If you've watched a minute of the NBA in the past, oh, eight years or so, Cassidy Hubbarth has probably been on your TV screen more than just a few times. After all, the 33-year-old anchor and sideline reporter is known for her insane knowledge of the league, quick wit and, obviously, her interviews with some of the biggest superstars in the league.
As one of ESPNs brightest stars herself, it's no wonder that Cassidy is having a major role in this year's NBA All-Star Game weekend, with her set to host tonight’s NBA All-Star Celebrity Game on ESPN. And with the All-Star Game being played on Sunday, we wanted to ask Hubbarth a few things about the festivities, including what she would change if she could be Commissioner for a day.
With a budding broadcast career and a hoops podcast called Buckets*, co-hosted with Rob Perez, there's no stopping Cassidy Hubbarth. So see why we're such a big fan of hers — and why her NBA knowledge puts yours to shame!
FHM: The NBA All-Star Game Incorporated A New Draft System This Year, With Captains LeBron James And Steph Curry Choosing Teams. Who Do You Think Has The Better Squad?
Cassidy Hubbarth: “Well, when they were first announced, I think the majority of the reaction was that LeBron had the better squad. However, since they were announced, a lot of his key guys have gotten hurt; like John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Kristaps Porzingis. I think the playing field is a little more even now, unfortunately, due to injuries. It’s a bummer that those original guys aren’t playing, but it’s cool to see a few of their replacements get a chance.”
FHM: Who Would You Have Taken First Overall?
Cassidy Hubbarth: “Kevin Durant. He’s the second best player in the league, in my opinion, but I feel pretty good about saying that.”
FHM: What’s Your Favorite NBA All-Star Game Weekend Event, Outside Of Just The Game?
Cassidy Hubbarth: “By far, Saturday night’s events are where the NBA gets to show why the league is so entertaining right now. It’s the personalities. It’s the electricity. The Slam Dunk Contest, the Three-Point Contest and the Skills Competition; where you now have centers, like Joel Embiid, competing in it, the athleticism and skills of these guys is so mesmerizing. Not only that, but, the players who aren’t involved in the competition, they get so into it and yo can see the brotherhood within the NBA.”
FHM: Any Memorable Moments From Previous All-Star Game Weekends?
Cassidy Hubbarth: “Ironically enough, anytime I’m asked what my favorite sporting event I’ve ever been to is, I always say it was the Slam Dunk Contest in Toronto a couple years ago between Aaron Gordon and Zach LaVine. I’ve been to a lot of games, but, because I was there as a fan, seeing those guys do dunks that I’ve never seen before in person, and when you add in the atmosphere, that event really stands out.”
FHM: If You Could Be Commissioner Adam Silver For A Week, What’s One Rule You’d Love To See And/Or Removed From The NBA All-Star Game Weekend?
Cassidy Hubbarth:“I would love to see them broadcast the All-Star Game draft on TV next season. I mean, even one of the captains, LeBron James, said he thinks it should’ve been broadcast live, so, yeah, I think they should make that change. I think they will, it’s just such good TV.”
FHM: What About Adding A 25-Point Shot Like They Used To Have During The MTV Rock ’n Jock Game?
Cassidy Hubbarth: (laughs) “Yeah, let’s do that! Get the baskets with the chain and all that. Or turn the jump ball into an XFL style, where you just roll the ball out and have two guys wrestle for it!”
FHM: LeBron Called You His Good Luck Charm After Hitting That Game-Winner Against The Wolves, There’s Got To Be More To That Story?
Cassidy Hubbarth: “It was funny. The whole back story with that is he made a big comment after they lost a couple days prior on national TV, talking about how they don’t deserve to be on national TV anymore because they had lost eight straight. So, I saw him in pregame, and I held up my mic and joked with him about it being on national TV, and told him that, each game this year that I’ve covered of the Cavs, they’ve won. I think that’s what he was sort of referring to when I talked with him afterwards. So, hey, they are 3-0 when I cover the Cavs this year! So, I laughed, but was sort of like, ‘thanks, but, no, no I’m not.’”
FHM: Do You Find That There Are Some People Who Are The Most Awkward Or Uncomfortable To Talk With?
Cassidy Hubbarth: (laughs) “I mean, the obvious is Gregg Popovich. I will tell you, though, we sit down face-to-face before the televised games with each coach, and he’s just so cordial and so engaging with information or insight. Believe me, it’s not lost on me that I’m talking to, arguably, the greatest NBA coach of all-time. That said, he’s made it very public that he doesn’t like to do those interviews between quarters.”
FHM: Any Good Popovich Stories?
Cassidy Hubbarth: “He was my first interview between quarters, actually. It was Christmas Day, in Houston, and it actually worked out perfectly, even though they were losing. I made a small joke with him, since I knew he didn’t like these things, and I got a little tiny smirk out of him, which was positive. So, my appreciation for Gregg Popovich will never die, but, man, I’ve just got to stay on my P’s and Q’s!”
Lead image via Getty.