Disclaimer: None of what you are about to read is real. The quotes are imagined. The scene is fiction. In these dark times after an inexplicable ending resulted in a loss, may this be an escape. Welcome to an iPacers tale.
INT: THE HOUSE OF BANKERS IN THE PACERS REALM OF LOCKERS
King Victor and The Pacers of the Round Ball gather to discuss the ending of a sudden loss to the Celtics, 112-111, where an errant, foolish pass nearly touched the heavens as the game’s clock wound down and the Celtics of Boston stole the game away.
SIR NATE MCMILLAN, THE KING’S HAND:
We gather here in the city of King Victor of Oladipo, the Pace of Pacedom, the Twice-Traded Now Redeemed, The Future All-Star, The Ruler of the House of Bankers. There are some obvious discussion topics tonight.
What if the NBA Draft’s Green Room this year was filled with all the fictional basketball players that movies and television have given us? Taking the draft order from this year’s draft, here’s how the fictional draft could wind up, but first let’s establish the rules:
1. No fictional players played by real professional players. For the purpose of this draft, players like Jesus Shuttlesworth (Ray Allen) from He Got Game, Neon Bodeaux (Shaquille O’Neal) from Blue Chips, or even Avon’s ringer from the Game Day episode of The Wire, because the actor played professionally in Europe in real life, are not eligible to be selected.
2. No fictional players that stole the talent of real NBA players or don’t have actual talent of their own. Sorry, nerdlucks from Moron Mountain, Calvin Cambridge from Like Mike, and the kid from Thunderstruck that probably wishes he kept Kevin Durant’s talent now that he’s left OKC.
3. The same actor can only be chosen once. For example, Woody Harrelson can only be chosen for his role as Billy Hoyle from White Men Can’t Jump or Ed Monix from Semi-Pro. Onceone of these players is drafted, the other cannot be selected.
4. Age is not taken into account when picking.
1. Philadelphia 76ers: Thomas “Shep” Sheppard, Above the Rim
Shep scored 38 points (give or take a few as it’s hard to tell whether his feet are behind the 3-point line on many of his shot attempts) and had the game-winning alley-oop assist in the closing minutes of the championship game of the New York City Shoot Out Tournament while wearing a long-sleeve shirt and khakis. This was as impressive and improbable as Reggie Miller’s 8 points in 9 seconds or Tracy McGrady’s 13 points in 35 seconds. The former high school standout and current security guard showed a smooth stroke on his jump shot and toughness and heart after getting pounded by the opposing team early before dishing the same type of punishment back. While his defensive skills weren’t on display in the championship game besides his game-winning steal, he showed elite man defense in his one-on-one game against high school star Kyle Watson, stripping him three times and blocking his shot. Shep should fit well with Simmons and Embiid and give them a mature leader to go with their talented youth.
Everyone assumed the 76ers traded up to take the guy that was born and raised in West Philadelphia, Will Smith, but his Mom told front office executives that he wouldn’t play for the Sixers because of past trouble in his neighborhood and prefers him to stay close to his Uncle Phil in California.
2. Los Angeles Lakers: Will Smith – The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Will’s mom gets her wish as he’s drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers. There’s some concern that Smith will struggle in adjusting to playing on a full-size court after playing on an unusually small court and gymnasium, especially for a wealthy private school. Smith showed impressive skills for Bel-Air Academy in his debut by catching and shooting the opening tip and making it from half court. Smith showed a wide array of dunks and flashy shots, but also has the tendency to ignore his teammates and try to do it all on his own. This should improve with the talent surrounding him on an NBA roster as he should be able to trust in his teammates abilities more than he could in his weak supporting cast at Bel-Air Academy.
3. Boston Celtics: Lewis Scott, Celtic Pride
Scott was an incredible player even before he learned how to pass the ball and trust his teammates. Scott was able to get his Utah Jazz team to the NBA Finals against the Celtics and all the way to game 7 before realizing he couldn’t win it all without getting his teammates involved and started passing the ball. The Celtics pick up Scott and long-time fans, part-time kidnappers played by Daniel Stern and Dan Aykroyd, will be overjoyed that they no longer have to struggle with whether to root for Scott or their beloved Celtics ever again. The Celtics add an NBA Finals MVP that has been a locker room cancer in the past, but those issues seem to be behind him. Scott should also do much better with a coach like Brad Stevens instead of having Shooter McGavin on the sidelines.
