Photo from ESPN.com.
By Terrance Turner
Feb. 18, 2022
Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett made headlines tonight for his performance in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. Garrett’s teammate, Browns running back Kareem Hunt, was his opponent tonight. Hunt played on Team Walton, which included rappers Machine Gun Kelly and Quavo; Garrett’s team (Team Nique) included the likes of comedian Tiffany Haddish and Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb.
Garrett’s defensive prowess was on display when he blocked a shot by Quavo:
…but he also made waves offensively. Myles Garrett already had five points when he stunned viewers with a monster dunk:
After a miss from MGK, Team Nique rebounded. Crissa Jackson lobbed a behind-the-back pass to Garrett, who went airborne for another one-handed slam.
Garrett moved into double-digit scoring when he caught a rebound for a one-handed basket. But he fell to the ground after a hard foul on an attempted layup. Garrett redeemed himself by intercepting a pass intended for Team Walton. That prompted commentator and former NBA player Richard Jefferson to remark on his size. Jefferson said of Garrett: “I’mma be really honest, he is one of the biggest human beings I have ever seen in my entire life.” (That’s coming from 6’7″ Richard Jefferson; Garrett is listed at 6’4″, 271 lbs.)
With Team Nique down by 15, Garrett added another slam that nearly broke the rim. Garrett made it 54-41 with roughly 5:15 left in the fourth quarter. Though Team Nique lost 65-51, Garrett finished with 13 points and 8 rebounds — nearly a double-double. Though he’s known as a fearsome defender, this is the second time in two weeks that Garrett has demonstrated his offensive prowess: he scored a touchdown in the Pro Bowl on Feb. 6. But he hasn’t had a lot of activity since the NFL season concluded in early January.
“It was tough,” Garrett said. “I hadn’t been doing anything really the last three weeks, really since the season ended. I’ve been busy with flying. It was fun to just take a basketball and get some shots up.”
Though Garrett became a three-time Pro Bowler in the NFL, he had dreams of being in the NBA. His older brother, Sean Williams, was a 2007 first-round pick for the Nets. According to Cleveland.com, Garrett even received a couple Division I college basketball offers. And last year a video showcasing his dunking abilities in summer pickup games went viral. And his basketball play tonight benefited his charity, The Waterboys — which provides clean water for communities in need.
When the All-Pro appeared on TNT’s Inside the NBA on Thursday, Charles Barkley pledged to give Waterboys $1,000 for each point Garrett scored in the game, while Kenny Smith pledged an additional $1,000 for each Garrett rebound. The bets earned the charity $21,000 in total.
Garrett with Browns coach Kevin Stefanski. Photo from Cleveland.com.