NBA All-Star weekend is already one of the more relaxed events on the basketball calendar. Players have little incentive to take things seriously, and that goes double for the stars participating in the annual Celebrity Game. The majority of them are not active professional athletes, and most lack the athletic gifts and youth necessary to make it through a serious game of basketball without an injury. We're here for fun. That is understood by almost everyone involved.
Enter Stephen A. Smith. The ESPN personality has never met a moment he couldn't overreact to, and on Friday, that meant making history at the Celebrity Game. For the first time in the event's 18-year history, a technical foul was assessed. It should surprise none of you to hear that Smith was the recipient as the coach of one of the two teams.
The night hardly went as planned for Smith. His team lost to Michael Wilbon's squad 62-47 and trailed most of the way. Smith's frustrations bubbled for most of the first half before boiling over with the technical foul.
Smith remained as bombastic as ever following the technical foul. Frankly, he was correct to do so. The NBA wasn't going to eject arguably its most famous commentator with a second technical. Smith was given free rein to enjoy his brief coaching stint as he saw fit. He may not have won the game, but he made history, and in the grand scheme of the ultimately meaningless celebrity game, that is far more meaningful.