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Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game: Arne Duncan's big night leads East to victory

POSTED: Feb 15, 2014 8:19 AM ET


Comedian Kevin Hart was fan-voted MVP, but Secretary of Ed. Arne Duncan was the game's true MVP.

> 2014 Sprint Celebrity Game
Final: East 60, West 56

Humble Hart Gives Duncan the MVP

NEW ORLEANS -- As usual, Duncan and Jordan were the best players on the floor.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and actor Michael B. Jordan led their respective teams at the Sprint Celebrity Game on Friday, with Duncan's East prevailing 60-56. Duncan filled the box score with 20 points (a Celeb Game record), 11 rebounds and six assists -- the last of which was a sweet, behind-the-head dish to a cutting Skylar Diggans of the WNBA for a critical bucket down the stretch.

A couple of possessions later, Diggins found musician/actor Romeo Miller on the right wing for a 3-pointer that put the East up for good. The West missed six free throws and several lay ups in the closing moments and simply didn't have the chemistry that the East had with Duncan, Diggins and Miller.

Arne Kidding Me?

"I'm just happy to get a win," Duncan said afterward. "This was a really competitive game."

Beyond the East's big three, NBA TV's Kristen Ledlow earned some redemption for her Inside the NBA performance (when she lost a free-throw contest to Shaquille O'Neal) by hitting two first-half buckets that helped the East climb out of a 10-point hole.

"I wasn't thinking about anything except scoring a couple of buckets in order to redeem myself after losing to Shaq on national television," she said. "Shaq could not do what I just did. Well, he could at one point. But not anymore and I know that."

Jordan tried his best to lead the West to victory, but was the focus of the East's aggressive defense. He finished with 16, to go along with seven rebounds.

"He's not the best Michael Jordan I've ever seen," Ledlow said. "But he's a pretty solid Michael Jordan."

That wasn't enough for the West, who were undone by Kevin Hart's over-dribbling. Fittingly, Hart was voted as MVP by the fans for his selfish play that helped his opponent pick up the victory, but he smartly and selflessly gave the due to the game's true MVP, Duncan.

-- John Schuhmann

Event Info & Participants

> Comedian Kevin Hart Headlines Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game Participants

Jan. 29: The National Basketball Association announced today stars from film and TV will take the court for the Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game 2014 on Friday, Feb. 14, at 7 p.m. ET.

Two-time MVP Kevin Hart will play alongside Victoria's Secret model, actress and philanthropist Erin Heatherton; "America's Got Talent" host Nick Cannon; ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike" hosts Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg; Jesse Williams ("Grey's Anatomy"); Columbus Short ("Scandal"); Michael B. Jordan ("That Awkward Moment"); U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; three-time NBA Champion and ESPN NBA analyst Bruce Bowen; "E! News" anchor Terrence Jenkins; NBA TV's "NBA Inside Stuff presented by Samsung Galaxy" co-host Kristen Ledlow; ESPN anchor Stan Verrett; and WNBA stars Skylar Diggins of the Tulsa Shock and Elena Delle Donne of the Chicago Sky. Tickets for the game, airing live on ESPN from Sprint Arena at NBA All-Star Jam Session, will go on sale today Wednesday, Jan. 29, at 11 a.m. ET/ 10 a.m. CT.

ESPN's "NBA Countdown" hosts Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose will coach this year's teams. An assistant coach will be selected through Sprint's Assistant Coach For A Day Sweepstakes. The winning fan will be flown to New Orleans for NBA All-Star 2014 and serve as assistant coach for the West or East.

Recent Event History

MVP Hart leads West over East in Sprint Celebrity Game
Not unlike the NBA's two blowout finales Thursday night that ushered in the fun and frivolity of All-Star Weekend, Friday's Sprint NBA Celebrity All-Star Game proved a one-sided affair with the James Harden-coached West squad running all over Russell Westbrook's East squad.

The 58-38 game was good fun, filled with laughter, a few antics and even a bit of decent, even intense at times, basketball action. Actor and comedian Kevin Hart won his second consecutive MVP award despite scoring just five points.

Secretary of Education shows he's got game too
Former Harvard forward Arne Duncan took Center Court at Jam Session and led the East to an easy 86-54 victory over the West.

Duncan-sanity was in full force, as the U.S. Secretary of Education who played at Harvard from 1987 to 1991, scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the East. His performance overshadowed MVP Kevin Hart's comedy, Vinny Guadagnino's hair, and the reunion of Run TMC.

MVP Bieber shows off his pro-style game in defeat
Teen superstar Justin Bieber stole the show (and the crowd) by showing off some credible basketball moves with eight points in a losing effort as the East beat the West 54-49 in the 2011 BBVA All-Star Celebrity Game.

Bieber took home MVP honors as voted on by the fans.

Actor Rapaport shines
Michael Rapaport has made a career out of portraying other people in movies and on TV. On Friday night, he pulled off a fair facsimile of a basketball player during the 2010 All-Star Celebrity Game.

Rapaport managed only four points for the West team, but his stifling defense on football star Terrell Owens -- the game's MVP the past two years -- enabled him to steal the MVP from T.O. and get the West a 41-37 win over the East. Owens scored 10 points, leading his team, but had only two after the half.

T.O. does it again
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.

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.

Owens, Master P lead team to victory
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.

More All-Star History >>