Can Drake, Win Butler, and Tracy McGrady hold off Kevin Hart's crew in the NBA Celebrity All-Star Game? Will a rising star emerge? Find out next.
Every year, the NBA All-Star Game presents a large number of side events and competitions, all of which are some combination of “utterly meaningless” and “silly fun.” Traditionally, the most meaningless of these is the annual Celebrity Game. For the last few years this has served as an annual reminder that the prolific actor and comedian Kevin Hart takes exhibition basketball very, very seriously. This year, however, Hart is not playing (despite four straight Celebrity Game MVP Awards), having transitioned to being Head Coach of Team USA. Their star celebrity player this year is actor Jason Sudeikis, who is both for reals famous, and also a former standout basketball player at the AAU level.
Opposing Hart and the dreadful Americans is Team Canada, coached by Drake, and featuring the likes of Steve Nash, Jose Bautista, and a handful of non-Canadians (well, unless Tracy McGrady secretly got his citizenship last week). They also have Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler, who is really tall, and that helps you win at basketball.
Let the games begin!
UPDATE: We’ll only have periodic updates from the Ricoh Coliseum, because apparently Internet access there is really awful. How bad is it? Let’s just say we’re connecting to the Internet less frequently than Detroit Pistons all-star Andre Drummond connects at the free throw line.
8:07: Team Canada wins. Not only did Toronto Ambassador Drake get the key to the city earlier this evening, but Coach Drake obviously had a handle on the keys to the game. Take that, Kevin Hart.
8:05: Drake is attempting to counter Kevin Hart’s self insertion into the game by playing a small child.
8:02: Andre Drummond just got a technical foul. At the Celebrity Game. This is a thing that happened.
8:01: Following a crazy circus shot from Kevin Hart, Kris Wu responds with a bucket for Team Canada and the high pitched screams are deafening.
7:55: Milwaukee Bucks owner Marc Lasry, who is the oldest player on either team, just fought his way into a jump ball. This seems like a bad idea.
7:53: Player-coach Kevin Hart has been in the game for nearly 10 minutes now. WHERE IS DRAKE?
7:50: Watching retired NBA players play is always an interesting experience because it reminds you just how good they are. Nobody, not even the active WNBA players, is really on the level of Canadian Rick Fox (46, retired for over a decade) or former Raptor and Space Jam star Muggsy Bogues (51, retired for 15 years, and shorter than anybody else on the court other than Kevin Hart). The retired players are obviously taking it easy on the celebs, because if they played at full intensity they would destroy them. Even so, the level of talent they possess is evident.
7:45: OVERHEARD: “if it wasn’t for Jason Sudeikis, this would be the War of 1812 all over again.” Hyperbolic, maybe, but Sudeikis is responsible for a third of Team USA’s points at the half.
7:40: Milos Raonic’s dunk was so massive the Phoenix Sun’s just offered him a contract. You might say that Team USA got served.
7:32: Random thought: Team Canada is dressed in OVO gold and black. Team USA, on the other hand, is wearing black and gold, which is totally different.
7:25: Tom Cavanagh (Ed) LOOKS a lot like Steve Nash. He does not play quite as well as Steve Nash, though.
7:15: The biggest introduction cheers were mostly predictable: DeMar, Drake, Kevin Hart, Tracy McGrady. However, there was a surprisingly loud cheering section for Kris Wu, and if you have never heard of Kris Wu before this, that’s understandable because while he may be a Canadian citizen, he’s primarily famous in China, where he’s a superpopular tween friendly pop star. He doesn’t make many appearances outside of China, so the crowd was accordingly full of Chinese Canadian tweens, and they were loud. And high-pitched loud.