Plugged In

What video games do NBA All-Stars play?

Monster Truck Destroyer

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All-Star Jam - Getty Images

With the NBA playoffs in full swing, most players are focused squarely on keeping their team in the hunt for the Larry O' Brien trophy.

When they're on the court, at least. Because when they're not dribbling, passing, or dunking on cars, you'll likely find NBA ballers doing what most 20- or 30-something men do: playing video games.

According to the league, a whopping 85 percent of its players are 'active' gamers. And it's not just scrubs -- some of the biggest names in the sport grew up with controllers in
their hands and somehow find the time to play. We caught up with a few of the
best and brightest to find out which games are stealing away their free time.

Derrick Rose

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Derrick Rose - Getty Images

Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose, who's a shoo-in for the coveted Most Valuable Player this year, played EA Sports' NBA Live franchise as a kid and his team of choice in that game was -- you guessed it -- the Bulls. These days, Rose loves war games like Ubisoft's Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six franchise and Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops.
But he's also a fan of basketball.

"I play a lot of NBA 2K," said Rose. "2K is the best game out there.
I've been playing a lot of 2K with my friends. I play with the Nuggets.
They have a lot of big guys, so I get a lot more shots and stuff like that. But
a lot of my friends play as the Bulls and use me in the game."

Dwight Howard

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Dwight Howard - Getty Images

Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, who won his third consecutive NBA Defensive Player of the Year
award, is defending his ground in Call of Duty: Black Ops every night.

"I would say I play about three or four hours every night," said Howard, who was on the cover of NBA Live 10. "I'm a night owl, so after games I'm up till about 4 or 5 a.m. playing video games."

Howard, who's ranked "Prestige" in Treyarch's game, said online is the best way to experience Call of Duty. His secret to success?

"I use the Galil with the silencer, that's the best gun in the game," said Howard, "I'm pretty good."

Kobe Bryant

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Kobe Bryant - Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers star, who was featured in Activision's commercial for Black Ops, can also be found playing it online. But his games are a lot shorter than Howard's.

"I try, but I'm not very good," said Bryant, who was on the cover of 2K Sports' NBA 2K10. "I last like two minutes on Call of Duty. But right now, that's all I play."

LeBron James

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LeBron James - Getty Images

Not everyone is a fan of playing games online. In fact, one of the biggest names in the NBA has quit the online gaming arena altogether -- and for an interesting reason.

"I don't play online too much, but I used to," said LeBron James of the Miami Heat. "Too many people quit on me while I was playing, so I just stopped. I just left it alone."

James spends his game time playing solo and also with his kids.

"I play Call of Duty: Black Ops, Madden NFL 11, NBA 2K 11, you know whatever my kids want to play," said James. "They want to play everything. They play the Wii, all those crazy
games. We also have PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360."

Kevin Love

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Kevin Love - Getty Images

Minnesota Timberwolves standout Kevin Love, who was on the cover of EA Sports' NCAA Basketball 09 and won the league's Most Improved Player award this season, is always logged on to Xbox

"I'm in the upper echelon of the league right now (in Black Ops), so I'm excited about that...especially in the video games because I have bragging rights over all my friends," said Love.


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Dirk Nowitzki - Getty Images

Not everyone in the NBA is a gamer. There are still those 15 percent who spend their free time doing other things - like living in the real world.

"I hate video games," said Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki. "I played them when I was growing up...there were some great soccer and basketball games back then, but now that I'm 32 I'm too old to be sitting with a controller in my hands."

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