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T.O. pulls in another MVP trophy in wild celebrity game

By Rob Peterson, NBA.com
Posted Feb 14 2009 6:03PM

PHOENIX -- In his day job, Terrell Owens plays wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys. When he moonlights as a celebrity basketball player, he's pretty good at receiving, too. Things like alley oops. And MVP trophies.

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Watch highlights of the McDonald's Celebrity Game, courtesy of Cisco.
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Thanks to a game-high 17 points (but only one assist -- he's a receiver, not a passer, you know), Owens nabbed the Most Valuable Player trophy by leading the East Sunrisers to a 60-57 win over West Sunsetters at the McDonald's All-Star Celebrity Game at Jam Session on Friday.

Unlike last year, when Owens arrived sometime after the opening tipoff, he was in Julius Erving's starting lineup in a game that included four Harlem Globetrotters, a mid-game addition of ESPN analyst and Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman and a surprise referee in ESPN play-by-play man Mike Breen. He reffed the whole game.

"They need someone to make fun of," Breen said before the game.

Breen, who had done some refereeing before his broadcasting career, more than held his own for the 32-minute game. The only negative came in the first half when, right in front of Breen, Globetrotter and University of Arizona grad "Wildkat" Edgerson absolutely crushed Sparks center Lisa Leslie on the break, sending the four-time gold medalist into the second row.

In an act of rough justice, Breen swallowed his whistle, which drew an incredulous look from Leslie's coach, Hall of Famer Magic Johnson.

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Check out some of the best pics from the McDonald's All-Star Celebrity Game. View Gallery

Also, if anyone wanted to raise the issue of fairness about Lieberman's mid-game appearance and the East team having one extra player on the bench, it didn't come. After all, actor Michael Rapaport of the Sunsetters was allowed to accumulate eight personal fouls, which -- if anyone kept track of such a thing -- had to be a celeb game record for hackery.

Thanks to the addition of the four Globetrotters, the game itself was not only competitive but entertaining. "It was a pleasure playing with all the celebrities," said "Handles" Franklin, the Globetrotter's 21st Century version of Curly Neal. "They have a lot of charisma and a lot of game."

No Globetrotter was more entertaining than "Special K" Daley, who has taken on the role that Meadowlark Lemon used to play of entertainer extraordinaire. At the end of warmups at halftime, Daley hit a halfcourt hook shot. Then, later in the second half, with the help of Magic, Daley switched balls after he was fouled. He stepped to the line, wound up and let the ball fly ... only to have it snap back.

Ah, the old ball on a string trick. And after being called for a foul by Breen late in the fourth quarter, Daley grabbed a bucket sitting courtside.

"Oh, I got something for you," Daley bellowed as he chased Breen toward the ESPN broadcast table. As he reached the ESPN position, Breen veered right as Daley let the contents of the bucket fly. Analyst Jon Barry, thinking he was going to get a face full of water, literally fell off his chair and knocked over the ESPN background screen, not doused with water, but confetti.

"I know he ain't scared of a little bit of water," Daley said, laughing, as he returned the bucket to the sideline.

Then again, Daley reminded everyone he wasn't just a guy with props as he threw down a thunderous dunk that drew "Ohs!" from the packed house.

As the clock ran down, the game became competitive. Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins, who finished with eight points and nine rebounds, gave the Sunrisers a lead they'd never relinquish with a nice floater.

In the end, it was Owens' game as he threw down two alley-oops and scored eight of his 17 points in the final quarter. Phoenix's own Dan Majerle, who had 13 points on 3-of-4 shooting from 3-point range, was thrilled to have the opportunity to play.

"It's fun to see Magic there on the sideline watching us play," Majerle said. "That's why I came out here. To play basketball and get pictures with Magic and Dr. J and Dominique and the actors. It was something to cherish."

