NBA All-Star Friday Night: Micah Parsons named MVP of Celebrity Game

courtesy of the NBA

INDIANAPOLIS –Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons attacked Team Stephen A like an opposing quarterback Friday in leading Team Shannon to a 100-91 win in the 2024 Ruffles NBA All-Star Celebrity Game.

Playing atop 25 million LEDs lighting an innovative court, Parsons torched Team Stephen A for 37 points and 16 rebounds on the way to winning MVP.

The three-time Pro Bowl linebacker predicted at intermission he’d score 40.

With the game tied 78-78 with 4:53 left, Team Shannon scored back-to-back 4-point possessions from Los Angeles Rams receiver Puka Nacua (16 points) and actor Dylan Wang to take a 12-point lead.

From there, NFL stars Parsons and Nacua closed it out for Team Shannon.

Parsons seized MVP with monstrous dunks, aggressive downhill drives, and an array of moves, not to mention brute strength and aggression.

Nacua sprinkled in highlight dunks against an overmatched Team Stephen A, whose squad was led by Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud, content creator Tristan Jass and Olympic high jump gold medalist Gianmarco Tamberi, who was playing in the game for the second time in two years.

Instead of battling on the debate stage of ESPN’s “First Take,” the network’s personalities Stephen A. Smith and NFL Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe took it to the hardwood as coaches for their teams. Rapper 50 Cent served as an assistant for Sharpe, while Smith’s staff featured rapper Lil Wayne and Las Vegas Aces star A’ja Wilson.

Played at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, this game featured a cross-section of celebrities from the worlds of entertainment and sports.

Kansas City receiver Mecole Hardman Jr. also represented the NFL in this contest.

Jennifer Hudson – the youngest female EGOT winner – headed up the entertainers, which included Grammy-nominated artists AJ McLean, Walker Hayes, SiR, and actor Quincy Isaiah, who portrayed Magic Johnson in the HBO series “Winning Time.”

WNBA stars Jewell Loyd and Natasha Cloud also participated.

— Michael C. Wright

ESPN Broadcast Team

ESPN’s Cassidy Hubbarth returned to serve as host for the broadcast, including for the M.V.P. trophy presentation. Hubbarth conducted special interviews with players, coaches, celebrities and other event attendees. Ryan Ruocco provided play-by-play commentary for the game alongside returning analysts Richard Jefferson and Monica McNutt with a special guest appearance from Pat McAfee.

Player rosters for the Ruffles® NBA All-Star Celebrity Game included: youngest female EGOT winner Jennifer Hudson, NBA Champion Metta World Peace, NFL superstars Micah Parsons and CJ Stroud, IndyCar Series racer Conor Daly, Grammy Award-nominated recording artists AJ McLean, Walker Hayes and SiR, Grammy Award-nominated musician Adam Blackstone, Emmy Award-winning entertainer Lilly Singh, actors Dylan Wang and Quincy Isaiah, streamer Kai Cenat, content creator Tristan Jass, basketball entertainer Jack Ryan and James Beard Award-winning chef Kwame Onwuachi.

Olympic High Jump Champion Gianmarco Tamberi and Latin American Music Award-winning recording artist Anuel AA returned for their second Celebrity Game. Each team featured a WNBA star, with two-time WNBA champion and five-time Seattle Storm All-Star Jewell Loyd and WNBA Champion and Phoenix Mercury guard Natasha Cloud on opposing rosters.

ESPN NBA Analyst and First Take star Stephen A. Smith coached against First Take co-star and Pro Football Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe. In addition, Grammy Award-winning recording artist Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson also served as coach for Team Shannon. They took on two-time WNBA Champion and two-time WNBA M.V.P. A’ja Wilsonand five-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist and global icon Lil Wayne, who coached for Team Stephen A.

New LED Court
New this year, the game featured an all-new, innovative LED court, which carried an endless amount of animation capabilities throughout the game such as a dynamic three-point line, court graphics and much more. Additionally, the game included the return of fan-favorites Ruffles® 4-Point Ridgeline and Ruffles® Crunch Time and the debut of the Ruffles® Flamin’ Hot Challenge, a one-minute, relay-style shooting contest.

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