Watch Janelle Monáe Participate (But Not Score) in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game

2023 NBA All Star - Ruffles Celebrity Game - Credit: Getty Images
2023 NBA All Star - Ruffles Celebrity Game - Credit: Getty Images

Janelle Monáe had fun — but no points — participating in Friday night’s NBA All-Star Celebrity Game in Salt Lake City.

Fresh off the release of her new single “Float” — a track that’s been used in promoting televised NBA games this season — Monáe suited up for coach Dwyane Wade’s team as part of the annual celebrity game, which Monáe later tweeted as a “bucket list” moment for her.

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“I got cut from my team as a kid (it was traumatic!) and now I’m laughing,” Monáe tweeted after the event.

Friday’s game revealed perhaps why Monáe — wearing the prestigious #23 of Jordan and LeBron fame — was cut from her childhood team: At one point during Friday’s contest, Monáe continued to play defense on her counterpart despite her team having possession of the ball on the offensive end, resulting in Coach Wade having to explain the fundamental rules of basketball. “When we down here, I need you to be ready to score,” Wade advised.

Monáe did have one glorious opportunity to score as she was left alone next to the basket for what should have been an easy lay-up. However, former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, who stands 6’5″, raced over and leapt up to violently block the five-foot-nothing Monáe’s shot, with the ball ricocheting back toward her. “He’s on my list forever,” Monáe tweeted after the game of the incident.

While Monáe was held off the scoresheet, she did deliver an inspiring pregame pep talk to her locker room full of celebrities, and danced to “Float” as it played over the arena speakers during pregame warmups.

The NBA All-Star festivities this weekend will also feature halftime performances by Burna Boy, Tems and Rema, as well as appearances by Post Malone and Jewel.

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