Reviewing the NBA 2017 All-Star Celebrity Game

They may not be basketball stars, but they are stars in their own right. At the NBA 2017 Celebrity All-Star game in New Orleans, recognizable names from all walks of life took the court.

The Celebrity All-Star game has been a staple of the annual festivities since it debuted in 2003. Since it’s not exactly the highlight of the weekend, the game didn’t take place in Smoothie King Arena – home of the New Orleans Pelicans. Instead, it all went down at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Friday at 7 p.m. Eastern.

The game aired on ESPN, and featured East and West teams made up of celebrities you may recognize, and some you probably won’t.

NBA 2017 Celebrity All-Star East Squad:
  • Nick Cannon
  • Caleb McLaughlin
  • Jason Williams
  • Brandon Armstrong
  • Win Butler
  • Rachel DeMita
  • Ansel Elgort
  • Marc Lasry
  • Peter Rosenberg
  • Oscar Schmidt
  • Lindsay Whalen
  • Kris Wu
  • Jemele Hill (coach)
  • Kyle Lowry (coach)
  • Fat Joe (coach)

NBA 2017 Celebrity All-Star West Squad:
  • Mark Cuban
  • Tom Cavanagh
  • Baron Davis
  • Andy Grammer
  • Miles Brown
  • Master P
  • Jiang Jinfu
  • Aarón Sánchez
  • Anthony Mackie
  • Romeo Miller
  • Candace Parker
  • Hasan Minhaj
  • Michael Smith (coach)
  • Draymond Green (coach)
  • Rocsi Diaz (coach)

It went political:

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who played for the West team, wore a number 46 jersey. On the surface, it’s just a number 46 jersey. But, many speculate it is a response to a recent tweet from President Donald Trump. In the tweet, Trump said: “I know Mark Cuban well. He backed me big-time, but I wasn’t interested in taking all of his calls. He’s not smart enough to run for president!” Remember, Trump is the 45th president of the United States. Is Cuban the 46th?

It had cringe-worthy moments:

After Romeo Miller (you may remember him as Lil’ Romeo) missed a wide-open shot, he froze. In fact, everyone froze because it was the mannequin challenge. You heard that right: the mannequin challenge. On a basketball court. On ESPN.

It featured a memorable shot:

Have you noticed Jarrius Robertson, or Little JJ, hanging around the All-Star events? He’s 14 years old, and is known as a New Orleans Saints Superfan. He also has a rare liver disease that has affected his height. Even though he only stands waist high, he didn’t let that stop him. When Little JJ took the court for a chance to play in the celebrity game, he shot… and scored.

Final score:

It was far from a close game. The East took home the victory with a final score of 88-59. Brandon Armstrong who registered 16 points and 15 rebounds was named MVP.

Check Thunderous Intentions later for the review of the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge that OKC Thunder rookies – Domantas Sabonis  and Alex Abrines participated in. And check out the itinerary for the weekend which will no doubt feature much more of Russell Westbrook in action.

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NBA CELEBRITY GAME 2017: TOP MOMENTS, VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS AND TWITTER REACTION

Moving back to a traditional East vs. West matchup for the 2017 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, the East side rode a commanding first half to an easy 88-59 victory over the West in New Orleans.

Last year's MVP of the celebrity game, Win Butler, got off to a dazzling start for the East with six points in the first quarter, pushing his team out to a 20-12 lead early.

However, it was Brandon Armstrong who stole the MVP award from his teammate with 16 points and 15 rebounds.

But the story of the game is not about stats. The bigger topic of discussion is always about which celebrities either show their actual basketball chops or make a complete fool of themselves on national television.

Plays like that helped the East storm out to a 39-23 lead at the half. Butler, showing no signs of slowing down, nearly had a double-double in the first half with 12 points and seven rebounds. The Arcade Fire singer just missed becoming the third player to win multiple MVP awards, after Kevin Hart (four times) and Terrell Owens (twice).

It's easy to get caught up in competition while watching an athletic event, but sometimes we have to remember there are times to put away the animosity on the court for the greater good. What's better than the mannequin challenge?

The non-travel call summed up the night for the West squad. It was a struggle on both sides of the ball, leading to an outburst of emotion from head coach and SportsCenter anchor Michael Smith.

Robertson's moment of triumph salvaged what was an otherwise grim day for the West.

The East earned its victory through force of will, determination and talent. The West had the unfortunate distinction of being on the other side of things, but no one can put a price on kicking off All-Star weekend in glorious fashion.


NBA ALL-STAR GAME 2017 ROSTERS: STARTERS, RESERVES, INJURY UPDATES ON TOP STARS

The 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend is upon us, folks. For fans of pro basketball, the next few days are going to be nothing but pure entertainment bliss. There are a number of festivities planned for the weekend, as the NBA looks to celebrate another fun and successful season.

