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Actor James Denton is the newest blogger for NBA.com.
|James Denton had been a fixture on television before 2004, appearing in numerous roles and shows varying from "JAG" to "The Drew Carey Show" to "The West Wing" and "Ally McBeal". But in 2004, Desperate Housewives hit the air on ABC and launched Denton into a new arena of success. The 44-year-old plays Mike Delfino on the hit show.
Denton is also a big basketball fan, from his roots as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar supporter, and will play in the McDonald's NBA All-Star Celebrity Game presented by 2K SPORTS on Friday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. EST aired on ESPN. He will be blogging from Las Vegas throughout the weekend.
This will be my first opportunity to really do anything associated with the NBA. Thatís the greatest thing about being on a TV show. I call it the Desperate Housewives gravy, because we get to do these really cool events. Iíve been around an NBA player here and there, mostly Tony Parker of the Spurs since he and Eva [Longoria] have been dating. He is such a nice guy. I got to see him at the SAG Awards. I always sit near him because itís so cool to be around an athlete who is not an actor at one of those events. Heís just really friendly, really normal guy. Eva was one of the coaches for the celebrity game last year, but she has been so preoccupied with planning their wedding this summer in Paris that she hasnít said much to me about it.
Growing up I was a Kareem guy. I donít really know why. I guess I was eight years old when I first saw him as Lew Alcindor with the Bucks, and I just fell in love with him and the sky hook. It was such a unique thing that I had never seen. As a matter of fact, I can almost guarantee, barring some unforeseen event where I donít get the ball in the lane, that youíll see at least one sky hook from me in the game. But I was always a basketball guy. I loved it as a little kid and took to basketball quicker than anything else. When he changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, I got even more fascinated with him. I followed him more than anything else and became a Laker fan. But once he left, I didnít really follow a team.
Then I moved to LA. Of course the Lakers are so much the cool team here that I immediately became a Clipper fan because they were the underdog and no one was going to those games at the old Colisseum. So I started going over there to watch them just because Laker tickets were so expensive and so hard to come by. Itís sort of like when I lived in Chicago and became a White Sox fan because the Cubs were shoved down your throat so much. The same applies to LA and the Lakers. Then the Clippers started getting guys like Elton Brand and Coach Dunleavy, who Iím a big fan of, so they were a pretty easy team to like.
Recently I got to hang out with Elton for a little shoot on Access Hollywood. He is another guy who is just really nice. I actually had met him before at a charity event for the Tiger Woods Learning Center about a year or so ago. I actually think someone from the NBA contacted the Clippers about doing a little piece and he volunteered to do it, which was really nice of him. It was a lot of fun. We went over to their facility, which I had never been to before, messed around and shot a little bit. He was joking and kind of giving me tips on how to attack some of these guys that I might be playing against. We knew Reggie Bush was playing, so Elton was like, ďReggie is going to be aggressive on defense, so give him the head and shoulder fake, let him fly by, take one dribble and shoot the jumper.Ē It turns out that Reggie is on my team, so I wonít have to worry about his D. But it was a fun little Elton Brand tutorial before the ballgame. He was so great to us, itís a shame heís not on the team.
Part of the segment also involved me talking a little trash into the camera to one of the co-anchors, Tony Potts, about how I would be coming for him and that kind of thing. But then like Reggie, we ended up on the same team. I hear he is super competitive though, so Iím kind of glad about that.
The game should be a really great time. I actually donít see many of these guys who are playing. I know Kevin Frazier. He is a good player. I yelled at him on the red carpet and mentioned it to him and he just kind of laughed. But the other guys, Iíve never met them. I know Jonathan Silvermann. We played softball together because he does the celebrity softball thing. And I know Jamie Foxx plays in the Entertainerís League in Santa Monica. His team won the title last year. Iím glad Iím on his team too. Iím really curious to see some of these guys like David Arquette. I bet he is sneaky good. He just seems like a gym rat. And you see Carrot Top and you laugh, but heís all rocked up. He strikes me as a guy who would come in with a mouthpiece and bang some guys around. I know Michael Clarke Duncan, another guy I met through playing softball, and heís just a monster.
I figure I will probably stack up ok with the other so-called celebrities. Iíll be better than most of them and not nearly as good as a few. I am pretty sure Iíll be in the top half, although Iím older. Itís been 25 years since I played JUCO ball back in Tennessee, so itís been a while. But Iíve played enough to not be a trash-talker. So I am going to keep my mouth shut and try not to get rejected. I may just stand out there and jack threesÖexcept for that sky hook Iím going to sneak in.