Clear the court: It’s time for the NBA Celebrity All-Star Game. And this year, it’s a North American battle for the baskets.
A pair of star-stacked teams – one representing the United States and one Canada – are set to take the court at this year’s NBA All-Star Game in Toronto.
To coach the Canadian team, the NBA has wrangled everyone’s favorite basketball-loving Canadian rapper, Drake. Leading the Americans will be NBA All-Star Celebrity vet Kevin Hart.
These two are no strangers to basketball: Drake is a global ambassador for the Toronto Raptors, and Hart has been playing in the All-Star game for years – he’s won the MVP award four times.
In last year’s game, however, Hart got his butt kicked by Little Leaguer extraordinaire Mo’Ne Davis and subsequently announced his retirement from actually playing.
“That little girl embarrassed me on live television,” he said. “It’s only going to get worse if I keep going back. I don’t want to see what’s going to happen next.”
Hart may have more experience on the court, but it’s Drake who has the upper hand as a leader: the “Hotline Bling” rapper was an assistant coach during the 2011 game.
Luckily for the coaches, they’ll each have a star-studded team to (hopefully) bring home a win.
Playing for Canada will be Win Butler of Arcade Fire, Stephen James, star of the upcoming film Race, actor and singer Kris Wu and the Property Brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott, plus professional athletes including Natalie Achonwa of the Indiana Fever, Toronto Blue Jays player José Bautista. NBA MVP Steve Nash and NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady will be right along side Drake at the court’s edge.
But despite Canada’s Grammy-winning coach, it’s the American team that’s really bringing the star power: the lineup includes Creed star Michael B. Jordan, Anthony Anderson from black-ish, Bryshere Y. Gray (a.k.a. HAKEEM) from Empire, Race star Jason Sudekis and Nick Cannon. As for true athletes, there’s Chicago Sky player Elena Delle Donne, NBA All-Star and ESPN analyst Chauncey Billups, NBA legend Muggsy Bogues and Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry.
Who will prevail: about or a-boot? Hart or Drake? Find out when the game goes down on Friday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.