Once a ball boy for Michael Jordan's Bulls, Chicago's own Common took home Most Valuable Player honors in the All-Star Celebrity Game on Friday night as Team Wilbon defeated Team Stephen A. 62-47 at Wintrust Arena.
Common earned MVP after the de facto point guard went off for 10 points, five assists and five rebounds.
"I just wanted to represent Chicago for cats like Quentin Richardson, Derrick Rose and all the ballers that come from here, for Isiah Thomas. I wore Ben Wilson's number because I wanted to represent our city," he said.
Common grew up playing basketball on Chicago's South Side. Now, he adds to the legacy of the city's proving grounds as the Celebrity Game MVP.
The rapper was featured heavily in ESPN 30 for 30 Benji, which tells the story of his friend and Chicago high school star Ben Wilson and the circumstances that led to Wilson's untimely death outside Simeon High School in 1984. Wilson's No. 25 has been a badge of honor bestowed upon elite players in Chicago ever since.
Rose wore the number as a Simeon star during his high school days and has worn it in the NBA ever since moving on from the Bulls in 2016.
The Celebrity Game featured a host of Chicago natives, including Chance the Rapper, Taylor Bennett, Hannibal Buress and—of course—coach Michael Wilbon, who calls the area home.
That made for a dangerous combination against Smith A. Smith's team, and the ESPN analyst did everything he could to try to gain an advantage:
Among Common's stiffest competition for MVP were Quavo and Famous Los, who won the award in 2018 and 2019.
Bad Bunny tried to steal the award from Common after the winner was announced but relented as his teammate came forward.