2009 Celebrity Game Participants

Clyde Drexler (NBA legend)
Dominique Wilkins (NBA legend)
Chris Tucker (Actor/comedian)
James Denton (Desperate Housewives)
Donald Faison (Scrubs)
Terrell Owens (Dallas Cowboys receiver)
Zach Levi (Chuck)
Michael Rapaport (Prison Break)
Dan Majerle (Phoenix Suns legend)
Rick Fox (L.A. Lakers legend)
Lisa Leslie (L.A. Sparks)
Kara Lawson (Sacramento Monarchs)
"Wildkat" Edgerson (Harlem Globetrotters)
"Special K" Daley (Harlem Globetrotters)
"Scooter" Christensen (Harlem Globetrotters)
"Handles" Franklin (Harlem Globetrotters)

Coaches:
Magic Johnson, Julius Erving

History

An NFL star and a hip-hop standout were the driving force behind the win at the 2008 McDonald's NBA All-Star Celebrity Game.

Terrell Owens, star wideout for the Dallas Cowboys, and Master P, a hip-hop impresario, combined for 35 points as New Orleans managed a 51-50 win over the Hornets. Owens scored 18 points -- including a slam dunk -- and received MVP honors while Master P chipped in with 17 points, including a pair of go-ahead free throws with 19 seconds left.

The Hornets led most of the way and were paced by two-time Super Bowl champion Deion Sanders, who had 14 points and 13 rebounds. World welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather also scored 14 points. Chris Tucker, the star of "Rush Hour 3," made the game's only three 3-pointers and added 11 points.

2008 McDonald's NBA All-Star Celebrity Game
Terrell Owens and Deion Sanders showed off their hoop skills in the 2008 celebrity game.
Play 1:04

On the final possession, Sanders, 2008 Grammy winner Common and Tucker missed potential game-winning shots.

The Hornets held a 28-23 halftime lead despite little contribution from "Access Hollywood" co-host Tony Potts, the MVP of last year's game in Las Vegas. They got the jump behind Mayweather, who scored nine first-half points, including a three-point play off a backcourt steal. Mayweather got some help from Sanders, who had six points and seven boards before refusing a halftime trade to New Orleans for "The Wire" actor Seth Gilliam.

New Orleans trailed by double digits before receiving a boost from Owens, a late arrival who wasted no time getting into the flow. He put up seven quick points, matching Master P -- a former Toronto Raptors training camp invitee -- for team scoring honors in the first half.

For the fourth straight year, the game was televised by ESPN. Actresses Gabrielle Union (New Orleans) and Alyssa Milano (Hornets) served as coaches and ESPN analysts Stephen A. Smith (New Orleans) and Bill Walton (Hornets) were general managers. At halftime, the sellout crowd at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center was treated to a performance by hip hop star Lupe Fiasco during halftime.

Stars Dazzle Fans

You've heard the expression "Don't quit your day job," right?

As nearly two dozen celebrities gathered for the McDonald's NBA All-Star Celebrity Game from NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on the north bank of the Mississippi River, there were plenty of highlights and a few not-as-high lights to go around.

In what can only be described as a geographical paradox, Team New Orleans knocked off The Hornets, 51-50, and with so many actors, musicians and performers on the court at one time, this game had its fair share of drama. Read more

2008 Celebrity Game Rosters

NEW ORLEANS TEAM

Ne-Yo (2008 Grammy for Best Contemporary Album)
Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights)
Taylor Hicks (2006 American Idol Winner)
Seth Gilliam (The Wire)
James Lafferty (One Tree Hill)
Master P (Hip-hop Artist)
Ruth Riley (WNBA All-Star, San Antonio Silver Stars)
AJ Calloway (Extra)
Coach: Gabrielle Union, (Starship Dave)
General Manager: Stephen A. Smith (ESPN)

HORNETS TEAM

Chris Tucker (Rush Hour 3)
Common (2008 Grammy for Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group)
James Kyson Lee (Heroes)
Josh Peck (Drake and Josh)
Terry Crews (Everybody Hates Chris)
Deion Sanders (Two-time Super Bowl champion)
Swin Cash (WNBA All-Star, Detroit Shock)
Tony Potts (Access Hollywood)
Coach: Alyssa Milano, (Wisegal, Touch clothing)
General Manager: Bill Walton (NBA legend and ESPN Analyst)

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