This afternoon, the National Basketball Association announced the lineup for its 11th annual All-Star Celebrity Game, and it includes a team-up between Philly comedian Kevin Hart and Taney Dragons star pitcher Mo’ne Davis. Here’s the full roster:
Three-time MVP and comedic superstar KevinHart will take the court at Madison Square Garden for the Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game 2015. Hart will be joined by film star AnselElgort; AnthonyAnderson (ABC’s Blackish); Common (Selma); Little League phenom Mo’neDavis; Arcade Fire’s WinButler; actor ChadwickBoseman (42); America’s Got Talent host NickCannon; former NBA All-Star and New York Knicks Assistant General Manager AllanHouston; Basketball Hall of Famer ChrisMullin; gold medal-winning U.S. Paralympic athlete BlakeLeeper; actor MichaelRapaport; Memphis Grizzlies owner RobertPera; NBA TV’s NBA Inside Stuff presented by Samsung Galaxy co-host KristenLedlow; Bollywood star AbhishekBachchan; and WNBA stars ShoniSchimmel of the Atlanta Dream, SkylarDiggins of the Tulsa Shock and TinaCharles of the New York Liberty.
The game airs live on ESPN on Friday, February 13th, at 7 p.m. According to nba.com, “fans can also view the game on WatchESPN, available on your computer, smart phone, tablet, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Apple TV and Roku.” More info can be found here.
Deflate-Gate has turned out to be a brilliant tactical development for the New England Patriots, who I predict will win this year’s Super Bowl.
The Pats have evolved this week from a pack of blatant cheating weasels to the unfairly persecuted, a dramatic transition last seen in Godfather II. In front of a special Senate Committee, Michael Corleone denied he was remotely involved in organized crime, and urged the committee to absolve him of guilt with the same enthusiasm with which they accused him. Meanwhile, Tom Hagen was screaming, “This committee owes an apology Senator!”
Patriots owner Robert Kraft pulled a similar trick out of his hat a few days ago when he lectured the press and the public about accusing his organization of cheating. Kraft was crafty in his wording, but only an idiot couldn’t see through it. He said “if” the NFL’s investigation turned up no evidence of wrongdoing, he hoped that everybody was prepared to beg the Patriots for forgiveness. Or something like that. He didn’t say “when” the NFL finds no evidence of wrongdoing. He was spitting into the wind. Just like Michael Corleone.
But here’s the thing. Corleone was a gangster. And the Patriots did cheat. And no smoke-and-mirrors, fancypants dialogue can wriggle human beings from hard, cold reality.
So, have you noticed that in the past week or so, there’s been a whole lot of talkaboutballs? (Well, a few people might have been talking snow bombs.) Everywhere you turn, some man is bringing up balls. The Atlantic wants to tell you how the New England Patriots treat their balls. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady doesn’t want anybody rubbing his balls. Patriots coach Bill Belichick says he’s handled dozens of balls. That’s too much information, man! Read more »
Wrestling superstar Hulk Hogan tears it off. Photo by Chris Carlson/Associated Press
My Uncle Dave first introduced pro wrestling to me as this funny Saturday-morning TV show. Twenty years later, I’m a huge fan. But most people love to hate on wrestling. They think that fans — like me — are stupid, that we somehow don’t realize the whole thing is fake. Believe me, the fans are in on the con. We know the outcomes are predetermined. We’re in it solely for the entertainment.
And what entertainment there is. Soap-opera story lines are combined with incredible feats of sequined athleticism, with some pyrotechnics thrown in for good measure. “You can’t look away,” says Bryce Remsburg, a referee with Chikara, a wrestling promotion company based in Philadelphia. “It’s better than a superhero. I would rather seen Macho Man and the Ultimate Warrior than Batman and Superman.”
When the Sixers traded for Andrei Kirilenko earlier this season, it was expected that the veteran forward wouldn’t be in Philadelphia long — that, given the Sixers’ tanking ways penchant for departing with talented veterans, “AK-47″ would end up on another team. And soon.
“The 76ers have suspended forward Andrei Kirilenko for not reporting to the team after his trade from the Brooklyn Nets last month,” the Associated Press reports. “Coach Brett Brown confirmed the suspension during a shootaround before Friday night’s game in Brooklyn. He says he had been looking forward to coaching Kirilenko.” Read more »
In case you haven’t noticed, Philadelphia has a sports team ownership problem.
It took last week’s Eagles front office fiasco to get me thinking about this. And the Eagles are the one viable team in this town right now.
Jeffrey Lurie has now owned the Eagles for 20 years. Not only is there no championship of which to speak, but now I’m very leery of the direction this owner provides towards that end. When confronted with in-house bickering of his lieutenants, Lurie caved like a pre-fab house in a stiff wind. His anointing of Chip Kelly as the main architect of the franchise and demotion of Howie Roseman from general manager to vice president of shoulder pads, or some such thing, was not exactly generalship. It was a panic move from a weak leader. Read more »
It was not a good year for Philadelphia sports. The Eagles lost a playoff game a few days into the new year, and the only other Philadelphia team to make the playoffs was the Flyers — who lost in the first round. This fall’s Eagles started 9-3 and missed the playoffs, the Sixers gutted their roster intentionally in order to be bad and the Union missed a wide open net in the final minutes and lost in extra time of the U.S. Open Cup. And the Wings moved and became the New England Black Wolves! Ugh.
But it was a good year for sports GIFs. One was Twitter’s introduction of inline GIFs in tweets. Never before was it so easy (for me, at least) to share stupid little sports moments with the world instantly. It became so easy to share GIFs one of mine was retweeted an obscene amount of times.
The Buccaneers’ Danny Lansanah preventing the Steelers Le’Veon Bell from making a first down gesture was undoubtedly the sports GIF of the year. But there’s no way to connect this to Philadelphia — Lansanah went to Harrisburg, which as close as I can get it — so it will have to remain outside the scope of this column.
Despite the bad year for Philadelphia sports, there was no shortage of great sports GIFs. If this sounds familiar, it’s pretty much the same spiel I did in 2012, when I last did this feature. It has not been a great few years for Philly sports. But the GIFs this year were, perhaps, better than ever. Presenting the best ones I made in 2014.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver watches the game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center. Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea, USA TODAY Sports
New Jersey has been battling major sports leagues over its right to allow sports betting, but Monday brought a twist to the matter: NBA commissioner Adam Silver publicly asked New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to partner up to make sports betting legal in much of the United States. Read more »
Hey fat assed Christie, kiss Jerry Jones’ ass in his box in Dallas. Not across the river from Philly! You are just a creep! — CouncilmanJimKenney (@JimFKenney) December 15, 2014
Admittedly, part of me likes that a Philly politician would not only publish those tweets but defend them. Councilman Kenney – who has a history of Twitter tantrums – didn’t take them down, explaining, “I have a big nose and he has a fat ass. Just as life deals you.”
But, as much as I enjoy Philadelphia’s unique brand of feisty real-talk, I can’t help but think the same thing I think every time someone attacks Christie for his weight: Kenney sounds like an idiot, and he probably needs a hug.