TORONTO — Vancouver natives Drew and Jonathan Scott are ready to hit the hardcourt in Toronto for the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, and they’re hoping a Raptors fan favourite will help them take a bite out of their competition.
The "Property Brothers" stars have enlisted the help of retired power forward Jerome (Junk Yard Dog) Williams as they prepare to take part in the star-studded matchup at the Ricoh Coliseum on Friday.
"We have a court here at home, and so I’ve been out there every night. And then I have a couple of friends in town who are ballers as well, so I’ve been getting out there to practise," Drew Scott said in a recent phone interview from Las Vegas, where the identical twins live.
"The Junk Yard Dog, he’s coming over here to my place in an hour. We’re going to get a workout in. We’re trying to keep ourselves in shape. Cardio is going to be the tough thing, I’ve got to admit."
Toronto rapper Drake, who also serves as the Raptors’ global ambassador, will coach Canada’s team. Drake will be joined on the sidelines by two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash, current all-star and Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan and Toronto Blue Jays all-star right fielder Jose Bautista.
The Canadian squad will be taking on an American team coached by actor-comedian Kevin Hart, a four-time celebrity game MVP.
The Scotts will join tennis star Milos Raonic and Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler on Canada’s team.
The squad also includes two-time WNBA all-star Tammy Sutton-Brown, seven-time NBA all-star and former Raptor Tracy McGrady and retired NBA star and current TV analyst Rick Fox. Actors Tom Cavanagh ("The Flash"), Stephan James ("Race"), and actor and singer Kris Wu round out the roster.
Hart will be joined on the sidelines by NBA all-stars Russell Westbrook and Andre Drummond and San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon.
The American team includes actor O’Shea Jackson Jr. of "Straight Outta Compton" fame and "America’s Got Talent" host Nick Cannon.
Actor-comedian Jason Sudeikis, "Black-ish" star Anthony Anderson, actor Joel David Moore ("Forever"), former Raptors Chauncey Billups and Muggsy Bogues, Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry and WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne are also on the U.S. team.
The Scotts have past hardcourt history with Hart. The trio played in the 2012 All-Star Celebrity Game in Orlando.
"I remember that was the most stressed I have been in my adult life," recalled Jonathan. "I’ve played a bit, but I haven’t played a lot since high school and so we wanted to make sure that we were going to hold our own…. We realized after the fact that no one’s really talking themselves too seriously. Everyone’s just having a lot of fun.
"The only thing I’ve really been practising is my smack talk because last time Kevin Hart brought it. We’re going to win even if it’s just on the smack-talk side."