Every year the NBA All-Star Weekend is like the Super Bowl for basketball. It is the marquee marketing event for the NBA. Parties, meetings, and speeches are held, and clients are wooed over the four days at Staples Center. Outside of having the world's greatest basketball players consolidated in one spot for a weekend, there might be no better way to impress than to increase the celebrity wattage of the event. The Celebrity Game, held this afternoon, is a mix of basketball icons and celebrities, and this year features Justin Bieber taking over Los Angeles...for the second time this season.
Bieber was in attendance at Staples Center on opening night of the NBA this season, when the Lakers defeated the Houston Rockets on the same night the team received its championship rings for winning the NBA title last season. Phil Jackson gave his ring to girlfriend Jeanie Buss to hold during the game, which is understandable given that the sheer weight of the bling would distract even the most focused Zen master. Bieber was speaking with Buss before the game, however, and somehow convinced her to let him wear Jackson's ring for part of the game. If Bieber can be half as successful tonight, he might be MVP of the celebrity game.
Bieber is one of several celebrities to take part in tonight's game. Jimmy Kimmel and Bill Simmons will serve as general managers for the two teams. Others taking part in the event are Bill Walton, A.C. Green, Scottie Pippen, and...Rob Kardashian. The full list of attendees can be found on NBA.com.
Tonight's celebrity game will be at the Jam Session Center Court at the LA Convention Center, and will be televised on ESPN at 4 p.m. PST.