There are few things greater in this world than sport at its purest. Sport is something capable of transcending boundaries, showcasing some of the world’s most talented people, and providing joy and wonder to those lucky enough to bear witness. From the Edmonton Grads, to the Miracle on Ice, to Usain Bolt’s record-breaking sprints, sport has long played a significant role in developing the identities of nations, and continues to influence how we look back on history. For these reasons, it is not uncommon for a person to eat, sleep, and breathe sports.
To those of you who live this life, just know that you are appreciated, and that you aren’t alone.
Sadly, there are also times when sport becomes unbearable. This is when we need to stay strong, hold our heads high, and avoid losing sight of what’s good in this world. Included in this realm of garbage is the NBA Celebrity All-Star Game, which is consistently the least entertaining event on the league’s calendar.
With the event being held tonight in Toronto, though, I felt it was my patriotic duty to keep you, the reader, informed. Often, people who can only be loosely described as “celebrities” take part in this event – thus, I took it upon myself to list the qualifications of each of this year’s participants. And so, I present this not-at-all serious scouting report for the 2016 NBA Celebrity All-Star Game.
Aubrey “Drake” Graham – Rapper, Toronto Raptors Global Ambassador
Qualifications: once airballed a 3-pointer while taking warmups with the Kentucky Wildcats; gave props to Paul Pierce…in the playoffs…after Pierce’s team beat the Raptors, who literally employ Drake; looks like the kid brother of various NBA players.
Steve Nash – Two-time NBA MVP
Qualifications: Canadian legend; philanthropist; environmentalist; basketball genius; GM of Canadian Senior Men’s National Team; given credit for being able to drink Germans under the table; hero.
Jose Bautista – MLB All-Star, noted bat-flipper
Qualifications: central figure in the greatest Toronto sports moment since Joe Carter’s home run; will stare down referees after any questionable call made against Team Canada, and possibly throw a batting helmet if the situation requires it.
Win Butler – Arcade Fire frontman
Qualifications: leader of one of the world’s most critically acclaimed bands; very tall. Weakness: not actually Canadian.
Rick Fox – Three-time NBA Champion
Qualifications: managed to play with Kobe Bryant without getting murdered; impossibly handsome.
Stephan James – Actor
Qualifications: I’m likely far from the only person who had to Google him when the rosters were announced – makes for a great value pick to win MVP, though. Go get those odds, Stephan!
Tracy McGrady – Former NBA scoring champion
Qualifications: former Toronto Raptor, who left town and immediately became one of the NBA’s most dangerous scorers; attempted to play professional baseball. Weakness: not actually Canadian. (This weakness seems too common for Team Canada’s liking. Gonna have to gameplan around that).
Milos Raonic – Professional tennis player
Qualifications: putting Canadian professional tennis on the map; generally likable dude.
Drew and Jonathan Scott – HGTV’s “Property Brothers”
Qualifications: identical twins; tall; this game needs a Markieff/Marcus Morris vibe to really be a success.
Tammy Sutton-Brown – Former WNBA star
Qualifications: two-time WNBA All-Star; WNBA champion; very polite.
Kris Wu – Actor
Qualifications: The easy choice here would be to make a “Kris Who?” joke – there’s little doubt that this would be both clever and hilarious. However, we here at CanadianCollective would like you to know that Kris is a Canadian-Chinese actor, singer, and model, and is quite accomplished in his own right.
J.E. Skeets, Tas Melas, Max Kerman.
Kevin Hart – Actor, comedian
Qualifications: Four-time MVP of the NBA Celebrity All-Star Game; good for some harmless family entertainment; star of one million blurry memes your aunt shares on Facebook.
Anthony Anderson – Actor
Qualifications: starred in Kangaroo Jack; plays a vital role in accelerating the plot of the critically-acclaimed film, Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle.
Chauncey Billups – 5-time NBA All-Star
Qualifications: a friend of mine once mispronounced his name as “Bauncey Chillups”; former Raptor; named the 2004 NBA Finals MVP.
Muggsy Bogues – Former NBA player
Qualifications: shortest person to ever play in the NBA; former Raptor; is nicknamed “Muggsy.”
Nick Cannon – Host of “America’s Got Talent”
Elena Delle Donne – WNBA MVP
Qualifications: naturally-gifted scorer; smooth jumper; name just rolls off your tongue.
Joel David Moore – Actor
Qualifications: best-known for his supporting role in 2004’s Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story; consequently knows how to dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge.
Marc Lasry – Co-owner, Milwaukee Bucks
Qualifications: absurdly rich; helped save the Bucks franchise from relocation; holds the esteemed title of “Oldest Player” in this year’s game.
Jason Sudeikis – Actor
Qualifications: supremely likable; part of an underrated period in Saturday Night Live history; married to Olivia Wilde, who is just great.
Elena Delle Donne is at the top of her game, while Canada’s Tammy Sutton-Brown hasn’t played professionally since 2012. You have to think this will give the USA an advantage in terms of Actual Basketball Players.
Drake’s prior coaching experience led to an embarrassing 91-14 defeat (albeit to a team of giants). After studying the tape from this game, which can be found below, I came to a troubling conclusion. His body language on the sidelines and inability to make the correct in-game adjustments worry me, and he’ll need to lean heavily on his assistants for strategic decision-making in order for Team Canada to stand a chance.
THE FINAL VERDICT