Ice Cube and Kevin Hart got a lot of positive ink for the time they spent hanging out with Cam Newton at Harding University High School last month.
But the quarterback wasn’t the only marquee Panthers player the actors rubbed shoulders with while in town to promote their new comedy “Ride Along 2,” in theaters Jan. 15.
Cube and Hart also shot a two-minute promo spot for ESPN while in Charlotte, with Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly. Neither the movie nor the Panthers are mentioned specifically; it’s basically a comedy short chock full of NFL-star cameos and several funny moments.
The central joke is based on the idea that Cube and Hart are gearing up for their annual 2-on-2 football game – and it’s clear from the trophies surrounding Ice Cube that he has historically dominated their friendly contest.
“Look, I just locked in my teammate,” Cube tells Hart during a phone conversation. “You might have seen him on ESPN.”
“Big deal,” Hart replies. “I got athlete friends.”
“Don’t expect to score a lot this year,” Cube warns. “And you know defense wins championships. ... You gonna get hit.”
Hart then tries – and fails – to recruit several big names (of varying acting abilities) for teammates, by phone: Odell Beckham Jr., Amari Cooper, Larry Fitzgerald, Brett Favre, DeMarco Murray, Rob Gronkowski and...
“Luke Kuechly!” Hart yells into his mobile.
“Sorry, Kev,” the linebacker replies, as he’s seen standing on the edge of a swimming pool.
After hanging up, Hart mutters to himself: “I don’t care. It’s your loss. Not mine.”
To find out who Cube and Hart wound up with as teammates, check out the full video, which premiered this week: