It's not particularly difficult to come up with highlights from the NBA All-Star Weekend's celebrity game. Set up as a Canada vs. USA contest, the teams featured a host of celebrities from across the continent -- and equally impressive coaching staffs.
We have to begin with the coaches here. For Team Canada, Drake strode the sidelines, dressed the part, with a serious look his face for most of the night. He was helped out by Jose Bautista, who mostly just chilled on the sideline, and Steve Nash, also hanging out. Over on the USA side was the one man who never misses a chance to be the centre of attention, Kevin Hart, who also presumably deferred to assistant Becky Hammon when it came down to actual strategy.
Since the play-by-play recap and statistics on this one don't matter, let's just get to the high and lowlights:
- As expected, the two best celebrity players in the game were Win Butler of Arcade Fire and Jason Sudeikis of your dreams. Both guys were putting on a show in the post and the perimeter and looking like they'd at least played basketball before.
- On the "pro" side, we got to witness the unfortunate decline of the Tracy McGrady legacy. T-Mac did not come out of this one looking good.
Tracy McGrady illustrates the difference between 21 and 36 in brutal fashion. https://t.co/LmS8BqM5gd— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) February 13, 2016
- The game's WNBA players Tammy Sutton-Brown and Elena Delle Donne comporting themselves well, even if this is sadly the only opportunity they get to show their basketball skills in a game this weekend. (RIP Shooting Stars.)
- Bucks owner Marc Lasry has peak Old Man Game.
- Not surprised AT ALL to see Kevin Hart check himself into the game for the second half (especially after Canada took a nine point lead into halftime). If there's an opportunity for Hart to ham it up and get all the attention onto himself, he will. He entered to the tune of Rocky's "Gonna Fly Now," just, you know, to keep things low key.
- Rick Fox? More like Rick Silver Fox, amirite?
- The game provided an excellent opportunity for Property Brothers jokes.
Drew Scott out here pulling down boards. Usually when they do that there's original flooring underneath.— YBTZ (@the_Zubes) February 13, 2016
- Muggsy Bogues at age 51 still has some sick handles. T-Mac went out of his way to embarrass him in the post, but damn, the old man can still dribble the basketball like nobody's business.
- I briefly thought Win Butler and Anthony Anderson may get into a little bit.
- The biggest regular cheers on the night went to Asian-Canadian sensation Kris Wu. Every time he touched the ball there was a great squealing cry from the crowd.
- Milos Raonic DUNKED THE BALL.
- It's not always easy to tell how much or how little of the joke Drake is in on. He came out to coach the game in an elegant blue suit, clipboard in hand, and he stayed active on the sidelines for a good chunk of the game. As Prop Joe would say, "Look the part, be the part."
- O'Shea Jackson Jr. is already up at his dad's playing weight. (Oh snapppppp.)
- Team USA made a bit of a spirited run in the final frame, largely because of Sudeikis (as expected) and Kevin Hart's, uh, energy, I guess. Very bold move by Drake to go away from Win Butler down the stretch. That move could have cost him the game.
- So naturally, when Butler did finally return Canada pulled away. For his efforts, Butler also won the MVP and then announced his retirement from celebrity athletics. The world is at a loss.
- In the crowd: Mayor John Tory, Olivia Wilde, Spike Lee, Klay Thompson, Kyle Lowry, Aaron Gordon, plus, as was announced, DeMar DeRozan, Paul George and Andre Drummond.
As Clive Anderson used to say on Who's Line Is It Anyway?, the Celeb Game is one of those things where everything is made up and the points don't matter. Still, it was an entertaining night and, yeehaw, Canada won.
On to All-Star Saturday Night!