After two straight years, I think we can all be thankful that Justin Bieber’s participation in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game has stopped this season. He has been left off of the 2013 rosters, but there are plenty of exciting people to fill his place.
Comedian Kevin Hart and returning celebrities like Common and Ne-Yo are to face off against some newcomers, such as Josh Hutcherson from The Hunger Games, come Friday night. This game is so entertaining because of the personalities involved, and who doesn’t like watching celebrities make fools of themselves?
So, who is going to embarrass themselves this year?
It should be real fun watching the 6’5” Olympic sprinter try to hone his skills at basketball. Jamaica is not necessarily a breeding ground for basketball enthusiasts, so he has the skills of a newcomer to the sport. His athleticism will surely allow him to sprint up and down the court all game, applying annoying hustle throughout.
And he should be able to dunk.
Unfortunately, Bolt’s sprinting ability and soccer talent does not translate to the court. Look for him to have an out-of-control dribble as his hand-eye coordination tries to keep up with his legs. Not to mention a few air balls and other awful shots can probably be expected.
One other aspect that could yield some funny/awkward moments comes from his interactions with rapper and basketball player personalities. Let’s see if he fits in or embarrasses himself.
You have to love a charismatic, shot-blocking center whose full name is Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo. The eight-time All-Star will be playing with other former NBA players such as Clyde Drexler and Bruce Bowen, but he will be the most entertaining by far.
The 7’2” Congolese center has always been great to reporters and fans even if you can barely understand him (in the beginning of his career, he could barely understand us). Growing up in Philadelphia, I can recall always seeing a smile on his face—a truly easy-going guy.
That being said, Kevin Hart and others will most likely have fun at his expense. The massive height difference between him and Hart should provide many comedic moments, but I can also see Hart messing with Mutombo without him even realizing it.
It also could be embarrassing to see how rusty Mutombo is. He was never a good shot outside of the paint and since everyone will just be messing around, it’s very possible a few bricks are going to be launched at the rim.
Anyone Guarding Arne Duncan
The majority of those playing are either young people or older basketball players, but Arne Duncan sits in the middle. Duncan, the U.S. Secretary of Education, is a 48-year-old white guy who graduated from Harvard, but he sure can he ball.
He was a co-captain for Harvard’s basketball team in the '80s and even played professionally in Australia for four years. However, Duncan showed that he still had the chops in last year’s game where he posted 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists in his team’s victory.
Younger, more athletic celebrities are going to get schooled by Duncan, and not everyone watching will know about his basketball background, so they’ll just see the Secretary of Education doing work on 20-year-olds.