With All-Star Weekend kicking off Friday, February 16 at 7 pm in Los Angeles, ESPN and the NBA have announced coaches and rosters for the upcoming NBA Celebrity All-Star game. The clash between beloved NBA legends, hilarious TV personalities and successful athletes from other sports, ready to display their basketball chops on the hardwood is bound to be entertaining, if not out right hilarious.
This year’s game will see ESPN’s “The Jump” host Rachel Nichols, and fellow ESPN commentator Katie Nolan as celebrity coaches of Team Lakers and Team Clippers respectively. Team Laker’s coaching staff will include Nichols, as well as former Rockets All-Star and Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady, and actor Michael B. Jordan. As for Team Clippers, Nolan will be joined by ESPN Analyst and NBA Champion Paul Pierce, and Chicago recording artist Common.
The rosters (as per NBA.com), as usual, are packed with familiar faces bound to make this year a treat;
Team Clippers: Anthony Anderson (ABC’s “black-ish”), Brandon Armstrong (actor, social media star), Miles Brown (ABC’s “black-ish”), Win Butler (Arcade Fire), Common (actor, recording artist), Andre De Grasse (Olympic sprinter), Stefanie Dolson (WNBA’s Chicago Sky), Jamie Foxx (actor, singer, musician), Paul Pierce (NBA legend, ESPN analyst), Dascha Polanco (actress, activist), Bubba Watson (two-time Masters champion) and Jason Williams (NBA legend).
Team Lakers: Sterling Brim (MTV’s “Ridiculousness”), Nick Cannon (actor, recording artist, star of MTV’s Wild’N Out), Terence Crawford (boxer), Rachel DeMita (NBA2KTV host, actress, model), Jerry Ferrara (STARZ’s “Power”), Marc Lasry (Milwaukee Bucks co-owner), Tracy McGrady (NBA legend, ESPN analyst), Caleb McLaughlin (Netflix’s “Stranger Things”), Candace Parker (WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks), Nate Robinson (NBA legend), Drew Scott (HGTV’s “Property Brothers”) and Kris Wu (actor, singer, music producer).
Deviating from the usual East vs. West clash, the teams will be named after the two prominent NBA teams that reside in the Los Angeles Convention Center: the Clippers and the Lakers. Furthermore, the addition of a 4-point line, dubbed “The RIDGE” by Ruffles will be unveiled during the second half of the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. Every shot made from the “The RIDGE” will represent a $4,000 donation to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, with a minimum of $20,000 going to the charity. How’s that for marketing?
While the competition seems to be about even, we’ve got our money on Team Clippers. The combination of Brandon Armstrong’s range (aka BdotADot, the famous NBA player impersonator) will by useful with the implementation of the new 4-point line; 2016 NBA Celebrity Game MVP Win Butler’s potent double-doubles (22 points and 11 rebounds in 2017, 15 points and 14 rebounds in 2016) and perennial NBA champion Jason Williams (hello behind the back elbow pass) will make them a force to be reckoned with. However, we shouldn’t count Team Lakers out – WNBA Champion, Finals MVP, Season MVP and Olympic gold medalist Candance Parker joined by the versatile Nick Cannon and high-flying NBA legend Nate Robinson shouldn’t be underestimated.
Final scores in recent years have been lopsided, 2017’s score being 88 to 59, beatdown given on behalf of Team East. This year, we predict scores to be a bit more even across the board – perhaps 95 – 90, with Team Clippers taking the W.
Regardless of the outcome, fans should be ready to enjoy a fun and competitive night in the spirit of camaraderie, team-work and charity. Be sure to tune it to the NBA All Celebrity Game this Friday, February 16 at 7 pm on ESPN!