– After two weeks of talking I was in Houston to
play Texas Senator Ted Cruz in what we call the
Blobfish Basketball Classic. And just like a blobfish,
the game was ugly, sloppy, and within moments, we
were gasping for air. We played one-on-one. It took almost an
hour to get to 6 points, which would
be a lot if this was a World Cup soccer game. But it was not. When we agreed to
play to 11, I didn’t realize that meant 11 o’clock. We edited this, because
it went on forever. You won’t be able to tell. The game was very rough. There were nothing but
fouls the whole game long. I have bruises all over my body. He kept poking me
with his hooves. The game went on so long,
by the time it was over, Jay-z and Beyonce had
written and produced an entire new album. It’s been a dream of mine
ever since I was a little boy to play basketball one day
against the least popular member of the US Senate. And that dream finally
came through this weekend. Here it is– my on-court
interview with Ted Cruz, a.k.a. the Blobfish Basketball Classic. GUS JOHNSON: Welcome to the
Blobfish Basketball Classic. Over 6,000 fans in
attendance for this game between Senator Ted Cruz and
talk show host Jimmy Kimmel. Hi, everybody. I’m Gus Johnson, along with
the legend, Isiah Thomas, one of the 50 greatest
players of all time. And welcome to Texas
Southern University. Let’s go to Guillermo
in the locker room. When in the time
of your life you start looking like a blobfish? I got to say, you and
Jimmy are a little bit obsessed with this fish thing. I don’t know why fish are
on your brain so much. But knock yourself out. OK. Thank you very much. Gracias. From the great state of Texas
by way of Canada, at 5 feet 11, 245 pounds, the senator formerly
known as Rafael, Ted Cruz. [music playing] And now, his challenger. From Las Vegas, Nevada,
the entertainment capital of the world, at 6
feet 1, 185 pounds, accompanied by his coach,
Rockets Hall-of-Famer Ralph Sampson, it’s Jimmy Kimmel. [MUSIC – EUROPE, “THE FINAL
COUNTDOWN”] It’s the final countdown. It’s the final countdown. MATT THOMAS: And now,
ladies and gentlemen, our referee Bob Delaney. The Blobfish Basketball
Classic rules– the game goes to 15 points. And you must win by 2 points. No shot clock, no time outs. The loser will donate $5,000
to the winner’s charity. [cheering] Ted is playing for
Generation One. And they’re still
not rooting for him. Jimmy is playing for
Texas Children’s Hospital. Senator, we’re going to allow
you to make the coin toss call. Hold on. Let me have a look at that coin. It’s got a head and a tail,
just like you, Senator. There you go. Call it. Heads. Heads is the call. Heads it is. It’s heads. Isiah, how does this
match-up break down for you? I’m calling Kimmel
to win this game. Did you spend
more time this week practicing basketball than
trying to get those kids out of that detention center? [cheering] It seems like it. ISIAH THOMAS: I think he’s
going to wear the senator down with his stamina. GUS JOHNSON: Oh, off
the glass and in! Ted throws off the dribble. ISIAH THOMAS: Well, you know,
he’s strong going right. Here’s Kimmel the other way. Kimmel gets his own rebound
at the basket, using his body, trying to be physical. Whoa! Fouled hard by Cruz. That’s a bad boy
foul right there. Let’s watch that
again in slow motion. Ted Cruz saying, no
fouls in this game. So he wants to be physical
with Jimmy Kimmel. I’m going to
make a rule change. Whenever you have a
change of possession, just bring it past
this free-throw line. The ref is having
mercy on us right now. You see, this is a
good lesson for you and those kids in
that detention center. [cheering] TED CRUZ: What about all
the kids Obama detained? Yeah, if there were
any, you should have done something about that too. GUS JOHNSON: Unfortunately,
all that talk can’t get Jimmy Kimmel a bucket. He needs a bucket. Still can’t get one to fall. Oh! Cruz knocks one down– a mid-range jump shot. So Cruz goes up 2-0. Now Kimmel all day. And [inaudible]. With his first shot, Jimmy
