Two games were played last night during the NBA's All-Star weekend in Orlando: The BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, which featured up-and-coming NBA rookies and sophomores such as Jeremy Lin and Blake Griffin, and the celebrity All-Star game, which featured washed-up former NBA players and up-and-coming B-listers such as Vinny from "Jersey Shore."
The celebrity game was the one to watch.
Six words: U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
Did you see that? I mean, seriously, did you see that pass? That was … ridiculous.
Duncan and ESPN radio guy Doug Gottlieb – who played in college – were the best players on the court not named Tamika Catchings, who plays in the WNBA. All three were better than the five former NBA players, Hall-of-Famer Chris Mullen, Mitch Ritchmond, Tim Hardaway, Penny Hardaway and Nick Anderson, who shoots the 3-ball in a celebrity game about as well as he shoots free throws in the NBA finals. (I'm an Orlando Magic fan. I'm allowed a little bitterness.)
But Duncan was the revelation. He had 17 points, eight rebounds, five steals and a few assists, while leading his team to a huge victory. And he looked good doing it. He has a smooth mid-range jumper, positions himself well on defense and was the best passer on the court. I knew that he played for Harvard during college and as a professional in Australia for a few years, but the man hasn't lost much game despite celebrating his 47th birthday in November. Those pick-up games with Obama are paying some serious dividends.
I know there are some people who disagree with the politics and methodology of the former Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Public Schools system. But the one thing you can't argue about is his game.
If you want to see a replay of the game, you can watch it over at ESPN3.
• Joe Grace is a writer who lives in Chicago with his wife. He feels the sudden need to start working on his basketball game again.