The NBA All-Star Celebrity Game is an annual exhibition basketball game held by the National Basketball Association that takes place during the NBA All-Star Weekend and features retired NBA players, WNBA players, actors, musicians and athletes from sports other than basketball.
The game was first held during the 2002–03 season as part of the NBA All-Star Weekend in Atlanta, Georgia. The NBA All-Star Celebrity Game is played on Friday in the same host city as the NBA All-Star Game. However, the game is not held in the same arena as all the other All-Star Saturday events. Instead, it is held on the NBA Jam Session's practice court.
The game is played with the standard NBA rules; however, there are several rule changes that are used in this game.
Games were played in four quarters of 8 minutes from 2003 to 2011; since 2012, the game was extended to 10 minutes a quarter.
From 2003 to 2012, the game clock does not stop while the play is not active except for timeouts, the final two minutes of the second and fourth quarters, or at the official's discretion. Since 2013, the clock stops during the final two minutes of every quarter except for timeouts, overtime and at the official's discretion.
Overtime periods are two minutes in length with a running clock.
There are no foul-outs in the game; however, players and/or coaches can be assessed technical fouls and can be ejected from the game.
There was no Most Valuable Player until 2005. From 2005 to 2010, the media members in attendance voted for the MVP. Since 2011, the fans in attendance and TV viewers now vote for the MVP through text messaging and social media.
The game did not use the shot clock rule put into place during the 2011-12 season in which the last five seconds of the shot clock were modified to include tenths of a second from 2012 to 2014; the rule was put in effect for the 2015 game.
Celebrities like Justin Timberlake and Jamie Foxx highlighted this NBA All-Star Celebrity game playing alongside WNBA players, NBA legends, and other celebrities. Former NBA players and current Inside the NBA analysts Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley were the opposing coaches. Kenny Smith and the Jets wound up winning in a tight-knit game 46-43.
Rapper Nelly, pop rock singer Ryan Cabrera, rapper/actor Ice Cube, and actor Danny Masterson were among some of the celebrities who participated. After playing the first half with the Nuggets, Entertainment Tonight correspondent Kevin Frazier played the second half with Team Denver. R&B Singer Brian McKnight scored the game winning basket as he threw in an off-balance shot that sailed in while getting the foul call with 9.9 seconds in the fourth quarter, and he was named the first ever MVP of the NBA All-Star Celebrity game.
The 2007 McDonald's NBA All-Star Celebrity Game Presented by 2K Sports was played on Friday, February 16, 2007 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Winchester, Nevada. Jamie Foxx was scheduled to play but did not play to perform at a concert later that night. Donald Faison started for the East but was traded to the West team in exchange for no one during the second quarter. During the third quarter New Orleans Saints running back and West player Reggie Bush slightly sprained his right ankle and did not play the rest of the game. However, Access Hollywood correspondent and fellow West teammate Tony Potts scored 14 points and eight rebounds for the West team as he helped the West beat the East 40-21 and was named the game's MVP. During the game, Jazz Bear, the mascot of the Utah Jazz, ESPN reporter Jim Gray, and former NBA player Jerome Williams played a few minutes in the game.
The NBA All-Star Celebrity Game was played on Friday, February 15, 2008 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. A total of 17 celebrities took part in the game. The game was marked by a surprise appearance by Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens in the middle of the second quarter, where he joined and played with the New Orleans team. Owens scored 18 points including a dunk. He was named MVP of the game after helping his team win 51-50. ESPN analyst Ric Bucher was the commissioner for the game.
Previous year's MVP, Terrell Owens scored a game-high 17 points and led the East Sunrisers to a 60–57 victory over the West Sunsetters. Owens, an American football star for Dallas Cowboys, was named as the Celebrity Game MVP for the second year in a row. The game was marked by a surprise appearance by another Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman in the middle of the game, where she joined and played with the East Sunrisers. ESPNplay-by-play commentatorMike Breen also made a surprise appearance as the referee for the game.
The game's MVP was chosen by voting through text messaging and social media. At the end of the game, Justin Bieber was announced the MVP. Bieber scored eight points (3-11 FG), and had two rebounds and four assists. NBA legend Chris Mullin said of Bieber, "He's got a nice little game... but more importantly, he's got great passion. It looked like he loves the game."
Arne Duncan scored 17 points, and grabbed eight rebounds for the East, but teammate Kevin Hart, who recorded 8 points and 6 assists, was named the game's MVP. Hart was also given two technical fouls and was ejected from the game with about a minute to go in the fourth quarter for protesting a call made against him. The East won the game 86-54. Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard coached for the East team and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant coached the West team.
Josh Hutcherson was the leading scorer of the East Team with 11 points which including three 3-pointers. Arne Duncan and Terrence Jenkins were the leading scorers of the West Team with 11 points; teammate Kevin Hart, however, who scored five points, three rebounds, and one assist, was named Celebrity Game MVP for the second successive year. Hart became the second player to win the Most Valuable Player award twice joining Terrell Owens, who won it in 2008 and 2009.
Arne Duncan led the way with a celebrity game record of 20 points, and added 11 rebounds, and six assists as the East team beat the West team 60-56. The West's Kevin Hart scored 7 points and 4 assists was once again voted MVP by the fans; however, due to his lackluster play he passed the award to Arne Duncan.
The 2015 Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game was played on Friday, February 13, 2015. It was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City, home of the New York Knicks. This was the first celebrity game played at an NBA arena in the event's history. The game was televised nationally by ESPN.
Although the West led by Atlanta Dream point guard Shoni Schimmel with 17 points beat the East 57-51, Kevin Hart of the East who scored 15 points and won the MVP award. This was Hart's fourth MVP award in a row, a record for the Celebrity Game. Hart would then announce his retirement from the annual celebrity game.
The game ended up being the second most lopsided game in Celebrity Game history to date. The East Team's 88 points were the most ever scored by one team, and their 29-point margin of victory was the second largest ever. Even though last year's MVP and the East Team player Win Bulter scored 22 points and 11 rebounds, his teammate Brandon Armstrong won the 2017 All-Star Celebrity Game MVP award with 16 points and 15 rebounds.