At long last Sunday night, the NBA All-Star Game began. But not before Kevin Hart and Fergie dragged out the pregame proceedings in painful, interminable fashion, drawing almost nothing but howls from the Internet.
Hey, at least they gave the event a real sense of competition, right? Unfortunately for the celebrity duo, it was a battle to see who could annoy viewers more, with Hart taking a sizable early lead with his attempts at roasts during player introductions before Fergie said, “Hold my beer,” and delivered one of the most overwrought renditions of the national anthem in recent memory.
TNT’s cameras caught Chance the Rapper and Warriors forward Draymond Green appearing to chuckle at Fergie’s histrionics. Other observers left even less doubt as to their feelings, including an obviously amused Jimmy Kimmel.
For those who didn’t catch Fergie’s anthem when it happened and want to see what the fuss is about, here is a clip of it in its entirety, but don’t say you weren’t warned. It’s never a good sign when the dreaded words, “Carl Lewis,” are invoked.
The one person at Staples Center who may have enjoyed Fergie’s performance the most could actually have been Hart, given the way she managed to overshadow his own poorly received pregame performance. Fresh off his postgame debacle at the Super Bowl, Hart wasn’t inebriated this time but he left many in attendance and watching at home wishing someone would hand them a stiff drink.
It didn’t help that Hart enlisted the services of Rob Riggle, who some people apparently find amusing, for an opening sketch in which the latter played a coach who deemed Hart “slow and short.” Pure hilarity!
For a musical montage about what it takes to become an NBA all-star, Hart managed to enlist some real star power, including Jamie Foxx, Queen Latifah, Ludacris and, er, Adam Devine, but the decidedly corny production was just the first sign that the game itself could not start soon enough. Here it is, for those interested, and again: You’ve been warned.
The musical bit ended with Hart deciding that he couldn’t be an all-star player, but he did have “the skills” to be an all-star comedian and performer of player introductions. However, that consisted of attempts to roast each player, most of which were something less than pure comedic gold.
Throw in a Canadian national anthem sung (perfectly nicely) by the Barenaked Ladies, and in addition to complaining about the pregame show and how long it was taking, some were moved to wonder if the NBA was aware what decade it was.
But mostly, people complained about how unfunny Hart was. Oh, and how long everything took. And Fergie! Oy, Fergie.
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