NBA All-Star Game: Kevin Hart’s Bizarre Player Intros and 8 More Things You Didn’t See on TV

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The NBA All-Star game is the ultimate melding of sports and entertainment, so what better place to have it than in Los Angeles?
As the average height of people walking around downtown Los Angeles increased by about five inches, the NBA changed its format from East vs. West to the two most dominant players in the league drafting their own teams. And so we got Team LeBron vs. Team Steph going head-to-head at the Staples Center Sunday night.
While the game aired live in TNT, there was plenty of action over the weekend that wasn’t caught on the cameras (not official ones at least). Luckily TheWrap battled the crowds and the endless barricades to give you a behind-the-scenes look at NBA All-Star weekend.
Here are what you didn’t see on TV
1. Kevin Hart’s bizarre player introductions
After a drunken Super Bowl weekend that included crashing the Philadelphia Eagles party, Kevin Hart had NBA fans scratching their heads Sunday night with his strange player introductions.
The comedian’s intros seemed to take a lifetime as he threw in not-funny one-liners about each star. Fans in the stadium seemed perplexed — and impatient to start the game — while the Twitterverse really hated it!

People’s reaction to Kevin Hart in 2010 vs 2018
– Bro Bro (@tinashesofine) February 19, 2018

Kevin Hart has forfeited the privilege of being brought on board inside carry on luggage…
– Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) February 19, 2018
2. Fergie’s national anthem fail
While everyone in the stadium took their feet for both the Canadian and U.S. national anthems, Fergie’s performance of the latter fell flat and left many rolling their eyes.
The Black Eyed Peas singer failed to inspire the audience to feel patriotic, as many swift social media users — including ESPN’s Darren Rovell — captured unimpressed looks on the players’ faces.

Players faces during Fergie’s rendition of the National Anthem…
– Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 19, 2018
Leslie Jones even offered to step in next time.

Meanwhile back in the states… I leave for a couple of days and y’all lose your muthaf-cking mind!! Why did this happen? Not everyone supposed to do this y’all! You might as well should have ask me to sing. Wtf?!
– Leslie Jones ???? (@Lesdoggg) February 19, 2018
3. Riggle and Hart serve up a lukewarm warm-up
Before the flat intros, Hart and Rob Riggle did an awkward skit to kick off the show. Playing honorary coach, Riggle described Hart as “slow and short” when he said he wanted to play in the All-Star game. It then progressed to Hart pretending to have starred in famous movies such as “Lion King” and “Rocky.”
The crowd seemed lost in many ways … and not just because they were looking for their seats before tip-off. Oh, and Jamie Foxx relived his “Django Unchained” with a Wild West-themed performance …

4. Queen Latifah adds some heat
Luckily, Queen Latifah was on hand to get things back on track. Her opening performance got plenty of screams — and not just because it showed video of shirtless LeBron and other players working out.
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5. That was Anthony Davis again …
NBA All-Star games aren’t known for their strong defensive performances. However, that didn’t stop a number of fouls being called in the opening minutes of play — and some additional confustion. The in-house commentator kept getting players mixed up when it came to fouls. First he said it was LeBron James — nope, it was Anthony Davis. And when he said it was Kyrie Irving the next time, of course it was Anthony Davis again.
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6. From flipping houses to bouncing in balls
“Property Brothers” stars Drew and Jonathan Scott took time off from the TV real estate business to hang at the All-Star game. After Drew played in the Celebrity Game on Friday, both siblings provided entertainment during a TV timeout by rolling around in giant inflatable hamster balls as they bashed into each other. We’re not sure which identical twin was victorious, but it was the crowd who were the real winners.

Here’s what you’re missing during commercials at #NBAAllStar
Property Brothers fighting in giant fishbowls
– Phil Murphy (@Phil_Sports) February 19, 2018
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7. Hollywood hits the hardwoodCourtside at Lakers games used to be the place to spot stars — and Sunday night the Staples Centrer returned to that heyday. Spotted in the crowd and on the Jumbotron were Dave Chappelle, Anthony Anderson, Tracy Morgan, Diddy, Snoop Dogg, Andy Garcia, Ludacris and Jack Nicholson. And that’s not even getting us started on who was tucked away in the stadium’s many private VIP suites.
8. Shaq and Sir Charles live and in person
“Inside the NBA” viewers are used to seeing analysts Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal debate the hottest NBA action on TV, but on Sunday the talent were live in person as their set was specially constructed in L.A. Live across the street from Staples Center.
Fans got to see Shaq and Sir Charles in all their seven-foot glory as they headed to the stadium for the game.

