What do Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Diddy, Ashton Kutcher, Eva Longoria, Queen Latifah, Gabrielle Union, Magic Johnson, Julius Erving, Bill Walton, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Jalen Rose, Bill Simmons, Mike Golic, Mike Greenberg, Jemele Hill, Michael Smith, Kevin Hart, Drake (and more) have in common? They have all coached the annual NBA All-Star Celebrity Game.
And next week, ESPN’s Rachel Nichols and Katie Nolan will join the club.
ESPN announced Wednesday that Nichols and Nolan will coach “Team Clippers” and “Team Lakers” on February 16. Their rosters will include former NBA players, current WNBA stars and celebrities such as Jamie Foxx and Common, with fellow ESPNers Paul Pierce and Tracy McGrady taking the court while also serving as assistant coaches. Here are the full rosters:
Oh, this is gonna be trouble (and so much fun!) I'm coaching one of the teams in the @NBAAllStar Celebrity Game, along with Tracy McGrady and @MichaelBJordan. I'm saying it now…anyone on my team who wants to complain about rotations, talk to the 6-foot-8 guy ? pic.twitter.com/vjpKtzVUMh
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) February 7, 2018
ESPN has often before used the Celebrity Game as a sort of showcase for select network personalities, from Hill and Smith in 2017 to Mike & Mike in 2015 to Rose and Simmons in 2014. In that vein, Nichols and Nolan make sense as this year’s coaches. Nichols hosts The Jump, which has quickly become ESPN’s most highly regarded NBA’s show, while Nolan arrived at the network late last year and recently launched her weekly podcast, Sports? while also appearing on ESPN’s new SportsCenter Snapchat show.
Mark Jones will call the Celebrity Game for ESPN, with Cassidy Hubbarth reprising her role as host and various analysts and celebrities joining the broadcast throughout the evening. For the first time, the event will feature a four-point line, to debut during the second half.