The NBA All-Star Celebrity Game is typically not a particularly good showcase for quality basketball. At its best, it’s an opportunity to see if a handful of famous people can play without embarrassing themselves. It’s a contest best viewed with Twitter at hand and a willingness to make jokes.
[Follow Dunks Don’t Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]
Credit the 2015 version at Madison Square Garden, then, for giving us a legitimate highlight. Thirteen-year-old Little League World Series sensation Mo’ne Davis, playing for the West, was one of the most notable participants in this year’s game, and she wasted no time in showing everyone what they wanted to see. A few minutes into the game, Davis took on actor, comedian, and Kevin Hart and got to the hoop with a very impressive spin move:
The similarly short Davis and Hart were paired on the game’s opening tip and immediately set about going at each other at both ends of the court. Hart made sure to post up Davis, which seems like a joke from one of his movies, and Davis tried to take it to him whenever she had the ball.
The Celebrity Game added to a busy basketball week for Davis, who has made no secret of her dream of playing point guard for Geno Auriemma as a member of the Connecticut Huskies. Davis also gave Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry her autograph before he faced the Philadelphia 76ers in her hometown on Monday.
Those interested in the result of this utterly meaningless game should know that the West won 59-51 behind strong performances from Davis, Memphis Grizzlies owner Robert Pera and Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler. Pera seemed to take the game more seriously than anyone else, even attempting to beat New York Knicks legend Allan Houston with a Eurostep in the second half that sent him to the free-throw line. Houston responded by nailing a jumper in his face on the next possession.
The most unfortunate moment of the game came when “Gray’s Anatomy” star Jesse Williams appeared to injure his knee while catching a pass near the basket (video available here). ESPN did not update his status, but here’s hoping he’s alright. No one deserves to suffer a serious injury in a game like this one.
Despite the loss, Hart won his fourth-straight MVP award via an online vote. He accepted the trophy by announcing his retirement from the event, although everyone present didn’t believe him. See you next year, Kevin!
– – – – – – –