It’s NBA All Star Weekend! This year Los Angeles will host the leagues top players, coaches and of course, inflatable mascots. While the game itself is fairly entertaining, the Saturday night competitions generally provide the most memorable moments. Interrobang recently spoke with some of comedy’s rising stars/hoop fans to get their predictions for Saturday’s festivities in Hollywood.
Nick Reynoldson: Ontario’s own Nick Reynoldson is a sharp, smart and energetic young comic performing at Colleges and Universities across North America. He has a COCA Comedian of the year nomination and appearances in major festivals and tv including; Just For Laughs, Kevin Hart’s LOL Network, JFL42 New Faces, Winnipeg Comedy Festival, Winner of Absolute Comedy’s Prove You’re a Headliner Competition, and more. Follow Nick on Twitter and check out his Talking Raptors Podcast
Forrest Shaw: Forrest grew up in Miami raised by a single hippie mother as an only child. After leaving a career in marine biology, he dedicated himself to finding and mining humanity’s shortcomings as a species. He made his tv debut on Conan in 2014, appeared on Gotham Comedy Live, and was awarded Ultimate Miami Comedian. He was on FX’s Legit, writes for and has appeared on The Jim Jefferies Show and co-hosts The Jim Jefferies Podcast. Follow Forrest on Twitter and hear him on the Jim Jefferies Podcast.
Ben Miner: First and foremost, a stand up comic, when Ben is not performing at clubs you can hear him every day on SiriusXM’s Canada Laughs. He’s been with Laugh Attack since day 1 and has hosted a variety of shows such as Chomping @ The Bit, The Vinyl Cut and Comic Stripped . He’s toured coast to coast in every club you can think of and he’s even performed at the Montreal Just for Laughs comedy festival. Follow Ben on Twitter and listen to him on SiriusXM Canada Laughs.
Tim Golden: A Toronto-based comedian by way of Massachusetts. His blunt delivery and gifted writing have made him a favourite among audiences and comedians throughout North America. Golden was recognized as the Comic’s Comic at Toronto’s 2015 I Heart Joke Awards and he’s performed at clubs and colleges throughout Canada and the U.S. He’s appeared at the Boston Comedy Festival, NXNE, World Electronic Music Festival and is regularly featured on Sirius XM. Follow Tim on Twitter and check him out on Comedy Records.
Alex Pavone: A super-honest storyteller, Alex uses his Italian background and colourful acquaintances to weave a laugh-filled web of comic excitement. Born and raised in Woodbridge, Ontario, Pavone has been making crowds laugh since 2007. He has performed at the Montreal Just For Laughs festival and has toured at clubs and colleges all over North America. Follow Alex on Twitter and listen to the Suite Buddies Podcast.
Aaron Hodges: Aaron worked at SiriusXM for a decade, programming comedy channels and hosting/producing talk shows, before founding You Lucky Dog Productions, a company that supports comedians by working with them to produce, promote and distribute comedy albums. Follow Aaron on Twitter and check out Lucky Dog Productions
James Mattern: James is a Nationally Headlining Comic and Radio personality, who has become one of the most beloved Emcee’s in NYC. He’s been on Fox Sports One’s “Garbage Time with Katie Nolan”, The WWE Network’s “The List”, MSG Networks “The Bracket”, and “”The Artie Lange Show.” As the former audience warm up for Fox Sports One’s “Crowd Goes Wild”, and worked with Regis Philbin. Follow James on Twitter and see him on MSG Networks
Nick Reynoldson: I love the Skills Challenge but I’d legit watch some players just practice. The big vs small players is added excitement because some of the big dudes get busy. I’m picking Jamal Murray because he’s from Kitchener, Ontario. I am not betting against a guy that was supposed to play hockey but somehow became an awesome basketball player despite it all.
Forrest Shaw: The Skills Competition is lame. The fact that big men have won it the last two years just shows you how little the players give a shit about it. You’re telling me Porzingis is a better ball handler and passer than Steph Curry? The players and fans equally don’t care. There’s more enthusiasm and excitement at a child’s funeral. But I’ll pick Buddy Hield. Not sure if he is going to win but I’m rooting for him because the Sacramento Kings would finally have a banner they could hang in the rafters of their arena. Also, it would be the closest thing the Bahamas would have to winning their first ever winter Olympics medal.
Ben Miner: The Skills Competition is alright but adding a component where something is on fire would be cool. Someone from Team Steph will win this year.
Tim Golden: The Skills Competition is great, and it has endured the most. Nobody suffered more during the oppressive eight-year regime of Degree’s Shooting Stars, which stank despite its sponsor. SC has been able to let its wings grow and the big v. small dynamic is the logical next step. Letting bygones be bygones, maybe next year Team Bosh can serve as honorary pylons for the dribble and pass section. This has become a big man contest, and I pride myself daily on predicting Lauri Markkanen would be a top rookie during the preseason. So I’m going with the gender neutral contestant, Lauri. If not, Buddy Hield, the pride of Mayberry, is gonna win it for Aunt Bee.
Hannah Lawrence: I’ve never been a huge fan of the Skills Competition and I think it’s because it looks too easy. I want a real skills competition, one where the players have to compete blindfolded or while being chased by bears. I’m going with Buddy Hield this year. He’s speedy and can shoot. Although I would love to see Joel Embiid win, he’s hilarious.
Alex Pavone: The Skills Competition is my least favourite of the events, but I love basketball so much I’ll watch it. I forget all the things they have to do, but its pretty cool and I like the big guys competing against the small guys, shows how skilled these guys are. Joel Embiid should win.
