Today, the NBA announced the participants for the annual celebrity All-Star game, which takes place during the NBA’s All-Star weekend. Arcade Fire’s Win Butler will play for the third straight year; celebrities such as Anthony Mackie, Ansel Elgort, Nick Cannon, Andy Grammer, and more will also throw down. You can see the full lineup below.
ESPN to Exclusively Televise NBA All-Star Celebrity Game 2017; Rosters announced, Michael and Jemele to coach https://t.co/7u4cKhce9kpic.twitter.com/7WP8GmLTD5
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) February 9, 2017
Butler, surprisingly, is a pretty solid player: He’s tall, he hustles, and he’s got a well-rounded post game. Last year, he took home MVP honors after putting up a double-double, and was memorably shut down by ESPN personality Sage Steele when he tried to talk about the importance of universal health care during his acceptance speech.
However, the MVP performance doesn’t stick out much to me. What I do remember about Butler’s ASG efforts is a moment from the 2015 game, where he looked to inbound the ball after a made free throw. In one smooth motion, he took the ball, stepped out of bounds, and whipped an one-armed outlet pass… to absolutely nowhere.
You can also watch the Vine of it here. This is a perfect clip. The intent, the fluid motion, the absolute uselessness of his intentions: The ball landed in a dead zone, and was immediately picked up by another player. It’s really just an incredible summation of his strengths and weaknesses as a player. He’s the guy at your pickup game who cares a little more than his talent level allows—the type of guy who’d feel confident enough to throw an incredibly ambitious outlet pass, and be good enough to put some mustard on it, but not skilled enough to make sure it actually went anywhere.
To be clear, Butler could definitely annihilate me in a pickup game. I’d never feel good enough about my basketball ability to attempt something like this. But the point remains: I think about this Vine many times a year.
The celebrity game takes place February 17 on ESPN.