Casting the 2014 Monstars for Space Jam 2: Part 5
What a week it’s been. If you haven’t been keeping up with our 2014 Monstar selection process, you can read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 at the links in the sentence. If you want a quick recap of who made the team, here are images of the four selected players so far:
Before we get into the last roster spot, I’d like to make a couple additional miscellaneous casting decisions. There are two human characters (originally played by Wayne Knight and Bill Murray) on the Tune Squad roster that need to join LeBron for the Galactic Game and that hasn’t been addressed by anyone yet.
The character played by Knight is bumbling, emotional and confused. He recorded a made field goal, but if you remember it correctly, he didn’t even shoot the ball. He was holding onto it when he was assaulted by the entire Monstar team in a pile-on so powerful it forced the ball to squirt out of his hands and miraculously, into the basket. From a physics standpoint, it’s generous to say it was a one-in-a-million shot. Here’s the game film:
A bumbling idiot who is funny to watch get pummeled by bigger foes? Kevin Hart has this job locked up. It can’t be anyone else.
I have two ideas for the character played by Bill Murray, and they’re both fantastic. From a box score perspective, this character doesn’t do much, but when you watch the game tape, he picked up a loose ball before the final possession that really turned the tide of the game. Also, he should have been credited with an assist on the infamous Jordan dunk. Either way, Bill Murray played a competent athlete who knew what to do in crunch time: pass the ball to MJ.
The obvious replacement in 2014 seems like Charles Barkley. He’s basically a comedian now and he’s certainly got the dribbling/passing ability to play in this game. Plus, it would be fun to have a character link the two movies. Another option here is present-day Jordan playing the wise, old basketball sage who still has a couple of plays left in him. Of course, present-day Jordan might come with contract limitations. A cheaper option if the two old-timers are out is Michael B. Jordan, who is both good at basketball (Celebrity Game stud) and would be really fun to watch on an animated team. Plus, he’s only one letter different from the M(J)J so it’s reeeeeally close.
Now that those picks are out of the way, let’s get down to the Monstars.
The only one left to replace is Shawn Bradley, which statistically is the easiest selection ever. The box score and game footage show a pretty abysmal basketball performance from this character resulting in absolutely no stats. Bradley’s Monstar played the entire game and only logged minutes. No shot attempts, no rebounds, no assists (tough on a team that shot 34-35) and no blocks. He’s 7’6″ (without factoring in the Monstar growth) and he couldn’t put up any numbers playing against chickens, rabbits, ducks and pigs.
Technically, it’s not the worst game to ever be played (he could have committed turnovers), but no one is clamoring over his talents at the Sloan Conference. A super team like the Monstars probably should have traded him away for picks and just played 4-on-5.
Bradley’s character made the team because he was a freakishly-tall goon. That’s ok. In a movie where animated characters mix with with real people, why not have one human who’s basically a cartoon? That’s what Shawn Bradley was. He was the guy who was made to hit his head when he walks through a door or have a gigantic snot bubble coming out of his nose or show up on game day and forget his uniform shorts.
Initially, I wanted to go with Roy Hibbert for this spot. He’s big, he’s been on television before, he would totally work. But this character needs to be more than just a token center. The real Monstars team has two centers, Ewing and Bradley. One was athletic and skilled, the other was a big dumb oaf who was freakishly tall and otherwise couldn’t tie his shoes. Yao Ming would have been great a few years ago, but he’s not active any more. Greg Oden would also make a pretty good choice, but we can’t have other players from LeBron’s real-life team playing against him.
Is there currently a player in the NBA who is among the tallest to ever play? Is there a player who’s entire game can be explained by saying “he’s really tall, but that’s about it”? Is there a player who could play an entire game and finish without even attempting a shot?
There’s only one person who meets all those criteria: Hasheem Thabeet.
Here’s what he would look like as a Monstar:
That’s it for our team. Your 2014 Monstars are Nate Robinson, Carmelo Anthony, Blake Griffin, Dwight Howard and Hasheem Thabeet.
What do you think?