected chef and high priest of “bro” etymology Aaron Sanchez:
The Eastern team boasts “NBA2K TV personality” Rachel DeMita, actor/singer Ansel Elgort, “Stranger Things” actor Caleb McLaughlin, Hot 97 and ESPN radio host Peter Rosenberg and, perhaps most brilliantly, Basketball Hall of Famer and 58-year old Brazilian basketball legend Oscar Schmidt:
No team will avenge last year’s victory, when Win Butler led Team Canada over Team America in a contest best known for what proved to be the first of Sage Steele’s many rather indelicate “stick to sports”-moments:
We’re talking about celebrity stuff!
“The Starters,” proprietors of the finest program on television, were once again not invited.
As such, we’ll leave it up to you as to whether or not you want to stay home on a Friday night to take in the festivities.
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