Constructing the ultimate starting lineup of the game’s greatest musician-atheletes
The NBA offseason is in full swing. It’s a time for players to reset (see: LeBron James floating in a pool), relax (see: LeBron James skipping his own pizza party to float in a pool) and train for the upcoming year (see: LeBron James jumping off a small rock pile into a lake, which is basically just floating in a large pool).
Everyone’s busy: Kevin Durant is getting roasted; Giannis Antetokounmpo is getting jacked; Nick Young is getting totally not regrettable neck tattoos. But the thirst for high quality basketball hasn’t subsided.
While we wait for the real all-stars to return in October, we’ll just have to soldier on with the next best thing. There’s no offseason in music, which means these basketball-playing superstars are still in peak game shape. Before we get to the roster, some ground rules:
1. We’re only including players who are primarily musicians. Basketball has to be a side hobby—not their most notorious skill (this excludes professional players who went on to have musical careers, like Shaq, Allen Iverson and Iman Shumpert).
2. The goal here is to put together the best team, not simply pick the best players. That means intangible factors like experience and chemistry weigh heavier than simple physical traits.
3. Our lineup will feature six players (five starters and one reserve), and positions do matter. We’re assuming this team is playing a real, high-stakes game against some other similar group (movie stars, famous chefs, etc.), meaning we can’t just roll out five super-tall centers who can’t defend the perimeter.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here are your all-musician all-stars:
PG: Justin Bieber, St. Michael Catholic Secondary School
This pick is all about experience. There may be better point guards out there, but Bieber (two All-Star Celebrity Game appearances, one MVP in 2011) has showed his poise and composure on the biggest stages. He’s got the confidence of a gunning, shoot-first guard, but his softer, post-“Sorry” persona is evidence that he has the conscientiousness to share the ball and run our offense.
SG: Britney Spears, The Mickey Mouse Club
Little known fact about Britney Spears: she was the point guard of her high school’s varsity team. More commonly known fact about Britney Spears: she’s in incredible shape. This pick is all about endurance—the five-foot-four Spears is preparing to start a two-year Las Vegas residency that will ensure she stays in peak physical condition. With her experience and stamina, she’ll feature as our secondary ball-handler.
SF: 2 Chainz, Alabama State University
Instant. Offense. That’s what 2 Chainz, who played three years of college ball for Alabama State, brings to our team. He’s a six-foot-five perimeter scorer who’s still in game shape, and his former coach described his style as “slippery,” which I think was intended as a compliment.
PF: Tim McGraw, Florida Community College at Jacksonville
This may seem like an unconventional choice, but McGraw’s got the resume. The country music superstar attended college on a baseball scholarship, and played in the first-ever All-Star Celebrity Game. He’s only five-foot-ten (six-foot-seven in a cowboy hat), but at age 51 we’re banking on him bringing in a slower, post-centric old man game that can slow the pace down and lead to some easy buckets.
C: Win Butler, Phillips Exeter Academy
This is our anchor; our rock; the leader of our defense and the heart of our team’s morale. The Arcade Fire frontman may be past his indie rock prime, but his hoop skills have never been better. A participant in every All-Star Celebrity Game since 2015 (including one MVP in 2016), Butler is a six-foot-four double-double machine. The man eats rebounds for breakfast, and he fulfills the team’s highly necessary “headband guy” role.
6th Man: Quavo, Berkmar High School
Probably the hottest musician player in the game right now, Quavo is fresh off a 2018 All-Star Celebrity Game MVP campaign and a more than one viral video of him outshining Shaquille O’Neal’s son in pickup. The former high school quarterback is clearly an über athlete, and he could easily start over at least a few members of our team. Still, I like the idea of him as a sparkplug off the bench, and his fondness for smoking very long blunts has me worried about his stamina in extended minutes.
Think you have a better roster? Or a starting lineup from a different section of pop culture? Tweet me @dillandthompson and tell me how wrong I am.