Chris Brown Says He Was Blocked From Playing in NBA All-Star Celebrity Game Over Past Controversies

Singer Chris Brown arrives at PrettyLittleThing Madhouse Presented By Teyana Taylor held at WISDOME Los Angeles on July 3, 2021 in Los Angeles, California, United States. — Photo by imagepressagency/Deposit Photos

Chris Brown says he was ready to suit up for this weekend’s NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, when he was suddenly sidelined.

The “Loyal” singer went public in an Instagram Story on Saturday, Feb. 17, by sharing screenshots of emails he said he received from NBA reps.

“I was asked by the NBA to play in the all star game this year! Only for them to call later and say they couldn’t do IT because of their sponsors like RUFFLES,” Brown wrote. “At this point I’m sick of people bothering me and I’m tired of living in the past.”

Ruffles responded with a statement on Instagram confirming the brand sponsored the Feb. 16 game, but said: “We did not have any involvement in, nor visibility to, any player decisions or celebrity invite discussions.”

In a statement to USA Today on Sunday, the NBA added that Ruffles “had no input on the Celebrity Game rosters.”

Related StoryChris Brown Vents About Not Being Invited to Perform on Awards Shows: ‘Let Me Be Great’

While he wasn’t allowed to show off his hoops skills, Brown said the NBA still wanted him to attend the event in an apparent effort to capitalize on his celebrity status — and his 145 million followers on Instagram.

“I POSTED THE EMAILS SO Y’ALL COULD SEE. The NBA still was tryna get me to come and sit court side…,” Brown wrote.

It wouldn’t be the first time the “Go Crazy” singer was disinvited from a high-profile event.

In November 2022, Brown revealed on social media that his planned tribute performance to Michael Jackson on the 50th American Music Awards was scrapped for “reasons unknown.”

The singer posted a video on Instagram of himself rehearsing for the AMAs and captioned the post: “U Serious?” He later returned to the comments section to tell his followers: “Would’ve been the AMA performance but they cancelled me for reasons unknown.”

In a statement to Urban Hollywood 411 at the time, a spokesperson for AMAs producer Dick Clark Productions confirmed that the performance was dropped.

“Live shows change all the time, it’s the nature of this business; unfortunately, this element of the AMAs didn’t come together as we couldn’t align on the performance, to no fault of Chris Brown,” the statement said.

Brown skipped the ceremony, but still won the award for Favorite Male R&B Artist, prompting the audience to boo when his name was called.

The singer-songwriter-dancer has had a string of legal and personal skirmishes, including pleading guilty to committing felony domestic assault against Rihanna in 2009.

In March 2011, Brown allegedly became enraged and threw a chair backstage at Good Morning America. The singer reportedly got upset when Robin Roberts asked multiple times about the incident with Rihanna.

“Brown freaked out, storming into his dressing room and screaming so loud, the people in hair and makeup became alarmed and called security,” TMZ reported. The outlet added, “He smashed a window in his dressing room.”

In June 2017, Brown’s ex-girlfriend, Karrueche Tran, obtained a five-year restraining order against him, alleging he was physically abusive toward her, threatened her, and demanded she return money and jewelry he had given her during their relationship.

In January 2022, the singer was hit with a $20 million lawsuit by a woman who claimed she was drugged and assaulted by Brown at Diddy’s home in Miami Beach in 2020.

While the alleged attack happened in Florida, the lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles where both the accuser and Brown lived at the time. Brown seemingly denied wrongdoing in a post on Instagram, writing: “Whenever I’m releasing music or projects, ‘THEY’ try to pull some real bulls–t.”

According to L.A. news and talk radio station KFI AM 640, neither side showed up for a scheduled hearing in August 2022, prompting Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Huey P. Cotton to dismiss the case “without prejudice,” meaning it can potentially be reinstated later.