Aaron Hodges: I’m a fan of the Skills Competition. No professional league has as much fun with their showcase as the NBA does. I don’t really care about the format as long as the players are fun. Spencer Dinwiddie is going to win because he has a sweet fro like a young Kobe but none of the rapey stuff.
James Mattern: I can’t watch the Skills Competition. Too much to process that weekend. The 3 and Dunk Contests are enough. The Skills Challenge is like filling up on Bread before the steak and lobster comes out. I need to save room for the expensive meal I’ve been saving up for all season. I want Al Horford but Embiid will want to win it and will probably make it special. He’ll probably dress up like a 90’s wrestler or a Deadpool villain. He’ll live tweet while in the competition. Probably troll Russ while dribbling. Bless his heart. He’s the prince that was promised.
Nick Reynoldson: Kyle Lowry. I am irrationally saying Kyle Lowry because no one ever talks about the Raptors and they need to be talked about.
Forrest Shaw: It’s so wide open it’s tough to pick someone, but I can say definitively that a player that is black but has a white name will win it. Wayne, Tobias, Paul, Eric, Kyle, Devin, Klay, or Bradley
Tim Golden: Bradley Beal simply because in the official poster for the 3-pt contest, his head looks straight outta NBA Jam, disproportionate cranium and jutting jaw. Also, I think BB would trade the playoffs for any individual accolade. Washington is going to turn into a scrap yard in the off-season, but I digress.
Hannah Lawrence: I choosing Paul George to win this year. Strictly because I have a crush on him.
Alex Pavone: I love the 3. Steph Curry is the best ever. You have to press him soon as he crosses half, it’s incredible. I think Larry Bird is the greatest to take part in the competition, he was so competitive and always talking trash. This year it’s gonna be Devin Booker.
Aaron Hodges: Kyle Lowry. He hasn’t performed well in the past but now that his teammate DeRozan is hitting 3’s, he’s gonna feel some pressure to deliver the goods for Toronto. I would expect him to have his balls busted relentlessly if he fails.
James Mattern: I like Tobias Harris to win. Why? Because I’m sure know one else will pick him. If he loses so what? He had no chance. If he wins I look like a Gottdamn guru. Like a soothsayer. So this is win-win for me baybeeee (cue Jamaican air horns!!!)!!!
Nick Reynoldson: I was done with props when Blake Griffin robbed DeMar DeRozan of the title in 2011. Blake didn’t jump over a car, he jumped over the hood of a car. I have seen at least three regular ass people do that running from police. Not impressed. Dennis Smith Jr will win this year. It always looks cooler when a little dude dunks.
Forrest Shaw: I don’t care about props either way but I will say that if one of the players somehow could incorporate Carrot Top into a dunk that would be an automatic ‘10’. Larry Nance Jr. is my pick for this year. He dunked on Durant HARD this season and no amount of ‘I don’t give a shit what other people think about me smuggy face but I really do care because I created a fake Twitter account to talk shit to those people’ by Durant will ever change that.
Ben Miner: I’m a fan of stars in the dunk contest, I couldn’t care less about whatever props these guys use. Absolutely no one will win, what a bunch of jobbers. The dunk contest hasn’t been good since the Carter years. Now stars don’t compete and it’s super lame. If it was Lebron vs Giannis vs Durant vs Harden I’d be all in. But it isn’t and it’s the worst.
Tim Golden: Never a fan of props, although Aaron Gordon overcame the detriment with that insane dunk using Stuff the Mascot. The worst is any time they can’t complete the dunk, but Nate Robinson’s dunk over Dwight Howard with the green ball was so weak. He just climbs his back. BTW Failed Dunk Contest attempts is a great Youtube search. Considering this lineup of Dunkers, I like Nique as a late entry. I know they ended the Old Timers game because of all the injuries, but why not an open invite for all former winners in the Dunk Contest? Kenny “Sky” Walker’s dance card is completely empty. I’m going with Dennis Smith Jr. for this year. He has had some nasty in game dunks, and this is the weakest lineup in memory.
Hannah Lawrence: Using a prop in a dunk competition is like using a prop in comedy – it better pay off or you’re going to look like a hack with your hand up a puppet’s ass. That being said, my favorite dunk of all time was Aaron Gordon’s jump over Stuff the Magic Dragon, before bringing the ball under both of his legs and slamming it home. I’ll never forgive Blake Griffin for that pathetic dunk over a Kia in 2011 though. I could jump over a Kia. At least pick a cooler car next time, Blake. I’m picking Larry Nance Jr. His dad won the competition, so I bet he’ll have lots of tips to offer his son.
Alex Pavone: Yes, love the props. Dwight Howard with the cape and Gerald Green with the cup cake. Dennis Smith Jr is gonna win this year.
Aaron Hodges: Generally not a fan of props but sometimes it can be fun. Blake Griffin ruined it with the Kia jump and Aaron Gordon’s drone dunk was nauseating. A fun example would be when Gerald Green blew out a candle on top of a cupcake that was resting on the back of the rim. Pretty weak lineup this year but if I have to pick one, Victor Oladipo
James Mattern: I love props. Ever since Dee Brown pretended to be blind folded I’ve been hooked. They haven’t gone far enough. If they don’t pull out a flaming hoop and jump through it this year I’m never watching again!!!!! Nance Jr. should win this year. And he should do all the dunks his dad did. Dunk for dunk B!!!
The NBA All Star Weekend kicks off tonight with the Rising Stars game at 9PM on TNT