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A Way-Too-Serious Scouting Report On The NBA All-Star Celebrity Game

Illustration for article titled A Way-Too-Serious Scouting Report On The NBA All-Star Celebrity Game

The Celebrity Game is without question the crown jewel of NBA All-Star Weekend, an event that provides the too-rare opportunity to see the TV and movie and music stars (and in some case, "stars") the world worships be extremely terrible at something, and for however brief a second, be able to say to ourselves, "I can rebound out of my zone better than Michael Rapaport." And mean it.


But even though they're forced to play for us just so we can feel superior, the beautiful celebrities themselves (and Michael Rapaport) don't exactly seem to realize this. When you put professional showmen/women on a basketball court, in front of an astoundingly packed Madison Square Garden, they get out there, and they ball. They take it far more seriously than they should. They almost seem to think someone is scouting them, and that with their play they can earn their big shot in the NBA. And thus, they deserve to be judged like the people who actually might. And there's no better place to do that than from MSG itself, 10 rows up, within spitting distance of Carmelo Anthony's very silly hat.

With only this one sentence of further ado, I present the inaugural Overly Critical NBA All-Star Celebrity Game Scouting Report:

Anthony Anderson (Blackish, Law & Order, Hang Time)

Sluggish center in a sluggish middle school guard's body, except that middle school guard is impressively overweight for someone with peak pubescent metabolism. Ball handling skills non-existent. If he gets free, will finish; not likely to get free. Not afraid to hit the deck and give up his body, when he falls over due to coordination issues. Appears to have learned nothing from Reggie Theus. Gigantic head.


Common (Smokin' Aces, a whole bunch of albums)

Lefthanded power guard. Plays very low to the ground. Strong awareness, excellent court vision, loves the no-look pass. Crafty around the bucket in traffic for a guard. Lots of Kendall Marshall in him. Somehow manages to make goatees cool.

Sarah Silverman (The Sarah Silverman Program, Bob's Burgers, Louie)

Undersized four. Might have vision issues. Mainly just stands there, no matter what is happening in the game, with her hands up in the air like she's training to be a mime but is paralyzed by mime-fear, the killer of mime-careers. Unconventional jumper—pulls it way back behind her head à la Michael Redd, but has never scored 57 points in a game, or probably any points. Very sporty high ponytail.


Nick Cannon (Drumline, All That, America's Got Talent)

Does not got talent. Possibly the worst player on the floor, including Sarah Silvermime. Zero court awareness. No left hand. Also no right hand. Very herky-jerky jumper, understandable since no hands. Seeming lack of awareness of backboard physics.


Kevin Hart (The Wedding Ringer, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Ride Along)

Me-first point guard. Might not have been told about passing yet. Can get to the rack at will with a quick first step, above-average stutter dribble, and powerful frame. Good at drawing fouls at the rim. No jumper; literally cannot score outside three feet, which is also his listed height. Pesky off-ball defender. What Nate Robinson would be if Nate Robinson couldn't jump, couldn't shoot, and went on lots of ridealongs. Despite losing the game, won fourth consecutive MVP award mainly because they knew he'd say funnier things than anyone else.


Mo'ne Davis (Little League)

Highly skilled lead guard. Unflappable under pressure. Dribbles what seems to be dangerously high, but uses that as a deception tactic to get defenders to lean for the steal, then employs a wicked in-and-out crossover to shake them. Right handed, but loves to go left. NBA three-point range. Displays a calm and composure beyond her years. Devastating spin move she can leverage to embarrass a Kevin Hart who is trying extremely, extremely hard to defend a 13-year-old girl.

Chris Mullin (Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers)

Can still hit the corner three. Flat top flatter than ever; it's possible that he's using a carpenter's level to get it just right. Excellent at using schoolyard punk-out moves to embarrass Kevin Hart for his lack of height.


Blake Leeper (Paralympic sprinter)

Born without both legs below the knee; handle needs improvement. Makes up for it with quickness to keep himself separated from defenders. Excellent in transition, and can see the floor at high speeds; not just a finisher. Inconsistent jumper but has good form and a quick release. Has murdered zero model girlfriends.


Skylar Diggins (Tulsa Shock)

Displays a high degree of fight, tenacity, and desire to prove to everyone she is the best player on the floor, which is probably not the point of her playing in a Celebrity Game against a guy with no legs. Effective pull-up jumper going to her left. Does not like Drake like that.


Win Butler (Arcade Fire)

Size for days. Uses massive rear end to create space and box out. Finishes with both hands. Very active on the offensive glass. Refined drop step and step-through moves, and can finish from uncomfortable positions on the baseline and under the backboard. Uses his size smartly; does not bring the ball down after rebounds. Susceptible to double teams. Basically looks and plays like a reasonably not-ugly Chris Kaman.


Robert Pera (Memphis Grizzlies Owner)

Excellent size for a technology billionaire. Very active, a classic slasher. Jump shot needs refinement. Willing to share the ball. Plus athlete; can dunk. Excellent finisher from both sides of the rim, and can use a Eurostep to get where he needs to be on the break and in the half court. When he plays against the Grizzlies in practice, they obviously have to let him be good; that confidence seems to carry over when he is playing against slow, confused, wildly unathletic non-NBA players.


Chadwick Boseman (42, Get On Up, Persons Unknown, which I watched every episode of for some reason)

Looks like an athlete. Is not an athlete. Is not in fact Jackie Robinson. Will force shots. Jackie would have passed.


Ansel Elgort (Divergent, The Fault In Our Stars)

Good size, not good anything else. Might be lefthanded, even though when he does things with his left you'd assume he was right handed. Horrendous handle; should never put the ball down. Turnover machine. Not very good at things, generally.


Shoni Schimmel (Atlanta Dream)

Excellent shooting range. Thrives on the stop-and-pop three in transition. Best alliterative name in women's basketball.


Michael Rapaport (Everything, basically)

Very skilled at pre-game stretching. Ideal Celebrity Game big-man size and feel for the game. Lefthanded. Plus passer from the high post. Plays below the rim. Not terribly mobile; moves around as if he spent a bunch of time smoking weed out of a plastic bong with Brad Pitt in True Romance.


Tina Charles (New York Liberty)

Skilled big with excellent post moves and extended rebounding range. Is not in fact the Tina Charles who recorded the No. 1 disco hit "I Love to Love (But My Baby Loves to Dance)," but probably takes credit for it.


Some Guy From Bollywood I Never Heard Of (Bollywood)

From Bollywood. Plus beard.

Kristen Ledlow (NBA Inside Stuff)

Is also a person who was apparently on one of these teams.

Allan Houston (New York Knicks, Black and White)

HE MISSED AN 18 FOOT JUMPER IN WARMUPS. It was crazy. Everyone stood around, looking confused and almost scared. Shot decent in the actual game, thank god.


Jesse Williams (Grey's Anatomy, Cabin in the Woods, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2)

Good athlete. Uses jab step well to set up drives and step-backs. Can get out of control at times. Unsure shooter; inconsistent form, and ball seems to come off his palm at times. May have blown out his knee in the fourth quarter. Cannot possibly think this was all worth it.


Ben Robinson is Editorial Director at Thrillist, Evil Mastermind of, and host of the world's premiere breakfast podcast, Cereal. He still wants to go to Space Camp. Follow him to limited freedom at @benjorobinson.


Ben previously wrote for Deadspin about how to get onto The Price Is Right.

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