NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Oscar Schmidt finally dipped his toes in the NBA.
The Brazilian basketball great and five-time Olympian joined a parade of retired NBA stars, current WNBA players, team owners, celebrity musicians and television personalities at the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Friday night.
A day after his 59th birthday, Schmidt went 2 for 2 in the game and scored four points. His East team beat the West 88-59.
“It feels good. Very good,” Schmidt said. “It was real emotional. I loved it. So I’m happy.”
Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry scored nine points for the East. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban went scoreless for the West, missing three shots but grabbing one rebound and making a steal.
Though drafted by the New Jersey Nets in 1984, Schmidt never played a minute in the NBA, preferring to continue to represent Brazil in the Olympics and world championships. An offensive machine, Schmidt was the scoring leader in the Brazilian national league over eight seasons, as well as seven playing in Italy and once in Spain. He was also the top scorer in three Olympics.
“If I shoot 20, it was 20 for 20,” Schmidt said of his perfect shooting night.
Notables on the West team included Cuban, actor Anthony Mackie, musician Andy Grammer, WNBA star Candace Parker, retired NBA guard Baron Davis, and father-son rappers Master P and Lil’ Romeo. The East had Schmidt, Lasry, entertainer Nick Cannon, the WNBA’s Lindsay Whalen, former NBA point guard Jason Williams, and Arcade Fire lead singer Win Butler.