9. Walk, walk, walk, walk, walk
With thousands of fans flooding to downtown not just for the game but for all the events surrounding it from fan fests to Jack Daniels promotions, getting around L.A. Live involved a LOT of crowd-tackling. That wasn’t made any easier by the explosion of barricades and temporary fences.
Even Lakers and Clippers season tickets holders got confused as their usual routes around the stadium were blocked (this reporter racked up an average of 20,000 steps on her FitBit each day!)

NBA All-Star weekend is always a splashy affair but when it’s located in Los Angeles, it attracts a slew of entertainment and sports A-listers who didn’t have to travel far to party with pro basketball’s finest. Click through for the scoop on this year’s hottest parties and coolest appearances (photos are in chronological order).

The biggest man in basketball (in every way), Shaquille O’Neal proved he is the real king of the NBA when he took to the throne at the American Express Experience on Thursday.
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AMEX’s intimate pop-up just outside of L.A. Live offered guests a multi-sensory journey of basketball through interactive rooms and instillations such as the Lakers Vault, a room of 18 handmade Chandelier Hoops and a walkway of Exploded Floorboards.
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The LED-lighted Neon Backboards created a surreal — and very cool — look at a pro basketball court ahead of Sunday’s All-Star Game.
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The AMEX Experience delivered up twice as much of Maria Menonous as the SiriusXM host and “AMEX Ambassador” made fun Insta stories from the interactive displays.

All-Star weekend isn’t all about parties. The NBA also took advantage of having its most influential players in one place to give back to the community by having Kyrie Irving, Draymond Green and Swin Cash visit kids and their families at Children’s Hospital L.A.

What’s better than having Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving read you “Star Wars” stories? Nothing.

Veteran hop-hop genius DJ Whoo Kid (doing his signature salutes) took over the decks at the Let It Fly party Thursday night, as he spun in the middle of a pumping VIP room surrounded by towering NBA stars.
Let It Fly

The man of the night, Andre Drummond, hung out with Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell at the “Let It Fly” event to raise money and awareness for the Precious Dreams Foundation on Thursday night, which was co-hosted by Johnny Stephene (a.k.a. Dribble2Much).
Let It Fly

Former L.A. Laker Carlos Boozer caught up with another ex-NBA player and undisputedly the best-dressed person at the Let It Fly party — thanks to his pink satin jacket — Jack McClinton. 
Let It Fly

Who wouldn’t want to sleep with — we mean ON — Steph Curry? Let It Fly party sponsors Active Dreamers make that dream come true with their line of bedding featuring top NBA stars. Before you call bias, they had a LeBron James bed at the party too!
Let It Fly

“Property Brothers” siblings Jonathan Scott and Drew Scott hammed it up for the cameras at the Celebrity Game Friday. While Jonathan wasn’t playing this year, Drew made up for it by scoring a spot on the winning Clippers team under Katie Nolan.

ESPN’s Jemele Hill kicked off All-Star week in Hollywood on Thursday night at the “UNINTERRUPTED” party at Avenue Los Angeles, which was presented by Remy Martin.
Banfy Photos / Avenue LA

The theme of giving back continued when Kendrick Lamar performed Friday night for the NBA on TNT American Express Road Show stage at L.A. LIVE’s Microsoft Square. The gig was exclusively for AMEX Card Members, and ticket proceeds will be donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles.

Lamar put on quite the show, singing his hits including “Humble,” “Swimming Pools,” “Love,” “M.A.A.D. City” and “Money Trees.” Easy to spot in the crowd in the VIP section was TNT analyst “Sir Charles” Barkley — who was an NBA All-Star a whopping 11 times during his career.

While “Black Panther” was blowing up the box office this weekend, Chadwick Boseman was blowing up the NBA party scene. Marvel’s latest breakout star actor was the man everyone wanted to see at GQ’s effortlessly-stylish party at the NoMad Hotel in downtown L.A.

Before she took to the stage to perform, rapper and singer Cardi B looked slick in black leather at the GQ party.

Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love was dressed fit for a cover of GQ, not just the party, as he arrived with model Kate Bock.

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The “Black Panther” star was a hit at the GQ party, as sports and Hollywood collide before LeBron and Steph take to the court

NBA All-Star weekend is always a splashy affair but when it’s located in Los Angeles, it attracts a slew of entertainment and sports A-listers who didn’t have to travel far to party with pro basketball’s finest. Click through for the scoop on this year’s hottest parties and coolest appearances (photos are in chronological order).

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