Over at Grantland.com a discussion has been started to occupy the few down-time moments of sports fans during the NCAA March Madness. The discussion: Who is the greatest ever fictional basketball player?
Here are the rules:
Rule 1: The Blue Chips Rule
The film Blue Chips was loaded with actual NBA stars playing fictional characters. It would be too easy to just pick the guys from this movie, or to simply add in another guy or two. So the Blue Chips Rule is: You can’t pick more than two players from any one movie.
Rule 2: Split Personality Rule
If someone has played a basketball player in more than one movie, you can pick only one of his or her roles.
Rule 3: The Earl Manigault Rule
You can’t pick anyone who was portraying a real-life basketball player.
Rule 4: The Fletch Rule
There is no restriction on the type of movie referenced. It doesn’t have to be billed as a basketball movie; it only needs to contain some basketball scenes.
Rule 5: Fiction Rule
This is not a “Who Was the Best Basketball Player” to ever play in a movie thing, this is a “Who Was the Best Fictional Basketball Player” thing. In other words, while Shaq may have been the best player to ever play a fictional basketball character, it is not actual basketball skills this contest measures. (NOTE: Michael Jordan is disqualified from this contest because he played himself in Space Jam.) Rather who is the best fictional basketball player, which may include not only skills shown in the film, but the character he plays.
With those rules in mind, here is my team:
- Jimmy Chitwood (Maris Valainis) – G – Hoosiers
- Thomas Shepherd (Leon Robinson) – G – Above the Rim
- Jesus Shuttlesworth (Ray Allen) – G/F – He Got Game
- Moses Guthrie (Julius Irving) – F – Fish That Saved Pittsburgh
- “Neon” Leon Boudeaux (Shaquille O’Neal) – C – Blue Chips
- Billy Hoyle (Woody Harrelson) – G – White Men Can’t Jump
- Warren Coolidge (Byron Stewart) – C/F – White Shadow
- Norman Dale (Gene Hackman) Hoosiers
- Prof. Ned Brainard (Fred MacMurray) Absent Minded Professor