The NBA Celebrity All-Star Game has great entertainment potential based solely off former NBA player Jason "White Chocolate" Williams' appearance (see here for his greatest plays as a pro if you don't believe me), but the celebrity rosters for this year's contest provide plenty of intrigue.
Will Win Butler repeat his double-double heroics from last year and take another MVP? Can Master P and his son Romeo Miller take over this game when they are on the floor at the same time? Will Williams throw a half-court, behind-the-back, no-look alley-oop to 59-year-old Oscar Schmidt for a dunk?
Who knows, but in the dog days of the sports calendar, the Celebrity game provides the sports junkie with something fun to watch.
Below you'll find the two teams for this year's game, along with a game preview and MVP prediction.
|Michael Smith||ESPN Journalist (SportsCenter)|
|Draymond Green||NBA Player (Golden State Warriors)|
|Rocsi Diaz||TV Personality (best known for hosting 106 & Park)|
|Miles Brown||Actor (best known for Black-ish)|
|Tom Cavanagh||Actor (best known for Ed, The Flash)|
|Mark Cuban||Dallas Mavericks owner, entrepreneur, Shark Tank shark|
|Baron Davis||Former NBA player (Charlotte Hornets, Golden State Warriors among others)|
|Andy Grammer||Recording artist (best known for "Honey, I'm Good")|
|Jiang Jinfu||Actor and model (best known for Xuan-Yuan Sword: Scar Of Sky)|
|Anthony Mackie||Actor (best known for The Hurt Locker and Captain America: Civil War)|
|Romeo Miller||Actor, recording artist (best known for No. 1 single "My Baby" when he was known as Lil' Romeo, and he has also appeared in numerous TV shows and movies)|
|Hasan Minhaj||Actor, comedian (best known for his role as a correspondent on The Daily Show)|
|Master P||Actor, recording artist, rap mogul, entrepreneur (best known for starting No Limit Records and two albums produced in late 1990s—Ghetto D and MP da Last Don—that went three-time and four-time platinum)|
|Candace Parker||Current WNBA player (Los Angeles Sparks)|
|Aaron Sanchez||Celebrity chef (best known for being a judge on Chopped)|
|Jemele Hill||ESPN journalist (Sportscenter)|
|Kyle Lowry||NBA player (Toronto Raptors)|
|Fat Joe||Recording artist (best known for his No. 1 single "Lean Back"|
|Brandon Armstrong||Former professional basketball player (best known for YouTube impersonations of NBA players)|
|Win Butler||Recording artist (lead singer, Arcade Fire)|
|Nick Cannon||Actor, recording artist (best known as former host for America's Got Talent among other shows)|
|Rachel DeMita||Host, NBA2KTV|
|Ansel Elgort||Actor, recording artist (best known for the movie The Fault in Our Stars)|
|Marc Lasry||Milwaukee Bucks owner, hedge fund manager|
|Caleb McLaughlin||Actor (best known for Stranger Things)|
|Peter Rosenberg||Radio DJ, co-host, TV show host (best known for Ebro in the Morning and The Michael Kay Show)|
|Oscar Schmidt||Former professional basketball player who had a 30-year career in Brazil and Europe. Best known for his role on the Brazilian national team, playing in five Olympic Games.|
|Lindsey Whalen||Current WNBA player (Minnesota Lynx)|
|Jason Williams||Former NBA player (best known for time on Sacramento Kings when he rose to fame for his ball-handling skills)|
|Kris Wu||Actor, recording artist, model (best known for role in xXx: Return of Xander Cage)|
The key to this game will be the height differential between the two teams. Specifically, the East has a massive advantage over the West.
At 6'8", former professional basketball superstar Oscar Schmidt is the tallest player on the court by a solid four inches. He may be 59 years old, but I am not about to doubt a guy who played a 30-year professional career, is the leading scorer in Olympic men's basketball history and is now going to play in a contest that better resembles a YMCA pickup game than something you'd see on an organized level.
Like other professionals in this game, Schmidt will likely dial it down a notch so as not to embarrass other non-pros on the court, but he should still hold his own on Friday.
At 6'4", Win Butler of Arcade Fire proved to be the 2016 Celebrity game's version of Andre Drummond, posting 15 points and 14 boards (seven offensive) in 22 minutes en route to an MVP win.
(If you round up, Drummond is actually averaging those numbers this season.)
Butler also hoisted up 17 shots last year, so he isn't in this game to mess around like other celebrities. He's here to win.
The tallest two players on the court for the West side will be Candace Parker (6'4") and Master P (6'3").
Like Schmidt, Parker could probably take this game over if she wanted to but won't do so for the sake of not shaming people in an exhibition.
Master P played some preseason games for the Toronto Raptors in 1999 and could make some noise in this game, but if he's tasked with stopping a bigger Schmidt or Butler, then he could find himself in some trouble down low, provided the West coaches put him there.
Butler looks primed to become the next Kevin Hart of this event. Hart won four straight MVP awards, and Butler was the clear best celebrity on the floor last year. His height is just too much to deal with down low.
Expect him to take the title yet again with another double-double.