Sunday, January 12, 2014

World Series of Fictional Basketball Teams

Sports is a funny thing sometimes. We spend so much time and effort debating who is the best team, which player should go to the hall of fame (and whether giving your vote away to Deadspin is ethical), and yet, when it all comes down to it, none of our prognosticating ever really matters. The best teams will win, and the best players will rise to the occasion. No amount of debate over who's elite, who's "next," or who's a real contender ever matters once the whistle blows.

So let's put those arguments to use in something where our predictions actually matter: teams that don't really exist.

It's time once again for the World Series of Fictional Sports Teams: Basketball Edition!

The great thing about debating TV and movies is that there is never a set winner. You either like the product, or you don't. There's no real statistic saying that one thing is better than the other.

That's where you come in: we've taken 16 of the top basketball teams from TV and movies and pitted them against each other in a tournament, and YOU decide the winner.

The bracket is below, but first, a few rules:

1. This is not a debate over the best movie or best actors, it's about the best TEAM, who would win if the two teams went head to head. Don't judge a team by the quality of it's movie. Remember, there are a lot of lousy shows and films about basketball (*cough, Thunderstruck, cough*)
2. The arguments can come from anywhere, but they should also be based within what can be seen in the movie itself. So no pulling characters from other movies into the game (example, Gene Hackman plays Norman Dale in Hoosiers, not Lex Luthor.)
3. Don't base your arguments over what a player did in real life. Shaquille O'Neal played a character in "Blue Chips," he didn't play himself. Form your arguments over what the character would do.
4. The most compelling/entertaining/highest number or reader arguments one way or another will help the team advance to the next round. It isn't enough to just vote one way or another, you have to say why.

Make sure to vote in the comments, or email me at Please vote for the FIRST ROUND ONLY.

(Click on the team name for more information, if you are not familiar with the team)

#1 Monstars (Space Jam)
#16 Utah Jazz (Celtic Pride)

The Monstars are heavily favored, but can have only played one total game in their careers. The Jazz have Lewis Scott and a bunch of short white guys.

#9 Air Bud
#8 New York Knicks (Eddie)

That dog can shoot, but can he play defense? And do the aging Knicks have enough energy and discipline to keep up?

#4 Beavers (Teen Wolf)
# 13 Washington Huskies (6th Man)

A werewolf versus a Ghost in our supernatural first found matchup.

#12 Wildcats (H.S. Musical)
#5 Lincoln High School (He Got Game)

Intriguing matchup between two high school teams with very different styles of play. Jesus Shuttlesworth is maybe the most talented player in the tournament, but the Wildcats have plenty of rhythm and coordination (I had to say something!)

#2 Tune Squad (Space Jam)
#15 Flint Tropics (Semi-Pro)

Michael Jordan and the Looney Toons are at the top of their game. The Tropics have strange hair. 'Nuff said.

#10 White Men Can't Jump
#7 L.A. Knights (Like Mike)

This is slightly unfair to have a two-man team go up against an NBA team (with magical shoes, no less), but we had to have Harrelson and Snipes in here somewhere.

#3 Hickory Huskers (Hoosiers)
#14 Richmond High School (Coach Carter)

A great coaching matchup in the first round. Huskers have the best shooter in this entire tournament (Jimmy Chitwood), but Richmond has size and is looking for the upset.

#11 Atomic Supermen (Futurama)
#6 Western University Dolphins (Blue Chips)

How do you counter one of the best college recruiting classes in movie history? With a team that has a player with a cannon in his chest. But don't forget that Fry is on the bench for the Supermen.

Make sure to cast your vote for the first round. Leave a comment or email!

1 comment:

Kevin O'Brien said...


Monstars (lack of depth and shooting disturbing but I'll take alien LJ, Ewing, Mugsey and Barkley over Damon Wayans any day)

Knicks (Sealy locks down Air Bud and they cruise making an intriguing second round matchup against Monstars)

Beavers (I assume Teen Wolf plays, and Ghost or No Ghost, the Huskies can't stop his athleticism)

Lincoln (I'll take Ray Allen and Travis Best over a bunch of suburban white kids any day)

Tune Squad (MJ...yes, MJ)

White Men Can't Jump (it's Harrelson and Snipers vs. Chestnut and Bow Wow...Harrelson could actually play ball, so I go with the Ebony and Ivory duo)

Hickory (I always felt Coach Carter's team was vastly I am not a big believe in the "I am just gonna motivate you to be a better team" style of coaching in movies (same reason I did not like "Invictus"). In Hoosiers, you saw Norman Dale make his team better (I think every middle-aged man who has coached youth basketball credits hoosiers for some of the drills they do in practice), and Norman Dale actually had a pretty good staff and some kids who could really shoot...I see Richmond go cold, Carter's motivational techniques ringing hollow and Hickory winning a close one here)

Dolphins (Nick Nolte drop kicked a basketball after getting ejected...enough said)