The Basketball Movie Fantasy Draft

The Baseball Movie Fantasy Draft was such a huge success (you’d be amazed how many people search for “Dottie Hinson” on a daily basis) and to capitalize on the NBA Draft hoopla surrounding this week, Jeezy Sanchez and Haggleman Mondays have returned for the Basketball Movie edition. The biggest eyeopener we took away from this draft was just how AWFUL basketball movies are compared to their baseball counterparts. We’re not kidding. Below is footage from the Aggro Swag Draft Lottery, in which Haggleman won the first pick:

Before that, a quick reminder of the ground rules:

  1. Fictional players only – The jewel of the draft would be Michael Jordan from Space Jam. It’s just unfair to the team that doesn’t get “His Airness.” Also, characters based on real-life counterparts were not included in the player pool. Glory Road fans can stop reading now. Both of them.
  2. Positions for all players are flexible – Basketball movies took many liberties in positions for these players. ALL centers were big, goofy, foreign white guys. After that, who knows whether Lil’ Bow Wow was a point guard or a power forward. All we know is that he was adorable, am I right?
  3. Draft format– Alternating between picks, each team will select 7 characters: A starting five, a sixth man and a head coach.
  4. Movies only – Nobody from Hang Time allowed. The same goes for the Fresh Prince, Steve Urkel on a jetpack, or Zack Morris before Mr. Belding tore his knee to shreds.

The Basketball Movie Draft was far more taxing than the Baseball Movie Draft. You’ll know why after the 2nd pick:

Haggleman Mondays: Pick #1 – Neon Boudeaux, Blue Chips

Although Shaq is a real person, he unfortunately does not play himself in Blue Chips. And make no mistake, Shaq IS in this movie, although you may have a difficult time finding him on any cast list. (SEE THIS POSTER). In Blue Chips, Shaq plays 7’4” center Neon Boudeaux, a troubled star in the make of Fab Melo, somebody who’s got all the talent in the world, but is kind of a dumbass. Also, give credit to the writers, as I don’t think they could have shoe-horned any more of the South into Neon’s name. Though he’s a potential risk to sit because of academics, I can’t pass up this type of talent at number 1.

Jeezy Sanchez: Pick #2 – Butch McRae, Blue Chips

I was eying Neon since we decided to do this draft, so of course Haggs takes him first. No fear though, at least MY player from Blue Chips can read. That’s a big plus for me. McRae was played by Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway, who in real life was Shaq Daddy’s running mate in Orlando. Butch has issues with homesickness and was known to accept a bribe or two, but when you see the talent pool for this draft you’ll understand why we’re overlooking some character issues. Seriously, how can I pass him up? He had the MOVIE Jim Boeheim recruiting him! Could the writers come up with a worse fictional college than the Western University Dolphins? Why not the Southern College A&M State Tech Rhinos?

Haggleman: Pick #3 – Lewis Scott, Celtic Pride

[cold sweat]

[hands shaking]

Uh, I don’t know, um, Lewis Scott? Yeah, that guy I guess. Boy, this draft is slim pickins. Lewis Scott is the third best player, really? It’s like picking babes on Saved by the Bell. Once you get past Kapowski and Turtle, it’s bad news bears (Jesse was THE WORST). I picked Scott because, although no one actually saw Celtic Pride, he got kidnapped in the movie in an effort to prevent the Jazz from winning the NBA Finals. So, considering he’s (1) in the NBA, (2) the best player on an NBA Finals team, and (3) a Wayans, I guess he must be pretty good. There. Done. [closes Celtic Pride Wikipedia Page]

Jeezy: Pick #4 – Jesus Shuttlesworth, He Got Game

Did he really just call Lisa Turtle the second hottest babe on Saved By The Bell? Has he not seen THIS?. Regarding the pick, I’m shocked. Not because Scott isn’t a good player, but because I was convinced I was the only person in the world who saw Celtic Pride. I have to go with the “Coney Island Jesus.” Shuttlesworth is the greatest thing to happen to basketball since the tennis shoe was invented, according to John Thompson. I would have gone with basketball shoe but that’s me. So far, I’m 2-for-2 on drafting players that the MOVIE Jim Boeheim has touted. Ray Allen was selected to play the part of Jesus because Allen Iverson didn’t impress Spike Lee. Spike Lee, the guy who wears a Landry Fields jersey to Knicks games wasn’t impressed by ALLEN IVERSON.

