Magic Johnson wants to win the (McDonalds) celebrity game.
We talked to the Lakers legend before his Western Conference collection of celebs took on the Eastern group coached by Dr. J, and Magic didn’t even try to contain his mutual goal of having fun (“Showtime”) and making sure not to lose to the good Doctor.
Let’s check out the rosters, featuring the NBA’s label of each former player or celeb in parenthesis:
West: Clyde Drexler (NBA legend), Michael Rapaport (Prison Break), Dan Majerle (Phoenix Suns legend), Lisa Leslie (L.A. Sparks), Donald Faison (Scrubs), Chris Tucker (Actor/comedian), “Scooter” Christensen (Harlem Globetrotters), “Handles” Franklin (Harlem Globetrotters)
East: Dominique Wilkins (NBA legend), Rick Fox (L.A. Lakers legend), Terrell Owens (Dallas Cowboys receiver), James Denton (Desperate Housewives), Zach Levi (Chuck), Kara Lawson (Sacramento Monarchs) “Wildkat” Edgerson (Harlem Globetrotters), “Special K” Daley (Harlem Globetrotters)
The game was being reffed by ESPN’s Mike Breen, with Mark Jones and John Barry handling the play-by-play/color and Stu Scott on the sidelines. We spent some time talking to Magic, Fox, Rappaport, Faison and Breen before the game, which Ty Nowell’s working on cutting as we speak and will post later tonight.
In the meantime, a few thoughts on the action:
6:08 Rappaport, after spending the first couple of minutes doing nothing but talking smack to his opponents, teammates and the refs, somehow hit a deep jumper. It looked terrible coming out of his hands.
3:49 When the Suns dancers came out to perform Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” (Put A Ring On It), it was shocking to see Chris Tucker, Rappaport and Faison ignoring Magic Johnson chalk talk.
1:40 Terrell Owens told us he could dunk when we grabbed him after a Lakers game last month, and sure enough, he threw down an alley-oop from one of the Globetrotters off glass. By the way, for no good reason, there were four ‘Trotters in the house, all wearing their blue jerseys with white and red pants despite being split up between the teams. Confusing. The quarter ended in an 8-8 tie, (if it mattered).
7:15 Security yelled at the Raptors and Wizards mascots for trying to putt on Stu Scott’s mini golf hole. That was fun. Oops.
3:45 Several fans started screaming at Rick Fox when he attempted a free throw, marking the first time ever Fox has had female admirers.
2:03 Chris Tucker stepped on someone’s foot, which wouldn’t have mattered when he was making the Rush Hour movies, but wasn’t as cool now that he looks like a defensive lineman. Tuck’s coming strong these days.
0:00 Not going to lie, the second quarter was even more boring that the first in terms of actual basketball, concluding with the East holding a 24-20 lead. Wildkat took over the last few minutes to score five straight points, primarily with Rappaport hanging on his arm under the hoop. Tough call from Breen, but he didn’t hesitate.
5:59 Not messing around with his lineup, Dr. J went with his A-team featuring Fox, T.O., ‘Nique and his two Globetrotters. Magic didn’t look happy when T.O. stuck in an alley-oop from a Glober to put the East up eight.
What would the score need to be for Magic to pull off his dress shirt and take the floor? Instead, he stuck his Globes out there, quickly getting a three from Scooter to make it just a two-point game. I’m more interested in what kind of show could feature Denton, Rappaport, Faison, Tucker and Chuck? And who’s currently at the top of that list? Denton has the most popular show, Tucker must have the most money … Hmm.
3:12 Scott’s already talked to Jameer Nelson at his putting green, and is now chatting up first-time All Star Danny Granger, who’s fourth in the league in scoring. Granger’s keeping it simple with a plain white tee, simple jeans and a pair of navy Chucks. He, like Nelson, missed his putt as Mo Williams talked trash in the background.
1:20 Thunder Dan can still stroke it, cashing in on a three to put the West up for the first time in the quarter, 38-35. The former Suns star leads all scorers with 11 points, but I’d rather see him nail one of his patented sitting half court heaves.
5:09 Scooter came within two feet of running into my computer, before turning around to try and putt the basketball into the hole. It didn’t fit, however.
4:26 After dropping a triple on the previous possession, the really-not-bad-at-hoops TO hit consecutive shots to get to a game-high 17 points and give the East a 51-49 lead.
3:44 As a bunch of 60+ ladies dance to hip hop songs, including Nelly’s “Hot in Here,” I wonder where our favorite bandaged rapper is? Nelly never misses these…
0:57.0 With his Eastern squad trailing by three, Fox snared a rebound, pushed up the court and pulled up from just inside the three-point line. Making it a one-point game. So if you’re Magic, whose number do you call for a big bucket? I’m either getting Thunder Dan off a screen, or just giving the ball to Clyde for a clear out.
What actually happened was Faison taking an ill-advised 19-foot jumper quite early in the shot clock.
0:29.7 Another clutch play from Fox, who chased down a loose ball and threw it off Faison’s leg to get possession back for his down-one squad.
0:12.8 After ‘Nique hit a jumper to put the East up one, Magic looked on in disgust as Faison turned the ball over. Ouch. That’s tough to stomach. Also tough to stomach, for Jon Barry, was when a Globetrotter pretended to throw a bucket of water at the ref, which turned out to be confetti but still knocked Barry over on his back, suit and all. Solid stuff Harlem, that’s why you’re here.
Meanwhile, the other ‘Trotter hit two free throws for a three-point lead.
0:4.5 Thunder threw it to the wrong ‘Trotter. Knew that was going to happen. Game over.