Kimmel is on the board. ISIAH THOMAS: He
finds the rim first. Oh, Cruz has it right
back though, baby. GUS JOHNSON: War of attrition. Jimmy Kimmel– and banks it in. He’s down by 1. Here we go. Both players getting loose. We should have
played until 11. True. We should have played to 4. GUS JOHNSON: Senator
Cruz driving. ISIAH THOMAS: Ted Cruz,
he’s got the sneaky under-hand right-hand lay-up. GUS JOHNSON: Sneaky
under-hand lay-up. Let’s take a break. Want to take a break? We’re going to take a time-out. [buzzer sounds] I hope you don’t have
an early flight to catch. [cheering and applause] BOB DELANEY: 4-2. Jimmy’s ball. 4-2. GUS JOHNSON: Right off the back. And that’s what a
time-out will do for you. GUS JOHNSON: Yeah,
a little energy. How about you? Did you vote for
Hilary or Bernie? I voted for Hillary. How’d that work out? Badly. Can I be honest? You’re right, it
worked out terribly. I mean, nothing has ever worked
out worse than that worked out. But I’m glad to see
you’ve forgiven Donald Trump for all the
horrible things he said about your family, your father. I commend Ted on putting
business first and his balls on a shelf somewhere. [cheering and applause] Speaking of balls, Jimmy,
you’re a professional comedian. In eight years, did you ever
tell a joke about Obama? Yes, lots of them. I even roasted him to his face
at the Correspondents Dinner. I’ll tell you this– Hollywood would do better
if they actually listened to the millions of
Americans who were unhappy with the direction this
country was going under Obama. [crowd booing] Just so you know,
they’re not booing. They’re saying, Cru– oh,
no, they’re booing actually. They’re booing.
Here we go. Let’s play basketball. GUS JOHNSON: Drive to
the left, up, no good. Gets his own rebound and hits. Senator Ted Cruz– 3 points away from halftime. They’ll go to 8. They’re playing until 15. You have to win by 2. TED CRUZ: I’ll tell
you what, Jimmy. Hold on. I’ll give you that
shot right there. If you miss it, NBC has to
put “Roseanne” back on air. GUS JOHNSON: High-arcer off
the glass and in for Kimmel. ISIAH THOMAS: I think
Kimmel has found his spot. And we’re level at 5. TED CRUZ: You and I
are both in trouble. GUS JOHNSON: 5-5, our score. Still? Yes. I’m out of it. You want to shorten it to 11? JIMMY KIMMEL: Yes. All right, done. Ted and I have
made a compromise. In the spirit of
bipartisanship and life– And life. We’re going to
shorten the game to 11. [cheering and applause] And the crowd goes wild. So halftime will be at 6. JIMMY KIMMEL:
Halftime will be at 6. One more basket,
we go to halftime. Tied at 5. JIMMY KIMMEL: Who’s harder
to defend– me or Trump? ISIAH THOMAS: He finally got
the hook shot to fall, Gus. He finally got it to fall. All right, so Jimmy
Kimmel’s started to get warm. He was down early. But he started hitting
that jump shot. ISIAH THOMAS: I’m just
appalled that the way that they showed
up at this game, just totally out of shape. MATT THOMAS: Welcome to the
second half of the Blobfish Basketball Classic. GUS JOHNSON: All
right, so here we go. Jimmy Kimmel gets the ball
to start the second half. This game now will go to 11. You have to win by 2. ISIAH THOMAS: It’s
going to be a long time before we get to 11, folks. GUS JOHNSON: There’s
a long jump shot. Off the front rim. Here’s Cruz getting to the hole. He lays it in. JIMMY KIMMEL: What’s
going on here? Did you learn this
grabbiness from Trump? Have you ever talked politics
on the court during the game? Every 30 seconds. Listen, I appreciate it. But if you keep
touching me like this, nobody is going to make
you a wedding cake. You know what I’m saying? Kimmel said trash-talking is
going to be part of this game, Gus. He said he was going to try
to talk him out of this game. GUS JOHNSON: Ha! And Cruz. ISIAH THOMAS: He
could have gone right. You go right, I go right. Because I know we
