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2 Rival Basketball Movie Line-ups

I had so much fun making fictional baseball cards last blog, that I decided to do it again, but with a different sport. My Co-host on Infinity Sports, Jesse B and I took turns drafting 6 fictional movie basketball players, and one coach. Only rules were, no real players (Anyone from Space Jam, or Charles Barkley from Forget Paris, ect) and no magical powers (Like Mike, Bedazzled).

Let us know who has the better lineup, or who we may have missed. Our lineups and honorable mentions are these:



Guard:

Wayne G: Kyle Watson - Above the Rim

I knew Jesse had not seen this movie, so I knew that the first guy I really wanted, I get close to the last pick. Watson is portrayed by Duane Martin, who dominates the Los Angeles Celebrity League, and rumor has it, he got a try-out for the Knicks back in the day. Here, he wants nothing more than a scholarship from Georgetown, as he fights personal demons of selfishness (and a weak jumper), and is torn between friendship that leads to the dark world of drugs and gangs, and a family life incorporating a possible new father figure. In the movie Kyle shows amazing quicknes, explosiveness, and the ability to handle the ball and command the floor.

Jesse B: Billie Hoyle - White Men Can’t Jump

Color me absolutely shocked that Wayne didn’t secure both the White Men Can’t Jump stars but I definitely feel I’ve drafted the one with the clutch gene. Billie rises to the occasion when the pressure is highest, including his half court hook shot that got his fiery girlfriend Gloria onto Jeopardy.

Hoyle is not the most athletic but he makes up for that with his basketball IQ and his wet jumper. He doesn’t look like a guy that will take your money and talk trash to you while doing it but he is exactly that for my squad. This pick will start a strong direction of a smaller lineup that is destined to outrun and outshoot the opposing side.



Guard:

Wayne G: Sydney Deane - White Men Can’t Jump

Sydney shows flash and explosiveness. For a guy who is presumed to be 6’3 or shorter, he can get above the rim, and blow past defenders at will. Defense is a little weak, and confidence can be a weakness as times, but paired with Watson, my team starts to take shape with an uber-athletic backcourt.

Jesse B: Jimmy Chitwood - Hoosiers

The starting shooting guard for my fictional basketball character draft is an absolute star and one in which you all should be familiar with from Hoosiers. The Indy Star did an analysis of Chitwood’s scoring in the movie and estimated that he scored an average of 28.6 points per game. When you put into perspective the minuscule scores basketball displayed in Jimmy’s era he was an offensive juggernaut. He shot 81% from the field in the film and my team has no shortage of shooting and scoring. Jimmy also scored the game winning bucket in the film to lift his Hickory squad to the 1952 State Championship.



Forward:

Wayne G: Stacy Patton - Eddie

This pick holds a close place to my heart. When I was a kid I used to send out cards to be autographed by pro athletes. I sent Malik Sealy (who played Patton) a Fleer Ultra Rookie Card, and a letter praising him as the NBA’s next great player. A few weeks later, in the mail, I got the card back with the inscription “Wayne, thank you for the kind words. Malike Sealy”

Sadly he would pass in a car accident, and died way too soon.

In the movie Eddie he is a quintessential diva and ball hog, with a huge attitude problem. But he has all the greatness in the world, and finds it in the end (spoiler) when he learns to be a team player. Regardless of how his movie character turned out, I was drafting him just based on my childhood memory.

Jesse B: Jesus Shuttlesworth - He Got Game

Shuttlesworth wasn’t my first pick but he was absolutely deserving of being the top overall pick from either of us. When you consider the actor playing him is 6’5” NBA soon to be Hall of Famer Ray Allen. I will start Jesus a little out of position, from SG to PF, but again I have a specific strategy in mind with a smaller lineup in which shooting and pace will be held at a premium.

In the movie he is the top ranked high school basketball prospect, so again I am coming in knowing my lineup lacks no confidence. He is drilled and carved from a young age on the court by his father Jake Shuttlesworth, played by my favorite actor all time, Denzel Washington. Wayne and I each have the luxury of having an NBA all timer on our lineups and Jesus is mine!



Forward:

Wayne G: Saleh - The Air Up There

St Joes head coach Jimmy Dolan takes an adventure to Wanabi, Africa and finds a hidden talent. The tribes prince, Saleh, is 6’10 with a vertical leap that is off the charts. He refers to himself as a dunkaholic, and asks if he could someday be a #1 NBA Draft pick. Dolan compares him to Air Jordan, and he can throw down on anybody, no matter how large.

