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Did Calvin Johnson play basketball? Why former Lions WR is playing in 2023 NBA Celebrity All-Star Game

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Calvin Johnson is going to be taking the court on Friday at NBA All-Star Weekend.

Yes, that Calvin Johnson.

“Megatron” will be looking for mega-buckets as he laces up for the 2023 NBA Celebrity All-Star Game and will look to assert his dominance in the contest. Johnson was a terrific contested catch receiver and deep threat during his days in the NFL, and he figures to have the athleticism needed to thrive in the NBA’s celebrity game.

That said, basketball fans are going to be asking one main question as they watch Johnson take the field.

Has Johnson played basketball before?

Indeed, one might believe that Johnson’s athletic ability would lead him to the court, but the Hall of Famer actually focused on thriving in other sports during his youth.

MORE: What is Calvin Johnson doing in his retirement?

Did Calvin Johnson play basketball?

Johnson did not play basketball at either the high school or college levels. He focused mostly on football during that time and blossomed into an NFL star.

However, Johnson did have a secondary sport in his high school days. He was a star centerfielder for his team and received interest from MLB teams at that time. He never entered the MLB Draft at the behest of his mother, Arica.

“I wasn’t going to let him be drafted, anyway,” she said in 2007. “He needed to grow and mature.”

That played a part in Johnson’s decision to attend Georgia Tech. He considered playing both baseball and football at the school, but his mother thought the two-season schedule would be too demanding in addition to his education.

As such, it’s not a surprise that Johnson didn’t play basketball. He had his two sports in high school and couldn’t add another to his packed schedule.

MORE: Calvin Johnson says he will mentor Lions’ first-round pick in 2022 NFL Draft

Why Calvin Johnson is in the 2023 NBA Celebrity All-Star Game

Johnson is likely in the 2023 NBA Celebrity All-Star Game in an effort to match him up against Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf. The two big, physical and athletic receivers are on opposite teams for the contest and figure to draw attention from sports fans who otherwise would pay little attention to the event.

It’s worth noting that Metcalf has relished the comparison between himself and the receiver known as “Megatron.” He once even took offense to Jim Schwartz telling him he wasn’t at the level of Johnson back in 2020.

So, Metcalf will be looking to show he can outperform Johnson even on another court. Either way, this matchup figures to be a fun one and may be the main draw of the celebrity game.

And Johnson will look forward to the challenge as well. The Hall of Famer will want to do what he can to slow down Metcalf or at least look to outscore him on the other side. It will surely be interesting to see which player fares better on Friday in Utah.


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