Haggleman: Pick #5 – Pound (Orange Monstar), Space Jam

I knew I needed to get a Monstar before Jeezy started the run on those guys, but I wondered, which one should I pick? After all, it’s not easy to tell which player is best among stars like Barkley, Ewing, Larry Johnson, Mugsy Bogues (?) and Shawn Bradley (?!!!). How’d I settle on Barkley? I started out by determining that Space Jam was created in 1996, just as Jordan made his return from baseball. Then I looked up the stats and discovered that Barkley had the best year of the group in ’96, settling in at 23 points and 12 rebounds a game, despite dealing with a tough bout of “Aliens Stealing My Talents”. The makers of Space Jam obviously felt the same, as Barkley’s Monstar shot a ridiculous 16-16 in a losing effort against the Tune Squad. In the end, the decision was simple: the Monstars stole the talent of five players, and the best talent in the five was Barkley.

Note: The Monstars may have been hurt by a lack of outside shooting. Their best perimeter shooter by statistics was Grandma Ma, and he only came in at a dismal 32%. Of course, I suppose you don’t really need perimeter shooting when you are quite literally crushing your opponents into the floor. RIP Mouse.

Jeezy: Pick #6 – Bupkus (Purple Monstar), Space Jam

The lack of prominent big men in basketball movies is unsettling; almost as unsettling as the quality of basketball movies. If Hagg’s is going to take “Pound” (why the unnecessary shot at Barkley’s weight, Space Jam?) then I’ll counter with the only other scorer on the Monstars, Bupkus, or the Monstar with Larry Johnson’s talent. We missed the boat not having a Monstar cross-dress as a grandma for at LEAST one scene. Bupkus (Johnson) was 4-4 from downtown, and that clearly wasn’t from LJ, so that means the Nerdluck (pre-Monstar) had a decent jumper from the start. One thing about the Monstars performance against the Looney Tunes: All of them were larger in size than MJ and the Tunes, yet they registered ZERO blocks. I thought only one Monstar had Shawn Bradley’s talents (AYO!). Space Jam is the best.

Haggleman: Pick #7 – Nate Wilson, Eddie

As a story and a film, Eddie is a bit of a mess. Notwithstanding the part where the NEW YORK KNICKS pick their coach from a contest, there’s a sequence in this movie where Eddie (Whoopi), as the coach of a team in a do or die regular season game for the playoffs, actually stops the game, is given a microphone, and delivers a speech about how the owner of the team plans to move it to St. Louis (Why St. Louis? Who the F knows. And honestly, there are far more important questions about Eddie that you should be asking.) AND at that moment, said owner comes out on to the court RIDING ON A HORSE. Remarkably, the Madison Square Garden crowd gives its full attention to this situation, seemingly forgetting the more pressing issue of the team they paid money to see fighting for its playoff life. All of this distracts from the main issue, the fact that I picked aging “star” Nate Wilson over the team’s best player, Stacy Patton. Well, Wilson was more offensively efficient than Patton, and the last thing I need on a team with Pound, Neon, and Sweet Lew Scott is a ballhog. Plus, the guy who played Stacy Patton died in a horrific car crash 12 years ago, which is terrible. Let’s get back to more Space Jam.

Jeezy: Pick #8 – Jamal Jefferies (a.k.a Juwanna Mann), Juwanna Mann

I have to make this selection because the other day, someone told me in confidence that they “LOVED” Juwanna Mann. I won’t name names, but that takes some guts. If not for his antics on and off the court, Jefferies would be a top 5 pick. He comes with a lot of baggage, ya know, like getting completely naked after being taken out of a game, cross-dressing, etc. The dude (or dudette) has talent, no one can deny that. He went through a lot of trouble to play for the WUBA Charlotte Banshees (what a name, still better than Bobcats). His one misstep was, in a women’s basketball game, dunking a basketball and SHATTERING THE BACKBOARD. That wasn’t the part that gave away his gender though. It was his wig falling off. Classic Juwanna. Of all the head-scratching moments in this movie, the topper is WUBA players vouching for Jefferies to be reinstated into the UBA (NBA). Imagine if Dinosaur Taurasi demanded to David Stern that someone like Ron Artest be reinstated into the league. He’d throw her out of his office Uncle Phil style. Haha…women’s basketball…

