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Aspiring hoops legend Hasan Minhaj tells Jimmy Fallon about getting posterized, body-slammed

Hasan Minhaj, Jimmy Fallon
Screenshot: The Tonight Show

Patriot Act star Hasan Minhaj might be a rapidly rising stand-up and TV host, but what he really wants to do is shine in the basketball arena. Telling Jimmy Fallon about his recent exploits at the NBA celebrity all-star game on Friday’s Tonight Show, the former Daily Show correspondent explained that it’s going, um, fine. Throwing to clips from the celebrity super-fans event, things didn’t start out that great, to be fair, as his three-pointer airball saw one of the announcers compare his prowess unfavorably to other Minaj, Nicki. Apart from their names being spelled differently, Minhaj called out the jock’s implied dis of Minaj’s baller skills, which he posits are outstanding. And, sure, Minhaj did get what the kids call posterized by WNBA star A’ja Wilson, but, again, Minhaj brushed off the online, meme-based mockery he received, explaining that, if you’re going to have your layup attempt swatted into the rafters “like she was making up for the gender pay gap,” then it’s no shame when the swat comes from the hand of the WNBA Rookie Of The Year.

But it wasn’t all humiliation for the always-engaging Minhaj, who energetically narrated the final clip, of him pulling a freight-train steal on former Division II college player, comedian, and eventual game MVP, Famous Los. (He even gave a mighty Duke-style floor slap, to cement his place as both a defensive wizard, and champion trash-talker.) Did that erase the time last year when he got crossed-up by one of the young stars of Stranger Things? “First of all, Caleb is fifteen,” protested Minhaj, “he plays a ten-year-old.” Still, you’ve got to admire Minhaj’s heart in coming back to live his wannabe NBA dreams. Especially after the long-ago humiliation of being thoroughly body-slammed to a casino floor by a certain NBA legend’s bodyguard. Minhaj went on to relate the time he and his friends attempted to crash Michael Jordan’s Las Vegas birthday bash, where his cross-casino fast break in search of a high-five from his idol saw him choke-slammed for his brashness. Calling out Fallon’s privilege in not being subjected to “borderline a hate crime” when the Tonight Show host infamously kissed Jordan on the lips, Minhaj confessed he still wears his Air Jordans. It’s Michael.

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Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.