Space Jam is a 1996 motion picture staring, His Airness, Michael Jordan, alongside the man with the real hops, Bugs Bunny. I’m certain you are all familiar with Space Jam, a sports live action-cartoon hybrid that is cherished in the hearts and minds of many a fan of cinema and sport alike. Also, despite it’s 38% Rotten Tomatoes score, is considered by every frat guy on a rec center basketball team as the single greatest movie ever made.
I don’t need to explain Space Jam to you. I don’t need to review Space Jam. It’s great! It’s fun! I don’t even need to explain that if Space Jam were to be remade using the current (as of 2018) NBA landscape that LeBron James would be the lead/only non-cartoon player. We can all agree on that. The real question lies in who are the remaining five NBA players that a small squad of aliens would see playing and deems their talent worthy of stealing? Who are the Monstars in a new Space Jam?
Before I get into whom the New Monstars are, there are a few rules I want to go over. First, I will not be doing a stat comparison of how the game went in the original Space Jam. That sounds boring, and no one wants to read a bunch of numbers. Also, this isn’t an exact remake, so the game could go differently in the new Space Jam, in which case the original movie’s stats would be irrelevant.
Secondly, this has to be a team that LeBron could potentially be able to beat with a supporting cast of only the Looney Tunes. (He did take the 2007 Cavs to the Finals so we have a lot of wiggle room here because the rest of that roster had the talent of three-foot tall cartoons.) The original Monstars weren’t just the five next best players in the League (behind Jordan) so that won’t be the case here either. Also, did you ever look at that line-up? They have one guard, two power forwards, and two centers. It’s lunacy! So I will just be going with the traditional five NBA positions (Point Guard, Shooting Guard, Small Forward, Power Forward, Center) Finally, other than position, there won’t be much basketball consideration put into this. Let’s go!
Player: Nawt (the Red Monstar)
Position: Point Guard
Original Stolen Talent: Muggsy Bogues
The first position we will fill is that of the point guard. The ball handler. In 1996, the Monstars stole the talent of famous short man, Muggsy Bogues. Now like I said, we are not going for direct comparison to the original, otherwise fellow sub-six-footer Isaiah Thomas would be the obvious choice. I think the best player to be the point guard for the 2018 Monstars is none other than Russell Westbrook. Russ plays basketball with such a chip on his shoulder you would think the freedom of his planet was on the line. I also imagine there are similarities between Oklahoma City and Moron Mountain, from where the Monstars hail. Also, Russ is the NBA player that already looks the most like a cartoon character.
New Monstar PG: Russell Westbrook.
Honorable Mention: Isaiah Thomas
Player: Bupkus (the Purple Monstar)
Position: Shooting Guard
Original Stolen Talent: Larry Johnson
Next up is the shooting guard. Originally, the “shooting guard” on the Monstars took their talent from Larry Johnson, but if you know Larry Johnson, that doesn’t make sense. Johnson, after his NBA career became infamous siring multiple children with multiple women. So, I am going with a true shooting guard for this position by picking the only guy with a greater reputation for laying the pipe, JR Smith.
Honorable mention for SG goes to former LeBron teammate Iman Shumpert. If I’m being honest this pick mostly comes from the fact that Shumpert is a capable shooting guard and he and his Monstar both rock a similar high top haircut. Take a look.
New Monstar SG: JR Smith
Honorable Mention: Iman Shumpert
Player: Pound (the Orange Monstar)
Position: Small Forward
Original Stolen Talent: Charles Barkley
Pound is the leader of the Monstars. He is the outspoken leader before they get their powers, and despite being heavyset, he dominates the floor come game time. Pound wisely stole the powers of NBA great Charles Barkley. Barkley has a laundry list of NBA accolades that is nothing to scoff at, maybe the most impressive, being the leading scorer on the 1992 Dream Team. That’s right. A team including Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan himself was led in scoring by Barkley. For an updated version of Space Jam, I think this role goes to one man and one man only. There will be no runner-up for this category. I think the only man for the job is another U.S. Olympian and team leader, Carmelo Anthony.
Melo, much like Barkley played pivotal roles on several Team USA teams. Body type comes into play here as well. While neither Barkley nor Melo encompasses the same physical space as their alien avatar, both have a similar look to each other. Barkley and Melo both don’t initially strike you as professional athletes (other than their height). Both players look like the guy at the rec center you underestimate and then he goes off and scores all the points. They kind of guy who learned to shoot outside because it took less energy than driving the lane. Or the guy who has the killer post moves for the same reason. Most tragically, Barkley ended his career without a championship and at the time of writing this, Melo is still in the hunt for his first. Carmelo Anthony is far and away the leader of our new Monstars.
New Monstar SF: Carmelo Anthony
Honorable Mention: N/A
Player: Bang (the Green Monstar)
Position: Power Forward
Original Stolen Talent: Patrick Ewing
There are only a few factors to take into account when deciding whom to play power forward without taking (much) basketball skill into consideration. Luckily, we have a large pool of great power forwards to choose from. One that is no stranger to Hollywood, after playing in L.A. for many years, Blake Griffin, comes to mind. From Kia commercials to taking comedy classes at Upright Citizen’s Brigade, Griffin seems poised for a career on the silver screen after he leaves the hardwood. All of these make him a very viable candidate to play the 4 on our Monsquad. I thought long and hard about this position specifically, and while I’m impressed with Griffin’s acting ambitions this one comes down to something much more trivial.
I think Bang, the Green Monstar, looks the meanest. That's it. He’s the one who seems much more concerned with hurting the Looney Tunes than playing any actual basketball. With that in mind, this position goes to the meanest power forward, Draymond Green. Basketball is the most fun sport there is. You can play it by yourself or with your nine closest friends. You can play it on a court with refs or in your office on a Nerf hoop. There is nothing that brings more instantaneous joy than making a nice shot, and Bang and Draymond Green are the only people on the planet (and surrounding planets) that don’t look like they are having a good time out there. Those two grumps deserve each other. I don’t care. Bang is Draymond.
New Monstar PF: Draymond Green
Honorable Mention: Blake Griffin
Player: Blanko (the Blue Monstar)
Original Stolen Talent: Shawn Bradley
When it comes down to this one, it’s really quite simple. In the 1996 Space Jam, the Monstars took Shawn Bradley’s talent. What is Shawn Bradley other than a tall, lanky, goofy white dude. At one time Shawn Bradley was the tallest player in the NBA, and in this case, I think that metric holds up wonderfully. The obvious choice for this role seems to be Kristaps Porzingis, and I understand that thinking. The problem is Kristaps is just too cool a guy to be the dumbest, goofiest Monstar. Hell, there is a Latvian rap song bearing his name. Isn’t that the epitome of cool? Some Eastern European hip-hop song we’ll never here. Besides, Staps isn’t even the tallest guy in the League. The current tallest player in the NBA is (coincidentally) a tall, lanky, goofy, white dude. So, this nod goes to the goofier of the two, Boban Marjanovic.
New Monstar C: Boban Marjanovic
Honorable Mention: Kristaps Porzingis
Bonus: James Harden is the ball from Space Jam. James Harden was put on this planet to kill other NBA players, so he is the tool the Monstars use to steal NBA talent. This has most recently spilled into reality when he stole the skill and soul of Wesley Johnson.
There you have it folks! We’re remaking Space Jam and that’s whom we are putting in it! I hoped you enjoyed. Like and comment with your thoughts. Tweet at @emmettd5 or with #MillenialFriday to continue this conversation or have one all your own! Thanks. Take care.