Haggleman: Pick #9 – Buddy, Air Bud

What does it say about basketball movies and the actors in them that I’m picking a dog in my starting lineup? I’ll tell you, it says they are pretty shitty. This draft has been a good exercise in the futility of these films. A few concerns about Air Bud: 1. How does he shoot free throws? I think there could be issues with the “Hack-a-dog” approach there. 2. If buddy was a girl dog, would she have to play with girls? Is there a title ix rule in effect for retrievers? I doubt it. Lawmakers have been a little lax on equality for dogs. Here’s hoping that gets resolved. #teamdogs

Jeezy: Pick #10 – Scott Howard/The Wolf, Teen Wolf

I’ll answer Haggleman’s animal pick with another. Now let’s make this perfectly clear. I’m not making this pick for Michael J. Fox’s puny white guy character. I’ve got Wolf Fever. In his first game alone he recorded an unheard of QUADRUPLE-DOUBLE. I apologize for making the common misconception that werewolves were NOT good at basketball. How could I be so naïve? Besides dunking on bros and his mean handle, The Wolf gets ladies too. What’s not to love about this pick? Oh, yeah the whole turning back to a human part. Well, that’s a risk I’m willing to take. Gotta respect kids in the 80’s who accepted a werewolf as one of their own, almost immediately. Those were the days. My beef with Teen Wolf, besides everything about a werewolf starting for a high school basketball team (still more believable than a dog, you guys), is the final scene where Scott gets fouled as time expires. That jerk Mick just gets to stand under the basket while Scott shoots a free throw. That’s not even allowed in SlamBall! Unacceptable.

Haggleman: Pick #11 – Antoine Tyler, 6th Man

Whether he’s dead or alive, Antoine Tyler will be a good contributor for my team. When he was alive, Tyler was one of the best players in all of college basketball. When he was dead, he was one of the best invisible college basketball players in all the land. The problem with the 6th Man is we never actually saw Tyler do anything besides catch alley-oops. Logic tells me he must have been good at something, but I never saw him do it (Though, let’s be fair, he died one game into the movie). The only other problem I saw with the 6th Man is that it’s about a ghost helping a basketball team. Other than that, good movie.

Jeezy: Pick #12 – Saleh Wintambuh, The Air Up There

Throughout this draft I kept saying how bad the talent was. Although for my last pick, I agonized over who I would be leaving in the player pool. Bill Murray’s performance from Space Jam was a serious contender. Super serious. But I couldn’t pass up Saleh from The Air Up There. He’s like a poorer man’s Dikembe Mutumbo. He has size, speed, and a Gerald Green-like vertical. Why did I compare him to such an obscure NBA player? Why not. Saleh was so good, Kevin Bacon traveled to Africa to see him. BACON! As Jimmy Dolan, Bacon plays a college assistant who no doubt commits HUNDREDS of NCAA recruiting violations in this movie. Oh, your land is being threatened by a mining company and the only way to save it is to play basketball against the mining company’s BASKETBALL TEAM? Sure, I’ll help you if you play for me at college. Chris Webber just took a shoebox full of money and we all freaked out. A coach saved an African’s homeland in order to land a star recruit, LET’S PROMOTE HIM TO HEAD COACH. Basketball movies lead the nation in plot holes. Do all mining companies use basketball teams to purchase land? If so, why aren’t letting Antoine Walker know about this? Dude’s got bills to pay. The movie ends on a freeze frame of Saleh and Kevin Bacon high-fiving. That’s the number 1 pick in a “How You End Any Movie Properly” Draft.

