What: All-Star Celebrity Game
Where & When: Feb. 12, Air Canada Centre, 7 p.m. ET.
Rosters/Participants: Drake, who will be joined on the sidelines by Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Blue Jays star Jose Bautista and two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash, will be coaching Canada’s team that features tennis superstar Milos Raonic, former NBA all-star Tracy McGrady, NBA TV analyst Rick Fox, former WNBA player Tammy Sutton-Brown, and other celebrities including Stephen James, Arcade Fire’s Win Butler, Drew And Jonahtan Scott from HGTV’s Property Brothers and actor/singer Kris Wu. There’s rumblings Eugenie Bouchard might join the squad as well.
Hollywood actor and comedian Kevin Hart will be coaching the USA squad, which includes actors Jason Sudekis, Anthony Anderson, Nick Cannon, Joel David Moore, and NBA legends such as Muggsy Bogues and Chauncey Billups. Filling out the roster is Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry and WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne.
Thing to Watch No. 1: What kind of role will the coaches play? Between Nash, DeRozan, Bautista, Drake and Hart, the real star power will be on the sidelines. Russell Westbrook and Andre Drummond are expected to be on Hart’s coaching staff as well. Watching those figures might be far more interesting than the actual game. Especially if Drake and Hart get into it on the sidelines.
Thing to Watch No. 2: How will the former NBAers fare? The game features a handful of former Raptors — albeit brief ones — including McGrady, Bogues, and Billups. McGrady is the youngest of the bunch at 36 years old so he should be the most effective, playing as recently as the 2012-13 season with the San Antonio Spurs.
It would be fun to see him throw down a big jam at the ACC but him and Billups might prefer to stick to outside on the three-point line.
Bogues can at least take solace that he won’t be the smallest player on the court with Hart manning the sidelines.
Thing to Watch No. 3: Can Raonic ball? We know the Thornhill, Ont., native can crush a serve but we’ve never seen Raonic dunk a basketball or drain a three-pointer under pressure, despite being a big-time Raptors fan. Raonic, at 6-foot-5, has the size and length to be a solid player and his endurance shouldn’t be an issue.
Prediction: Because this event is going down in Toronto, I have a sneaky suspicion the Raptors’ global ambassador might have a leg up on the competition. So we’re going with a bold pick and take Canada!