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the Beat
January 22, 2001
They may command millions of dollars per movie and have entourages as large as Boy Scout troops, but what many Hollywood celebs really want is to know that they've got game. That's why one of the hottest star gatherings these days is the NBA Entertainment League, a little-known recreational hoops league for the Hollywood crowd sanctioned by the NBA. Among the players: Leonardo DiCaprio, Will Smith, Mark Wahlberg and Dean Cain. On Sunday night the league wrapped up its third season with a championship game at the Staples Center. Singer Brian McKnight, who jetted back from New York City after performing at halftime of the Giants-Vikings game, scored 27 points to lead his Trail Blazers to a 65-60 win over comedian Bill Bellamy's Sonics....
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January 22, 2001

The Beat

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They may command millions of dollars per movie and have entourages as large as Boy Scout troops, but what many Hollywood celebs really want is to know that they've got game. That's why one of the hottest star gatherings these days is the NBA Entertainment League, a little-known recreational hoops league for the Hollywood crowd sanctioned by the NBA. Among the players: Leonardo DiCaprio, Will Smith, Mark Wahlberg and Dean Cain. On Sunday night the league wrapped up its third season with a championship game at the Staples Center. Singer Brian McKnight, who jetted back from New York City after performing at halftime of the Giants-Vikings game, scored 27 points to lead his Trail Blazers to a 65-60 win over comedian Bill Bellamy's Sonics....

Talk about mixed doubles: Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras and the Williams sisters will guest-star on the Feb. 11 episode of The Simpsons. On the show Homer and gang enter a tennis tournament and eventually meet up and play with the four stars. "The Williams sisters are my favorite athletes," says coexecutive producer Ian Maxtone-Graham, who wrote the episode. "This was my way to meet them." Maxtone-Graham also directed Venus and Serena when they recorded their dialogue, and he observed firsthand their competitive nature: "Anytime celebrities come on the show, we make them sign a stack of scripts so we can sell them when we're all out of work. They were signing a huge stack, and at some point it became a race. These are the best tennis players in the world, and all they were interested in was beating each other at signing scripts."

...Spotted at an Atlanta-area sports bar last month: John Rocker, acting as a celebrity judge for a breast-reduction contest sponsored by a local morning radio show. Rocker and three other judges voted on which overendowed contestant was most worthy of receiving a free breast-reduction operation. And what did you do during your holidays?

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