The game was supposed to be to 15. But after two hours, with Sen. Ted Cruz up 11-9 against Jimmy Kimmel, they called it. The blobfish had won.
Two weeks after Cruz challenged the late-night host to a one-on-one basketball game for charity, the two men met in Houston over the weekend. “We apologize to the game of basketball,” Kimmel told the thousands of fans who showed up to watch the showdown near the end of the battle.
But even though he failed to best his opponent, Kimmel did seem pleased that the event raised at least $85,000 for Texas Children’s Hospital and the nonprofit ministry Generation One. A defeated Kimmel presented highlights from the game to his viewers Monday night and managed to work in a few digs at his opponent.
“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 U.S. Senate,” he told viewers. “That dream finally came true this weekend.”
Kimmel, who entered the arena wearing a LeBron James-style shorts suit and big white headphones, was clearly fairly confident going in—after all, he was playing against a man who once referred to the hoop as a “basketball ring.”
“Did you spend more time this week practicing basketball than trying to get those kids out of that detention center?” Kimmel taunted Cruz at once point. Apparently, the answer was yes. “The ref is having mercy on us right now,” he added later. “See, this is a good lesson for you and those kids in that detention center.”
When Cruz asked, “What about all the kids Obama detained?” Kimmel shot back, “Yeah, if there were any, you should have done something about that, too.”
Later in the game, Cruz asked Kimmel who he voted for. “How’d that work out for you?” he asked when Kimmel answered Hillary Clinton.
“Badly. Can I be honest? You’re right. It worked out terribly. I mean, nothing has ever worked out worse than that worked out,” Kimmel said. “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.” And then, “Who’s harder to defend: Me or Trump?”
Ultimately, Cruz took home the victory, but Kimmel was somehow awarded the MVP trophy. “You’re a good sport,” he told Cruz, who matched Kimmel’s donations even though he won. “I still think you’re a terrible senator.”
“If you don’t like Ted Cruz, you don’t have to play basketball against him, you can vote against him,” Kimmel told viewers back in L.A. “And for me, I promise, I will make one promise: I will never, ever play basketball again.”