Casting the 2014 Monstars for Space Jam 2: Part 2
Click here for Part 1, where we chose the present-day Monstar equivalent of Muggsy Bogues.
Picking the 2014 Monstars was not an easy task. There were many long conversations over IM among the editors of the site, extensive research conducted and even a Google doc created to help organize thoughts and jot down notes. We work hard for our readers.
But there were two players that without a shadow of the doubt were going on the team. They made too much sense not too. This is one of those players.
Casting Grandmama Johnson in 2014
You might know Johnson by his real name, but at SpreeGoogs, when you appear in Family Matters and have an alter ego named Grandmama, that’s how you are going to be referred to for the rest of the post. I haven’t confirmed with Pepsi, but I imagine Grandmama was the inspiration for Kyrie Irving’s Uncle Drew. Johnson was a completely different player than Irving, but like Kyrie he was the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft and made several All-Star teams.
But enough of comparing Grandmama to Drew and let’s get down to business here. Playing the role of Johnson on the 2014 Monstars is Carmelo Anthony.
The similarities between Johnson and Anthony made this a no-brainer. For instance:
– Both started off in a small market (Charlotte, Denver) and made the move to the Knicks on a huge contract.
– Both spent time at small forward and power forward. Johnson was a natural PF, but made a move to small forward with the Knicks when he started losing some explosiveness due to injuries. Anthony’s natural position is SF, but because of the disaster that is the Knicks’ current roster, he spends most of his time at the 4.
– Both were NCAA champions, Johnson in 1990 with UNLV and Anthony in 2003 with Syracuse.
– Both fostered a decent amount of public ire with their behavior; for Johnson, it was because of his racially-charged comments during the 1999 NBA Finals and for Anthony it was because he loafed it for the Nuggets just before he was finally traded. (This is one of the reasons that Anthony also makes sense for a team like the Monstars, who you are supposed to dislike; someone like Kevin Durant is too likable).
– Both are better in a secondary role despite how crazy talented they are. Johnson benefited from playing with two of the best centers of all-time in Alonzo Mourning in Charlotte and Patrick Ewing in New York, while Anthony’s skills have always been best utilized on the U.S. men’s Olympic team playing Robin to Batmen Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Carmelo still gets his opportunities and plays an important role, but there are games where he flies under the radar because of the matchup.
And this matchup with the Tune Squad would be one I would expect him to take a backseat in. There’s more big firepower on the Monstar roster that we’ll discuss in the next few days that Carmelo would defer to, especially since he would likely draw the assignment of guarding James, the only offensive threat on the Tune Squad. When you’re expending energy guarding the other team’s best player (and in this case the best player in the world) then you’re liable to have a down night offensively.
With that in mind, Johnson’s stats in Space Jam are in line with what I would expect from Carmelo in Space Jam 2. Johnson went 3-for-3 for 6 points and had 2 steals. The only thing about that stat line that doesn’t make as much sense for Carmelo is the perfect field goal percentage. 100 percent doesn’t make much sense for a guy who shoots 45 on his career. But then again, the larger Space Jam box score doesn’t make that much sense either.
But besides all of his similarities to Johnson, perhaps the most important reason that Carmelo is a lock for the Monstar squad is because of his rivalry with James. Ever since they went No. 1 and No. 3 in the 2003 draft, their careers were destined to be compared. Now that they’re both in the Eastern Conference, it’s even easier since they square off four times a year. They don’t necessarily hate each other – by all accounts, they’re good friends. But there’s a mutual respect they share that inspires them to take it another level when the Knicks and Heat play.
And now that I think about it…
I just remembered Carmelo is married to La La. And he’s done his own dabbling in movies and TV already. He friggin’ has his own IMDB page. Forget the Johnson comparisons and James connection, SPACE JAM 2 NEEDS HIS ENTERTAINMENT PROWESS.
Sign me up for the Casting Society of America immediately.