Blue Jays’ Bautista to keep things simple on basketball sidelines

Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. (Matt Slocum/AP)


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Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista plans to keep things simple when he serves as a coach at the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game on Friday at the Ricoh Coliseum.

"Hopefully I’ll just stand there, look halfway decent and maybe pass out some towels," Bautista said. "I’m just going to sit there and pretend I know what’s happening."

Joining him on the Canadian team’s coaching staff will be Raptors all-star guard DeMar DeRozan, two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash and Toronto rapper Drake, who will serve as head coach. Actor Kevin Hart — a four-time Celebrity Game MVP — will handle head coaching duties for the American team.

Bautista, who made his big-league debut in 2004, played a little bit of basketball as a youngster but was primarily focused on baseball.

"I'm a fan because mostly I can't do what those guys can," he said in a recent interview. "It's pretty cool to see and watch their talent level. I'm a big fan. I follow the (Miami) Heat, which is probably not what most Toronto people want to hear but it is the truth. That's about it -- I wasn't very good at it when I played."

The Canadian team will feature former NBA players Tracy McGrady and Rick Fox, Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler, former WNBA star Tammy Sutton-Brown, tennis player Milos Raonic, actors Kris Wu, Stephan James, Tom Cavanagh and television personalities Drew and Jonathan Scott.

Former NBA players Chauncey Billups and Muggsy Bogues will play on the American squad along with WNBA player Elena Delle Donne, Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry, actors Jason Sudeikis, Nick Cannon, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Anthony Anderson and Bryshere Gray.

Hart's coaching staff will include San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon, Oklahoma City Thunder all-star guard Russell Westbrook and Detroit Pistons all-star centre Andre Drummond.

The NBA all-star game will be played Sunday at Air Canada Centre.


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