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An ex-Panther, a rock star and a famous doctor to play in NBA All-Star Celebrity Game

Safety tips for 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend coming to Charlotte

Deputy Chief Johnny Jennings of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department offers safety tips to people coming to the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend, as well as giving an update on traffic and security conditions that will impact Charlotte residents.
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Deputy Chief Johnny Jennings of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department offers safety tips to people coming to the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend, as well as giving an update on traffic and security conditions that will impact Charlotte residents.

Former Carolina Panthers star Steve Smith spent 16 seasons in the NFL proving he has Pro Football Hall of Fame credentials. But how are his basketball skills?

We’ll find out on Feb. 15, when the Charlotte resident plays in an 2019 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game that will see him teaming up with rock star Chris Daughtry and talk-show host Dr. Oz, and taking it to the hoop against folks like Migos rapper Quavo and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Ray Allen.

The game is scheduled for 7 o’clock that night (it’s a week from Friday) at Bojangles’ Coliseum, but unless you already have tickets — which are awfully hard to come by — your best viewing opportunity is via ESPN’s coverage on TV or its app.

Smith, 39, is among several on the celebrity roster with strong ties to the Carolinas. Daughtry (an “American Idol” alum), Terrence J (who has hosted shows for BET and E!), comedian Famous Los, and rapper Rapsody are all North Carolina natives; meanwhile, actor Mike Colter (who played Luke Cage in the Netflix series of the same name), Needtobreathe guitarist Bo Rinehart, and WNBA star A’ja Wilson are originally from South Carolina.

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North Carolina native Chris Daughtry, who now lives in Nashville, was last in Charlotte in September for a concert to promote his first album in nearly five years: “Cage to Rattle,” out since late July. Courtesy of Chris Daughtry Raleigh



Rounding out the home team are ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Williams (who played at Duke), actor JB Smoove (who grew up in New York but was born in N.C.), Dr. Oz (who appears to have no connection to the Carolinas whatsoever) and 47-year-old Marine Jason Weinmann.

Weinmann is the home team’s featured “hometown hero,” a spot designed by the NBA to honor exemplary citizens. This past September, he used a military transport vehicle — which he bought at a government auction a decade ago — to rescue residents of New Bern who were stranded during Tropical Storm Florence.

Quavo is the only returning player from last year. He was named the MVP after scoring a game-high 19 points.

The NBA noted in its press release that rosters are subject to change, and while it’s unlikely there will be any major surprises, you never know: Last year in Los Angeles, pop star Justin Bieber was a late add to the roster. Actors Jamie Foxx and Michael B. Jordan also were on the rosters for the All-Star Celebrity Game in 2018.

Here’s the full list for 2019:

Home

  • Mike Colter (“Luke Cage” actor)
  • Chris Daughtry (recording artist)
  • Terrence J (on-air host, actor)
  • Famous Los (comedian, social-media influencer)
  • Dr. Oz (television personality)
  • Rapsody (rapper, recording artist)
  • Bo Rinehart (NEEDTOBREATHE vocalist and musician)
  • JB Smoove (actor, comedian)
  • Steve Smith (NFL great)
  • A’ja Wilson (2018 WNBA Rookie of the Year)
  • Jay Williams (ESPN college basketball analyst)
  • Jason Weinmann (hometown hero)

Away

Théoden Janes: 704-358-5897, @theodenjanes

  • Ronnie 2K (Director of influencer marketing, 2K Sports)
  • Ray Allen (Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer)
  • A.J. Buckley (“SEAL Team” actor)
  • Bad Bunny (recording artist)
  • Stefanie Dolson (WNBA’s Chicago Sky center)
  • Marc Lasry (co-owner, Milwaukee Bucks)
  • Hasan Minhaj (actor, comedian, host of Netflix’s “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj”)
  • Quavo (rapper, recording artist)
  • Adam Ray (comedian, “About Last Night” podcast)
  • Amanda Seales (actor, comedian, recording artist)
  • James Shaw Jr. (hometown hero)
  • Brad Williams (comedian, “About Last Night” podcast)

Théoden Janes has spent 12 years covering entertainment and pop culture for the Observer. He also thrives on telling emotive long-form stories about extraordinary Charlotteans and — as a veteran of 20-plus marathons and two Ironman triathlons — occasionally writes about endurance and other sports.


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