The NBA All-Star Weekend is about a lot more than the game between the best players in the Eastern and Western Conferences.
The All-Star Game is Sunday in Toronto, but the All-Star Celebrity Game and the Rising Stars Challenge will be held Friday night. All-Star Saturday Night will feature the Skills Challenge that always manages to please the appreciative fans.
The All-Star Celebrity Game should be special with the game north of the border, featuring a Canadian team of celebrities as well as a U.S. team.
2016 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game
When: Friday, February 12
Where: Ricoh Coliseum, Toronto, Ontario
Kickoff Time: 7 p.m. ET
TV Broadcast: ESPN
Live Stream: WatchESPN
The game will be played at the Ricoh Coliseum at 7 p.m. ET. The Canadian team is coached by Toronto native Drake, who is clearly an all-star in the hip-hop world, while Team USA is coached by actor-comedian Kevin Hart.
Hart is very familiar to the All-Star Celebrity Game, having won the MVP award four times.
|2016 NBA All-Star Celebrity Roster|
|Team Canada||Team USA|
|Uniform No.||Player||Uniform No.||Player|
|34||Win Butler||34||Anthony Anderson|
|09||Drew Scott||05||Marc Lasry|
|03||Jonathan Scott||22||Joel David Moore|
|27||Milos Raonic||02||Nick Cannon|
|733||Stephan James||30||Jason Sudeikis|
|25||Tom Cavanagh||01||Chauncey Billups|
|01||Tracy McGrady||24||O'Shea Jackson Jr.|
|55||Tammy Sutton-Brown||11||Elena Delle Donne|
|17||Rick Fox||5'3||Muggsy Bogues|
|07||Eugenie Bouchard||04||Terrence Jenkins|
Each of the celebrity teams feature former NBA players who will try to set the tone. Tracy McGrady and Rick Fox will suit up for Team Canada, while Chauncey Billups and Muggsy Bogues will play for Team USA.
Team USA has another basketball superstar in Elena Delle Donne, the 2015 WNBA MVP from the Chicago Sky. Team Canada will try to counter with Tammy Sutton-Brown, a two-time WNBA All-Star herself.
Canada may have an advantage because it has another high-level professional athlete in tennis player Milos Raonic. Actor Stephan James, who is starring as Jesse Owens in the upcoming movie Race, is also playing for Canada.
In addition to Billups, Bogues and Delle Donne, Team USA is likely to depend on Nick Cannon of America's Got Talent, actor Jason Sudeikis and actor Anthony Anderson, who stars in the ABC comedy Black-ish.
Drake is going to get coaching help from DeMar DeRozan, former NBA All-Star and MVP Steve Nash and Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays. Hart's assistant coaches include Becky Hammon, Isaiah Thomas and Andre Drummond.
The presence of Raonic could give Canada an advantage. The 11th-ranked player on the ATP World Tour is in fantastic shape, and his ability to run around on the tennis court without tiring indicates that he has the stamina to strut his stuff on the basketball court.
If he really wants to put on a show, it appears that McGrady could own the All-Star Celebrity Game. But the odds are he will also have his share of fun, because if McGrady turns it on, it seems certain that Billups will try to match him.
Delle Donne is going to be difficult for Team Canada to contain, and her all-around ability and efficiency should make her the No. 1 candidate for the MVP award.
Look for Delle Donne to make the key plays at the end of the game that give the Americans and Hart the victory.
Delle Donne will win the MVP, but Hart will try to take full credit for it, claiming she thrived under his tutelage.
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