Jesse B: Tracy Reynolds - Like Mike

With Tracy Reynolds as my SF I am further emphasizing a lack of size (6’0”) but benefiting from his speed and experience. Reynolds won’t be bothered to be humbled at all like he was all through his time with Calvin Cambridge in Like Mike. He can be as cocky as we need him to be and he’s an All Star caliber scorer for the LA Knights during the film. Morris

Chestnut has always been in roles I’ve enjoyed and he plays a guy who looks the part of a professional basketball player and a father of the year!



Center:

Wayne G: Neon Boudeaux - Blue Chips

You can’t teach size, and there’s not a ton of it in movieland, so Neon was my first pick. I remember seeing Blue Chips in the theatre and love it right away. I got the VHS for Christmas, in a time when VHS’ cost $100. In the movie he is a raw athletic big, but had great footwork and athleticism/strength that could not be matched. Fair to say, the best big man in all of cinema.

Jesse B: Tom Shepard - Above the Rim

As previously mentioned in the article I HAD never watched the film Above the Rim. Well, between the draft and writing this rival style blog I made sure to watch it. One of the main reasons I wanted to watch it was because it came so highly recommended from Wayne who I know and trust as a movie lover and connoisseur. The other reason I knew it was a must watch was because we both ended up with the a star each from this film as integral parts of our lineup. When the credits rolled I was ready to put this in my upper echelon of sports movies. Great job by Tupac in one of his cinematic opportunities to branch out beyond a music artist. Wood Harris, who many of you may remember as Julius Campbell in Remember The Titans, does an incredible job as Tupac’s right hand man and muscle on the streets and on the evil basketball team “coached” by Tupac.

Shep is a former High School basketball stand out from the 70’s and along with Billie Hoyle brings decades of basketball experience to the hardwood. Shep has sneaky intimidating height that is displayed several times throughout the film when standing next to other basketball players. Tom Shepard puts basketball on the way back burner for over 15 years because the weight of the guilt he feels from a basketball challenge gone wrong with his high school friend Nutso falling off a building to his death.

The next opportunities we get to see him play are without a ball at all and he shows footwork that makes Olajuwon grin ear to ear. Our next chance to see what type of skills he possesses,at an estimated age of 34, is key because it pits Shep against Wayne’s draftee Kyle Watson. He showed elite man defense stripping him three times and blocking his shot. The basketball we get in the end that makes me the most proud to have him as my small ball center shows his offensive explosiveness. Of all the shots he made in the City Shoot Out Final, maybe one of them is inside the painted area. He hits elbow jumpers and damn near threes with such ease and racks up what seems to be 30 points. What makes that offensive outburst more impressive to me is that he did that in just the second half alone and wearing khakis and a long sleeve shirt.



6th Man

Wayne G: Butch McRae - Blue Chips

I almost went a different direction with this pick, but you can’t pass up a 6’7 point guard that can score. Butch is just as dynamite as Penny Hardaway, who played him in the film. So impactful, that Pete Bell is willing to sacrifice his principals to get the kid. He will be a scoring machine off the bench, and can play the 1,2, or 3 positions.

Jesse B: Brian Flanagan - Cocktail

While Flanagan is not known for playing basketball at all in this film he has one of the best displays of shooting in cinema or basketball history. In one scene Tom Cruise's character hits 7 consecutive three pointers, the last 2 of which more circus style than the first 5. We see that smaller stature and quick hands didn’t hinderJohn Stockton or Isiah Thomas so I have the utmost faith in Brian Flanagan coming off the bench and providing lights out shooting, a few fundamental chest passes and the possibility of a steal or two.



Coach

Wayne G: Jimmy Dolan - The Air Up There

With a couple big personalities on my team, I couldn’t afford a hard ass coach like Norman Dale or Pete Bell. I need a players coach. And what better players coach, than a guy who will suit up and be a player for you? Jimmy goes as far as to join the tribe of Wanabi to play, and when he tells Saleh he will not hold him to his commitment, he shows he cares more about his players than himself.

Jesse B: Ken Carter - Coach Carter

With the age and confidence of my roster I needed a Head Coach who could challenge each and every one of them. Samuel L. Jackson is loud, proud and gets results. His speech in Coach Carter gives me chills every time I watch it. He won’t have to worry about grades in any way which derailed his championship ready team in the film. He has an offensive team that he can prepare defensively especially on the low post where we will be challenged by Wayne’s picks most. Who doesn’t love Samuel L. Jackson yelling on the sideline?