Since 2004, comedian, actor, entrepreneur and TV personality Nick Cannon has been a fixture of the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game—without ever winning a single MVP award. This year, Cannon says he hopes to change that fact as he gets prepared for All-Star Weekend this year in New York City. "I'm attempting to. [Kevin Hart] never deserves it, he scored four points last year and won MVP. We have to figure this all out."
Known for his movie roles in Drumline, Love Don't Cost a Thing, Roll Bounce, and being the host of popular TV shows like The Nick Cannon Show, Wild 'N Out, and America's Got Talent, Cannon is looking to change his perception as a bench player in the NBA's annual Celebrity Game and has a unique way of prepping for the event. "Trash talk," says Cannon. "I always know I'm not going to do good in the game, and at this point I think I'm just trash talking about how I've been in more All-Star games than anybody."
Part of Cannon's physical workout regimen to prepare for the game has been regular time in the gym, but also practice time on-the-court and a little bit of martial arts as well. In the last three years, Cannon's friend, and comedian, Kevin Hart has won the MVP award three times and Cannon's looking to end that streak this time around. "It's unfair that he's won the MVP in the last three years—doesn't make any sense." When asked if he had any parting words for Hart as the two prepare to face off at Madison Square Garden on Friday night, Cannon says, "Tell him he's going to have to put some lifts in his shoes or something because he's going to need a couple more inches to come see your boy. (Laughs)"
34 years old
Training grounds: "Boxing gym in my house in Los Angeles, and Aerospace in New York."
Days spent training per week: Five.
Hours spent training per day: One and a half.
Body fat percentage: Five percent. "I heard somewhere it was like five percent—does that sound impressive?"
Go-to workout: 1000 push-ups a day. "It's probably the easiest thing to do when I'm on the go. As long as I get my thousand in a day, I'm good."
Secret workout: "I do a lot of martial arts, stuff like muscle ups, Tai Chi, balancing, hand stand push ups and things like that and I do a lot of sparring in boxing and martial arts at least once a week. Have to stay fresh just in case somebody walks up on me. (Laughs)"
On playing basketball regularly: Plays in full-court games once every two weeks. "Sometimes we'll play in the radio station games and stuff like that. The crazy thing is that I have an indoor court in my house. I'm nice in my house. On anybody else's court, I suck."
On following a healthy diet: "I drink a gallon of water a day, lots of water. Protein shakes, vegetables and I don't really mess with processed food that much. I usually get down on fish and vegetables, but if I'm trying to bulk up I might have more steak or chicken breast."
Biggest dietary vice: Candy. "I'm a candy crackhead, and it's all like fruit candy like Starburst, Skittles, Lemon Heads, Now & Laters, that type of stuff."
On how he prepares for the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game each year: Trash talk. "But I always know I'm not going to do good in the game, and at this point I think I'm just trash talking about how I've been in more All-Star games than anybody."
On who he likes to talk trash to the most at the Celebrity Game: Kevin Hart. "It's unfair that he's won the MVP for in the last three years, doesn't make any sense. And he's my best friend in life anyway, so no matter what we're doing, we're always competitive. He's killing me in the movie game, and I'm focused this year, so I'm going to take his crown."
On winning the MVP award this year: "I'm attempting to. [Hart] never deserves it, he scored four points last year and won MVP. We have to figure it all out."
On the best celebrity basketball player ever: "Is Arne Duncan really a celebrity? It's not really fair. I mean his job is important and everything, but every year he's always killing it. And it's all fundamental basketball, that's how he gets them every year. You always get these flashy young dudes who don't get off really well and then you look up and Arne's got like 26 points."
On how he's looking to contribute in the game: "I'm just going to get in there and try. The coaches know I suck so they're probably not going to put me in the game too much, but when I get in, I'm going to be effective."
On All-Star weekend being held in NYC: "Aw, man. It's awesome. There's no bigger basketball city and for everything to be going back and forth between Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center, two of the most arenas out there, it's going to be a lot of fun."
On the state of the New York Knicks: "Man, I got faith in Phil Jackson and his five-year plan. Five-year plan, that's all I'm saying. Let him get in there and get it right."
On what he's working on now off the court: "They just announced that I'm directing a romantic comedy for Open Roads? this summer, so I'm excited about that. It's an ensemble piece, so I can't say I'm starring in it, but I'm directing, producing and acting. Then before that, I've got another film that I'm actually starting shooting this April. I'm doing at least two films this year, I'm trying to fit in three, and we're just going to keep rocking, man."
Parting shots for Kevin Hart: "Tell him he going to have to put some lifts in his shoes or something because he's going to need a couple more inches to come see your boy. (Laughs)"