Cracked Dunks On The NBA: 5 Wild, True Basketball Stories That Need Movies

The film: What we do in the shadows, except for NBA players instead of vampires. A slapstick comedy about a bunch of idiots who take themselves extremely seriously. Not that I’m calling any of the COVID-vaccinated individuals on the New Jersey Nets idiots. So not you, Kevin Durant. All I’m saying is “serious idiots” would be the type. Taika Waititi would be my top directing choice, although Edgar Wright’s rhythmic cut would make for a fun basketball movie. Like those pint glasses that go slap-slap-slap in Shaun of the deadexcept there are basketballs dunk-dunk-dunk Where swish-swish-swish.

Unsolicited winning time Season 20 pitch: Will Ferrell as Phil Jackson

The story: Phil Jackson’s name is firmly etched on Mount Rushmore of NBA coaching, along with at least Red Auerbach and Gregg Popovich. Probably Pat Riley too. Jackson won two titles with the Knicks as a player, six with the Bulls as a coach, and five with the Lakers as a coach. He’s also a Grateful Dead-loving 6’8″ hippie who burns sage on the sidelines of practices, had a long-term romance with the daughter of then-Lakers owner and current Lakers owner, Jeanie Buss, and is often inaccessible during the offseason because there is fly fishing in Montana.

Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons

“I think there is a mixed pantheistic-deistic-Indian religion for Americans. That seems true to me.”
-A real NBA head coach

Jackson is a heavy, grumpy giant with bad knees and a bad back who speaks in a gruff baritone while acting like he knows he’s both the smartest and most eccentric person in the room. He has a deep passion for basketball, but he’s an intimidating, quiet crackpot. He was famous for never calling timeouts and opting to let his players figure out how to stop sucking on their own. He asked Michael Jordan the simple question, “Michael, who’s open?” before MJ passed to John Paxson for a game-winning shot in the final. He called Kobe Bryant uncoachable before coaching him to two titles after Shaq was traded. It’s a bundle of contradictions and eccentricities.

The film: Are you telling me you wouldn’t watch Will Ferrell play this guy??! Listen, I understand: the partnership that created funny or die is broken. McKay offered John C. Reilly the role of Jerry Buss without even contacting Ferrell, knowing full well it was Ferrell’s dream role. Ferrell has every right to never want to talk to McKay again. So what better way to reconcile than by making Ferrell the sage-burning hippie basketball behemoth who guided Reilly’s Jerry Buss Lakers through their third great era of dominance while batting his daughter, who would become finally his boss? Make it right, Adam McKay. Find in your heart the strength to forgive, Will Ferrell. I’ll even write the bulk of the series, if you want.

Chris Corlew can shoot from three and handle some point guard duties, but absolutely won’t come back on defense. He is half of b and nothingness and co-hosts The Line Break Podcast. Send him DeMar DeRozan highlight videos on Twitter.

Top Image: Spirits of St. Louis press photo

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