Casting the 2014 Monstars for Space Jam 2: Part 4
Click here for Parts 1, 2 and 3 of our Monstars casting. In case you don’t have time to read them all, we chose Nate Robinson as Muggsy Bogues, Carmelo Anthony as Larry Johnson and Blake Griffin as Charles Barkley.
There’s a bunch of attributes that come to mind when I think of the Monstars: green, purple, orange, terrible haircuts, fire-breathing, huge sneakers, dumb as stumps, skinny legs. Also, huge biceps.
That last attribute was one of the primary drivers in choosing who was going to play the part of Patrick Ewing in 2014. The Monstars were physical beasts, able to stomp on, jump over and knock the sh*t out of the Tune Squad and not even break a sweat.
Now there are plenty of beasts in the NBA, including the captain of the Tune Squad himself, LeBron James. But there’s one player that has always just stood out to me for some reason when it comes to being a physical marvel. He just looks like he is straight out of a comic book. Or a cartoon. And hey, that makes him perfect for the Monstars since he’ll have his basketball talents hijacked by them.
Casting Patrick Ewing in 2014
Playing the role of Patrick Ewing in 2014 is Dwight Howard.
Dwight makes a lot of sense for a few reasons:
1. The chiseled biceps
2. His nickname is SuperMan, and his connection to comics/cartoons is something that would make him a good fit for the Monstars
3. He wants to expand his brand, and he’d jump at the chance to be in a franchise like Space Jam. Remember the pitch the Lakers made to him about staying in Los Angeles to take advantage of the entertainment industry? It didn’t work – but it was a good smart angle to take.
4. Howard can definitely dunk from long range, which is a key part of Space Jam. You don’t necessarily have to be able to do it from half-court like Jordan could, but somewhere in the neighborhood of the free throw line is required. That’s exactly what Howard did (with the help of his cape) back in the 2008 dunk contest:
5. Dwight is not particularly well-liked among fans after his messy exits from Orlando and Los Angeles. Like I mentioned with Carmelo, the fact that he is not beloved helps make the Monstars more of an antagonist for LeBron and the Tune Squad.
The editors of SpreeGoogs talked about several other options to replace Ewing on the team. Marc Gasol came to mind, as he has a more polished back-to-the-basket game than Howard. But he’s not quite the overall talent that Ewing was, and doesn’t have the same notoriety. Kevin Love also came to mind because he is a rebounding machine, but he’s not a natural center.
Howard fits because he, like Ewing, is the best center of his era. I’m not saying that he’s as good as Ewing, because that would just be a lie. Patrick averaged 3 blocks or more per game for five years in a row in one stretch of his career, including 4 per game in 1989-90. That is downright incredible. To put it in perspective, the best Howard did was 2008-09 with 2.9 per game and we proclaim him to be a defensive wizard. Ewing also averaged 28.6 points per game in his best season, while the best that Howard has been able to muster was 22.9. But Howard does trump Ewing in career field goal percentage and rebounds per game, so I think he can at least be allowed to be a part of the conversation.
And that offensive efficiency would suit Howard well for this match-up. The Monstars went 34-for-35 overall in the original game with the Tune Squad. Ewing was actually the player who had a miss, going 15-for-16 with 4 3-pointers for 34 points. I could easily see Howard putting up those same types of numbers in Round 2. The Tune Squad has zero size outside of LeBron, which would lead to dunk after dunk for Howard (which is his specialty anyway).
One final thing to note is the Orlando connection. Ewing coached and mentored Howard for one season as the Magic tried to create a buffer between Dwight and Stan Van Gundy while at the same time hoping that Ewing could teach him some semblance of a post-up game. Neither worked, but it would be a nice story if the student took the place of the teacher in the second installment of Space Jam. Kind of like Luke taking the reigns from Obi-wan, except totally different.
By the way, remember when Patrick Ewing played a season for the Magic? Yeah, neither did I until last night.
Be sure to check back tomorrow as Adam rounds out our squad with the final member of the Monstars.