The best part of the Association's All-Star event is that it never takes itself too seriously. This is about entertaining the fans while also recognizing some of the top players in the game today. Fans will be treated to a celebrity game, a dunk contest and a three-point competition.

The weekend, of course, culminates with the All-Star Game, where the some of the league's best will face off in a joyful exhibition. This is what we're here to examine—along with the latest news, injury, television and roster information.

2017 NBA All-Star Game

What: East vs. West

Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans

When: Sunday, February 19

Time: 8 p.m. ET

National TV: TNT


All-Star Rosters

NBA All-Star Rosters
East Starting 5
Kyrie IrvingCleveland Cavaliers
DeMar DeRozanToronto Raptors
LeBron JamesCleveland Cavaliers
Giannis AntetokounmpoMilwaukee Bucks
Jimmy ButlerChicago Bulls
East Reserves
John WallWashington Wizards
Isaiah ThomasBoston Celtics
Kyle LowryToronto Raptors
Kemba WalkerCharlotte Hornets
Paul GeorgeIndiana Pacers
Carmelo AnthonyNew York Knicks
Paul MilsapAtlanta Hawks
West Starting 5
Stephen CurryGolden State Warriors
James HardenHouston Rockets
Kevin DurantGolden State Warriors
Kawhi LeonardSan Antonio Spurs
Anthony DavisNew Orleans Pelicans
West Reserves
Russell WestbrookOklahoma City Thunder
Klay ThompsonGolden State Warriors
Gordon HaywardUtah Jazz
DeMarcus CousinsSacramento Kings
DeAndre JordanLos Angeles Clippers
Marc GasolMemphis Grizzlies
Draymond GreenGolden State Warriors

Latest Buzz

Anthony to Replace Love

Kevin Love was supposed to be the third member of the Cleveland Cavaliers to appear in Sunday's All-Star Game, alongside LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. Unfortunately, Love has been dealing with a knee injury and eventually opted to undergo surgery.

According to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com, Love is expected to miss six weeks while recovering from a procedure performed by Dr. David Altchek.

"[It] Sucks," James said of Love's injury, per Vardon. "It's just our road every season."

Love's injury will obviously have a significant impact on the remainder of the Cavaliers season. It also opened the door for New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony to appear in the all-star game for an eighth consecutive year.

This will be the 10th overall appearance for Anthony in the game.

Anthony has been the topic of heavy trade speculation both because of his contract and the Knicks' status as a rebuilding franchise. However, Anthony doesn't seem to truly believe that he will be dealt.

“I never thought I would be anywhere else," Anthony recently told Marc Berman of the New York Post. “You were thinking that? You were writing about that?” I didn’t give any indication of that.”

If the Knicks do decide to move Anthony, they'll now be able to sell him as a 2017 all-star.

Stevens Embracing Role as All-Star Coach

The man who will be coaching Anthony in New Orleans the weekend is Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. The fourth-year NBA coach has never been to an All-Star Game but is extremely excited about the opportunity to coach the Eastern Conference this year.

The most exciting part for Stevens, though, isn't the honor, it's the opportunity to share it with his family. He recently explained his outlook, per AP basketball writer Tim Reynolds:

My 11-year-old son is really excited. My 7-year-old daughter is just as excited but for different reasons. She hasn't gotten the basketball bug like my 11-year-old. She's just looking forward to hanging out with our staff's other kids. We're excited and to spend that moment together and share that moment together. I think it is the best part about this for our staff and our family.
It's not surprising to see Stevens as a head coach in the All-Star Game. His relatively young coaching career has been filled with success and accolades.

Stevens took over the Butler program roughly 10 years ago at the age of 30. In his third season, he broke the NCAA record for most wins in a coach's first three years, exceeding the previous record by eight games. Stevens then coached Butler to the first Final Four in school history. He also took the Bulldogs to the championship game that season.

Stevens has had similar success with the Celtics to begin his pro career. Helped in no small part by the smart team construction of Danny Ainge, Stevens has Boston looking less like a rebuilding franchise and more like a potential title contender.

The Celtics currently hold the second-best record in the East, and with Love's injury, could realistically secure the No. 1 seed by season's end.

The Roots to Perform NBA-Themed Musical

The NBA All-Star Weekend couldn't be a true celebration without a little music, right? Fortunately, the NBA was able to secure one legendary group to help open Sunday night's festivities.

Before tip off, hip-hop group The Roots will perform an original NBA-themed musical called "The Evolution of Greatness."

According to the Associated Press (via NBA.com), the performance will also feature guests in the form of actors Daveed Diggs and Michael B. Jordan, musician Jidenna, DJ Jazzy Jeff and rapper Darryl "DMC" McDaniels.

Recently, The Roots are perhaps best-known as the house band for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. However, the group has long been one of the most evolutionary acts in hip-hop, with more than a dozen albums and three Grammy Awards to its credit.

More than just a live performance, this musical-art performance should help make this year's All-Star Weekend stand apart from previous ones.

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