both need a breather, let me ask you a question. This is a serious question. Why, when most of the
Republicans in the Senate support coverage for preexisting
conditions, don’t you? Serious. Jimmy, listen. The facts matter. Everyone agrees there will
and should be coverage for preexisting conditions. The difference is
when Obamacare did, millions of people had their
health insurance cancelled and premiums have skyrocketed. Let me ask you– you brought
a lot of Democrats here. Let me ask you, how many of your
premiums went up versus down? Almost everyone’s
premiums went up. And so people who are hurting
can’t afford health insurance. Look, everyone’s going to
have emergency coverage. Everyone agrees that those
with preexisting conditions will get covered. The question is– But you don’t. Do you do it through
high-risk pool and jack everyone else’s rates, or
do you let everyone here their rates go down? And you know, Jimmy,
millions of people would have been
angry at Obamacare if it hadn’t made
the average family premiums go up $5,000 a year. Yeah, but that’s
just not true. It is true.
Those are facts, Jimmy. Facts matter. Facts don’t matter to
your president, by the way. Well, they don’t matter
on late night comedy either. It’s called comedy. It’s not the White House. But we need to give
people lower premiums. What’s the score? 7-7. All right, we’re tied at 7. I figured this is the
closest we’re going to get to a town hall, so, you know. [cheering and applause] GUS JOHNSON: Oh! And he makes it
in straight away. And up and in! Sealed the victory
for the senator. And I don’t think Jimmy
Kimmel has any gas remaining. Kimmel– MATT THOMAS: Jimmy Kimmel! GUS JOHNSON: Wow, just
classic on the line. And scores! ISIAH THOMAS: There’s no
quitting that Jimmy Kimmel. There’s no quitting
that Jimmy Kimmel, baby. GUS JOHNSON: And the 9. ISIAH THOMAS: He’s hot. I smell a comeback. GUS JOHNSON: So here we go. This game goes to 11. Cruz gets the rebound– blocked by Jimmy. Gets it back, throws
it, and he lands it! Thank goodness this is over! MATT THOMAS: Senator
Cruz wins the game. And the votes are in. And the MVP of the
Blobfish Basketball Classic is Jimmy Kimmel. [cheering and applause] I don’t know how it happened. But I somehow won MVP. CROWD: Jimmy!
Jimmy! Jimmy! Jimmy! We raised $14,111, a
minimum for Generation One. We raised $25,204 for
Texas Children’s Hospital. TED CRUZ: All right, Jimmy. Thank you very much. JIMMY KIMMEL: I want to donate
$10,000 to Generation One and $10,000 to the Texas
Children’s Hospital. I’m going to match
you and give ten grand to both charities as well. You’re a good sport. I still think you’re
a terrible senator. Thanks for the game. Kids, you got to see
your daddy win something. From Houston, Texas, this
is Gus Johnson saying so long. Not the way I was
hoping it would go. But we raised more than
$80,000 for Generation One and Texas Children’s Hospital. And if you don’t like
Ted Cruz, you don’t have to play basketball against him. You can vote against him. As for me, I make one promise. I will never ever
play basketball again.

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Dennis Veasley

10 thoughts on “Kimmel vs Cruz – Blobfish Basketball Classic”

  1. Jimmy Kimmel did an excellent job at being so vulgar. He’s a pro at that with plenty of practice… every time he hosts his show! By the way, Senator Cruz taught mr. vulgar a lesson. What a loser jimmy is!

  2. This is a clear representation of Texas because on paper we are a red state but from what I see most Texans hate Trump and his administration, we are another victim state to the electoral college because of our representatives. That whole stadium is cheering for Jimmy and against Cruz

  3. Jimmy did cross the line a couple of times, yet Cruz's very being is completely disingenuous and wicked. I don't have much sympathy for him.

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