Haggleman: Pick #13 – Stan Podolak (Coach), Space Jam – Coach

This photo belongs in the Smithsonian

Maybe Stan wasn’t a “coach” per se, but he DID sit on the bench and he WAS there the whole time the Tune Squad completed their comeback. Am I to believe the ONLY THING that motivated the Tunes was MJ’s “special stuff”? Yeah right. Somebody had to get those guys going on the bench, and it sure wasn’t going to be Tazz or the chicken. Remember, this guy was motivated enough to dig all the way to whatever universe the Looney Tunes were in. If anybody’s going to keep me free of Moron Mountain, it’s going to be Stan Podolak.

Jeezy: Pick #14 – Jackie Moon, Semi-Pro – Coach

I’d be doing everyone an injustice by not mentioning Norman Dale and THIS SPEECH from Hoosiers.

/chills

Dale can’t coach MY squad though. He can win with five scrawny white guys, but can he handle an alien, wolf, and transvestite? Highly unlikely. He’s out. Eddie was pulled out of the crowd and coached the New York Knicks, a team full of big egos and little talent, to the NBA playoffs. That’s obvious plagiarism of the 2012 Mike Woodson Story. She’s out. So where does that leave us? You read my mind, Mr. “Love Me Sexy” himself, Jackie Moon. He was a player/coach, so he totally counts. He may not know, or understand, the X’s and O’s of basketball, but Moon wrestled a bear for his team AND he traded a washer-dryer for an ex-NBA point guard. Now I know five of you actually SAW Semi-Pro, so you’ll have to take me at my word that this guy is the kind of leader my team needs.

THE LINEUPS

Haggleman’s Take: Were this real life, my team would be awful. I have dog in my starting 5 and a dead guy on my bench. My best player relies on the hope that no one takes back the talent he’s already stolen. My center can’t read and my shooting guard has a tendency to get kidnapped. It’s discouraging. This of course will all be under the tutelage of a guy named Stan who’s only coaching qualifications are his minutes spent riding the pine with Looney Tunes characters. Strengths: Dunking, Weaknesses: School, living, and opposable thumbs. WOOF [Pun INTENDED]

Jeezy’s Take: This draft was tough. Losing out on the first pick was brutal, but I think I got the steal of the draft with Jesus Shuttlesworth at #4. After that, I had a colossal drop-off. I gave the cross-dressing Juwanna Mann a Dion Waiters promise during the combine, and I kind of regret that one now.  I’m bummed I had to settle for the second best Monstar, but I’m glad neither of us had to dip into Mugsey Bouges/Shawn Bradley Monstar territory. Putting my faith in a guy who can become a werewolf at will but chooses not to in the most important game of his life is a terrifying risk. Plus, let’s be honest, Jackie Moon couldn’t coach a birth. As for Haggs, taking a dog and a ghost were questionable picks, but NATE WILSON a.k.a John “Spider” Salley at #5?!  That has Adam Morrison written all over it.

QUOTES FROM THE WAR ROOM

JS: it’ll be a puzzle to match the terrible nba player to the monster

HM: shawn bradley is easy

JS: b/c they both look like aliens

HM:

JS: if you voted against shawn bradley in a congressional race then we cant be friends

JS: and i thought the talent pool in baseball movies was lacking…

HM: there was a drop-off around pick 10 or so in baseball. here it happens after pick 1

HM: was ivan radmonovich real or does it just sound like a real person

HM: The guy who played Ivan? Also dead.

HM: Eddie more like DEAD-IE

HM: it’s really amazing that that random tv reporter put it all together re: a ghost helping a basketball team

HM: the name of the reporter in the sixth man? R.C. St. John

JS: now in regards to positions, that’s about as flexible as it can be, right? like I don’t know whether a duck is a shooting guard or a small forward

HM: my life just changed realizing danny o’grady is actually travis ford

HM: i honestly almost went eddie, but was she actually good at coaching? the jury is still out

JS: if we do a whole basketball movie post without a single Hoosiers mention it might be a felony

______________________________________________________________________________

So now we’ve got our basketball and baseball drafts done, and football, hockey and maybe even soccer are still to come (we’re huge fans of The Big Green and Ladybugs here at Aggro Swag). As always, leave your thoughts on where we went wrong in the comments. There’s PLENTY of room for debate in this one.

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