4. Phoenix Suns: Billy Hoyle, White Men Can’t Jump
5. Sacramento Kings: Sidney Deane, White Men Can’t Jump
Billy gets eternal bragging rights and more trash-talking material over Sidney by being drafted one spot ahead of him, which I’m sure the players placed a wager on. Hoyle’s question marks involve his athleticism, but with enough adrenaline, even he can dunk. He rises (literally at times) to the occasion when the pressure is high, including his half court hook shot that got Gloria onto Jeopardy. Hoyle’s mastered his jump shot playing outside, so his percentages should rise even higher without having to deal with the wind. The Kings get a playmaking, talented point guard in Sidney Deane, whose ball-handling and ability to finish should give the Kings an immediate starter at point guard. While his jump shot isn’t as good as Hoyle’s, Deane’s shown he can knock down a shot when called upon.
6. Orlando Magic: Sky Davis, Doug
Sky Davis and his hot-selling Air Jets get drafted by the Orlando Magic. He’s the best basketball player in the Doug universe and a class act (not only made Doug feel better about his ordinary shoes, but asked Doug to sign his shoes). You can see him dunking from the free-throw with ease in his Air Jets commercial. The Magic may finally have the star they need to escape the doldrums of the Eastern Conference standings.
One of the ABA’s unsung heroes and the best player on the Flint Tropics (who jacked their uniform design from the Pacers), Clarence Withers was much more than a collection of nicknames: “Jumping” Johnny Johnson, Sugar Dunkerton, Downtown”Funky Stuff” Malone and Coffee Black. Withers was the first player to ever finish an Alley Oop that astonished the crowd and baffled the referee on the legality of the play. He’s loyal to his teammates and after being traded in order to be able to pursue his NBA dreams with the San Antonio Spurs he went back to his struggling team at halftime in order to accomplish their 4th-place goal. Withers adds to a talented young core of Karl Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine.
8. New York Knicks: Peter Parker, The Amazing Spider-Man
The Knicks draft Peter Parker, a New York City native, after seeing footage of him dunking well past the free-throw line with incredible hang time that destroyed the backboard. He also showed exceptional grip, but will need to work on dribbling. Perhaps even more incredible though is the lack of much of a response from the witnesses of the event. Every scene in the rest of this movie that took place at the school should have included someone trying to talk to him about that dunk. Why isn’t the basketball coach all over this opportunity? The Knicks may grow frustrated quickly with Parker when he’s forced to miss practices and games often for reasons that he’s unable to share, but they’ve dealt with this type of distraction from Derrick Rose in the past.
9. Dallas Mavericks: Kyle Watson, Above the Rim
Watson earned a scholarship from Georgetown and as a freshman made an immediate impact, making a game-winning buzzer beater for the Hoyas. He’s an offensively gifted player that should challenge Yogi Ferrell and Seth Curry for minutes immediately. Watson at times will pound the rock into the ground for a good 20 seconds before making a move, frustrating his teammates with his selfish style of play. He’ll have to adjust to playing with a shot clock, but he showed the ability to move the ball and be on time and on target with his passes in the Shoot Out tournament once Shep entered the game.
10. Sacramento Kings: Sandford “Sandy” Lyle, Along Came Polly
Kings gonna Kangz. Rumor is that the Kings owner heard “White Chocolate” could make it rain and won’t let the team consider anyone else after they didn’t select Lyle with the team’s first selection.
11. Charlotte Hornets: Marcus Stokes, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Stokes is the second player to be recruited by Georgetown in the last three picks. Stokes went head to head with number two overall selection Smith in a game with a Georgetown scout in attendance and beat Bel-Air Academy after Smith let Stokes drive by him for a game-winning layup. While Smith let Stokes score that final basket, Stokes did plenty of legitimate scoring in this game that showed he’s the real deal.
