The 2016 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game rosters will be all about geography. The game takes place in Toronto, and there will be a Team Canada and Team USA. The event will help kick off All-Star Weekend on Friday, and it looks as if the home-standing Canadian squad might have a better roster.
Take a look at the players scheduled to compete for both sides, per NBA.com.
|Team Canada||Famous For||Team USA||Famous For|
|Stephan James||Playing Jesse Owens in Race||Jason Sudeikis||Former SNL cast member, Race|
|Win Butler||Lead singer of Arcade Fire||Anthony Anderson||Actor, comedian, star of ABC's Blackish|
|Drew Scott||HGTV's Property Brothers||Joel David Moore||Actor, Dodgeball|
|Jonathan Scott||HGTV's Property Brothers||Nick Cannon||America's Got Talent|
|Milos Raonic||Professional tennis player||Chauncey Billups||Five-time NBA All-Star, ESPN analyst|
|Kris Wu||Actor, singer||Muggsy Bogues||Former NBA point guard, shortest player to ever play in NBA|
|Tracy McGrady||Seven-time NBA All-Star, former Toronto Raptor||Marc Lasry||Co-owner, Milwaukee Bucks|
|Rick Fox||Three-time NBA Champion, NBA TV analyst||Elena Delle Donne||WNBA MVP, Chicago Sky|
|Tammy Sutton-Brown||Former two-time WNBA All-Star|
Former game MVP and comedian Kevin Hart will coach Team USA, while the world's most famous Toronto Raptors fan, Drake, will handle the duties for Team Canada. The interactions between Hart and Drake might be as entertaining as the on-court action.
If these guys want to get a win, they're going to need some of their players to step up and shine. Here's the most likely star from each category of participant.
Athletes from Other Sports
Tennis star Milos Raonic is the man by default, but don't take that as an insult. Raonic might have some game. The 2016 Australian Open semifinalist sounded excited when he announced he'd be playing in the All-Star Celebrity Game via Twitter:
What an honour and amazing dream come true, I get to compete in the @NBA All Star Weekend. I will be playing in the Celeb Game.— Milos Raonic (@milosraonic) January 14, 2016
At 6'5", Raonic has the length to be effective on the court. Because he plays tennis professionally, you know he has exceptional endurance. From a fashion standpoint, Raonic is already in the right mindset. During his matches, he wears the same type of arm sleeve that many NBA players do. Looking the part is important; if he can make a jump shot consistently, he could be a handful on Friday night.
Elena Delle Donne is the best player in the WNBA. I could leave it at that, and no further explanation would be required to explain why she could be the biggest star of the exhibition. The 6'5" 26-year-old averaged 23.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and two blocked shots per game during the 2015 season.
There's every reason to believe she'll be even better this year.
She should easily win the head-to-head matchup between her and former WNBA All-Star Tammy Sutton-Brown.
Former NBA Players
Team Canada's Tracy McGrady and Rick Fox and Team USA's Chauncey Billups and Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues all had distinguished NBA careers. However, in the year 2016, it seems safe to say that McGrady and Fox are probably a more dangerous duo than Billups and Bogues.
McGrady is only 36 years old and could probably still play in the NBA if he wanted to. Billups is 39, and he likely maximized every drop of production out of his body during his NBA career.
Quite honestly, Bogues and Fox may cancel each other out. Don't be shocked if McGrady throws down a slam or two just to show he still has a little of the flair that made him one of the game's most prolific scorers in the mid-2000s.
Best of the Rest
Stephan James of the Jesse Owens movie Race is an intriguing entry. If you've at least seen the previews for the film, then you know James is in pretty decent shape. His name almost combines the names of two of basketball's best players.
His surname is obviously the same as Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James, and his first name is almost identical to the Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry.
Doesn't that count for something? Maybe not, but that combination would be a pretty wicked created player in NBA 2K.