Terrell Owens and Justin Beiber are former MVPs of the NBA Celebrity All-Star game, and this year's roster has the potential to outshine both of those celebrities 10 times over.
The 2013 version of the game has more star-power than ever, and includes a decorated mixture of Hollywood actors, politicians and former professional basketball players. 2012 game MVP Kevin Hart will try to improve upon his eight-point, six-assist performance from last season, but former defensive ace Bruce Bowen will try to keep the offense to a minimum on Friday night.
Celebrities entertaining us on the hardwood is a great way to kick off this year's All-Star festivities in Houston, and the roster reflects a wide range of talent and ability both from a basketball and entertainment standpoint.
After Owens and Beiber proved that some of the celebs actually do have game, it won't be any surprise to see this current selection of individuals make a firm statement to the real East and West All-Stars.
Celebrity Game Lineup (via NBA.com)
Kevin Hart ("Real Husbands of Hollywood")
Ne-Yo (R&B/pop singer)
Nick Cannon ("Real Husbands of Hollywood")
Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games)
Trey Songz (R&B Singer/Actor)
Usain Bolt (Olympic gold medal sprinter)
Arne Duncan (U.S. Secretary of Education)
Terrence Jenkins ("E! News," Anchor)
John Schriffen (ABC News Correspondent)
Ryen Russillo (ESPN Host)
Dikembe Mutombo (eight-time NBA All-Star)
Clyde Drexler (10-time NBA All-Star)
Sean Elliott (two-time NBA All-Star)
Bruce Bowen (NBA defensive guru)
Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever)
Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx)
Celebs That Will Perform Like All-Stars
Hart took home MVP honors in last year's game, despite being ejected for that nasty temper that flares up from time to time.
He is a fixture on the celebrity basketball circuit, and credits include playing in the Ludacris Celebrity game and this year's annual showdown. Hart has a reputation for being a baller on the court, and he's also famous for going toe-to-toe with some current and former Los Angeles Lakers (and Lisa Leslie) in the 2012 flick Think Like a Man.
After posting a near double-double last year, you can bet he'll be the focal point of the opposing squad. It might not matter—Hart has some nice handles and passing ability in the full court. He should be one of the best celebrities on the court on Friday night.
The U.S. Secretary of Education was taking folks to school in the 2012 game, finishing with a ridiculous line that included 17 points and five steals. After stealing the show last season, he was an easy choice to return in 2013.
Duncan played his college basketball at Harvard from 1987-1991, captaining the squad and finishing as a first-team Academic All-American. He would go on to play professional basketball in Australia. He then became CEO of Chicago Public Schools before joining fellow Illinois worker and President Barack Obama as the Secretary of Education.
It's no doubt that Obama—a huge basketball fan in his own right—and Duncan grace the courts at the White House from time to time, and for good reason. Duncan can still play, and his highlight tape from last year was enough to put him on a poster for something other than his educational accomplishments.
Look for Duncan to spike whatever kind of offensive output his team collects this year. If he performs the way he did in 2012 during this year's game, it won't be hard to put him on the short list of competitors for the MVP award.
Admission: Bolt doesn't look apt to shooting the ball in any internet video of him on the court.
Redaction: Who cares, the guy can flat-out fly.
Bolt, the current record-holder in a number of categories in track and field at the Olympic games, will be a point of emphasis in transition for whoever is picking him up man-to-man.
If he dunks on Dikembe Mutombo, just give him the MVP trophy (especially after Mutombo's latest finger-waving commercial).
Let's be honest—even without a consistent jump shot, Bolt is on the short list of players that could take home MVP honors. He's got the height, speed and athleticism to dunk on the rest of the competition, and if he gets a runout, forget about slowing him down (although Hart will probably try).
Tons of NBA players have struggled to shoot the ball from the outside and have gone on to have successful careers. If Bolt hovers around the baseline and turns this game into a track meet, he could impress some NBA (NFL, too) scouts with his pure speed in the fast break.
And look like a legitimate All-Star in the process.