The NBA season is now over. But one of the more interesting games of the year is on the horizon, and the war of words surrounding it is heating up.
Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel and former presidential candidate and Texas Senator Ted Cruz will be playing a charity basketball game June 16. The one-on-one contest pits Cruz, a former varsity player in high school, against Kimmel, who played the clarinet.
The challenge originated when Kimmel mocked Cruz for his appearance at Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals between the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors. In his usual pull-no-punches style, Kimmel said Cruz looked “like a blobfish.”
Cruz responded via Twitter and issued the basketball challenge to Kimmel. The loser will donate $5,000 to a charity of the winner’s choice.
Kimmel originally said he would play only if Cruz adopted the short shorts last seen on the court in the 1980s. Cruz has said he will not wear them, but will play.
Cruz has asked for prayers in the competition. Kimmel has since proposed absurd ground rules, including “no kisses longer than 12 seconds,” “at no point during play will Ted be able to transform into a cloud of bats,” the senator will not be able to get help from “soldiers in his goblin army.”
Cruz will also lose a point every time he references a line from The Simpsons.