With the NBA All-Star Game in Cleveland this year, the Celebrity Game has a distinct Northeast Ohio flair. Cavs legends like Boobie Gibson and Anderson Varejao will participate, as well as Cleveland rapper Machine Gun Kelly.
Another major Cleveland representative, and one who raised eyebrows when he popped up on the roster, is Browns All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett. Garrett is, by far, the best athlete who will grace the court for the event as an in-his-prime NFL player who has plenty of skills on the hardwood, which he’s shown on offseason pickup game highlight reels that regularly go viral on social media. Garrett is ready to put on a show for the hometown fans, something he simply couldn’t pass up with the event in, as he called it, “my city.”
That will certainly endear him to the Browns faithful even more than he already is as the leader of the defense and the team’s best player, although his football career has caused him to put his pickup basketball exploits on hold — the Browns famously asked him to go into a bit of a retirement this summer. But he couldn’t pass up the chance to get out there on the court on Friday night, and prior to Garrett taking the court, we caught up with him at the Reebok “The ‘Bok Door” pop-up in Cleveland to talk about his hoops career, whether he’s going to put MGK on a poster, and getting his Jordan wearing the 45 moment.
You played high school ball right?
What was the scouting report on high school Myles Garrett?
Man, um, a solid mid-range. Streaky shooter. Can slash. Can play above the rim. And loves to play defense, he loves to lock up.
What’s your mindset going in to the Celeb Game? Because obviously we’ve seen the videos you on the pickup court, but like, what’s the effort level gonna be tonight?
Out of 10, maybe like a six or seven. Gonna have a good time, not try to hurt any celebrities or influencers [laughs]. You know, just put on a show but not try to put anybody out for any extended time.
Okay, are we gonna see MGK on a poster?
If he jumps. [smiles]
That’s all I need.
I’m just sayin’.
Have you thought about who you got to work with, because you got Boobie Gibson on the squad, you got Jack Harlow. We gonna get a little two man game? Some pick and roll?
I think so. You know, I like to play outside on the perimeter a little bit. But I ain’t got no ego. I’ll roll to the post. Whatever we need.
This summer you kind of have do a little bit of retirement from ball. Is this your Jordan wearing the 45 moment for you coming out in the Celeb Game.
[laughs] A little bit. It feels sweet.
It does feel good.
You’re here with Reebok, and growing up, what was your favorite Reebok shoe? Because it was fun walking through here getting to see all the all the old shoes — I had a bunch of these Iversons in here. Were you were an Iverson guy or a Shaq guy?
I was a Shaq guy. I was big man back then.
So they were built for you?
Yeah. All through growing up like until like my last year in high school, I was big man. I was a three like my last year. They didn’t need me in the post no more, so I got to chill a little bit.
You stopped growing at 6’5 and then they were like, go outside.
Yep, they were like, you can move outside a little bit.
What does it mean to you as somebody who is from outside of the world of basketball now, but get to do some stuff with Reebok and their hoops sneakers?
Man, it’s big. Basketball’s been a big part of my life for forever. It’s been a big part of my family’s lives with my brother and some of my other relatives, and so just being able to be a part of this is it’s amazing. And I want to be able to show that, you know, I’m not just a football player. I’m an athlete. I do a little bit of everything and do it at a high level.
And then being here in Cleveland and getting to put on for the city that you’ve now made your home and getting to be a part of the All Star Weekend. What does that mean to you to do it here in Cleveland?
Man, it’s my city. I gotta put on. I couldn’t couldn’t let this go on without know me have a little bit part of it. So I was trying to bring the win home, bring the trophy home and I’ll have a good time.