12. Detroit Pistons: Steve Urkel, Family Matters
Urkel was his high school team’s equipment manager until they were down to only four healthy players and down by 22 points with seven minutes left in the fourth. The coach’s motivation for giving Urkel a chance was to not get fired for having to forfeit, but it paid off big time. Urkel showed that he probably has the best handles of anyone on this list, He also showed outstanding floor vision with some nice assists and the ability to finish inside despite his height. He completed the comeback with a buzzer beating jumper for the win.
13. Denver Nuggets: Tracy Reynolds, Like Mike
Tracy Reynolds is all the Los Angeles Knights had going for them before the Calvin Cambridge phenomenon. His time with Cambridge seems to have brought him some humility, maturity and professionalism. Reynolds joins a crowded group of talented wings on the Nuggets, but as an All-Star caliber player, he should quickly be in the rotation.
14. Miami Heat:Quincy McCall, Love & Basketball
McCall’s love for the game fell apart once he learned that his Clippers star father was not the man he said he was. McCall starred at Crenshaw High before going to USC, but left after just a single season at the college before he was ready. After contemplating retirement after an injury and his marriage to childhood sweetheart Monica Wright, the highly touted prospect has the itch to play again.
15. Portland Trailblazers: John Tucker, John Tucker Must Die
John Tucker successfully made a front flip dunk with ease. I think that’s all that needs to be said here.
16. Chicago Bulls: Scott Howard, Teen Wolf
Howard looks like he’s 5’0″ and weighs 110 pounds, but when the Teen Wolf comes out, he’s nearly unstoppable. Even as his human self, Howard shows surprising playmaking ability and sneaks into passing lanes often for steals. As a werewolf, he destroys opposing defenses with his 50″ vertical and leaves little hope for the other team that they’ll be able to score.
The Bucks go for another home run pick by going with potential like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Thon Maker with Aomine Daiki. He shows elite rim protection skills repeatedly in this video, seemingly coming from out of nowhere to deny would be finishers. He has a quick first step to blow by opponents, but takes his time reflecting on his moves at times that allows his defenders to catch up and block his shot from behind at times. He’s a crafty finisher around the basket and has an elite fadeaway jumper.
18. Indiana Pacers: Jimmy Chitwood, Hoosiers
Chitwood gets drafted to get his hometown team, the Indiana Pacers, where can continue wearing the Hickory uniform. The Indy Star did an analysis of Chitwood’s scoring in the movie and estimated that he scored an average of 28.6 points per game, which is even more impressive in the lower scoring games of his era. Chitwood gives the Pacers the shooting they need (shot over 81% in Hoosiers), especially if CJ Miles leaves in free agency.
19. Atlanta Hawks: Monica Wright-McCall, Love & Basketball
Monica Wright-McCall fulfills her destiny as she becomes the first woman to play in the NBA. Monica starred at both Crenshaw High and USC before playing overseas and winning championships in Europe. Eventually she was able to join the Los Angeles Sparks once the WNBA was founded. Wright-McCall has an intense work ethic, a terrific jump shot and the will to never give up. A defining moment in her college career as a freshman was a turnover that could have cost her team the game, but she hustled back and took a charge to prevent the potential game-winning basket, earning herself a permanent starting position.
20. Portland Trailblazers: Jim Halpert, The Office
Halpert is one of the best combo guards you’ll find in the paper industry in Pennsylvania. Matched up against rival Roy from the warehouse, Jim showed he was the best player at Dundler Mifflin, impressing Pam in the process. Jim plays with aggression that gets under the skin of opponents, and his tenacity should translate to the defensive end and help the Trailblazer’s struggles on that end of the court as the first guard off the bench.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Motaw, Above the Rim
Motaw’s game is all about intimidation and physicality. While we never see Motaw take a jump shot in Above the Rim, he repeatedly got to the rim for a dunk throughout the Shoot Out Tournament. Motaw gives the Thunder another enforcer to go with Steven Adams and a perimeter defender to go with Andre Roberson. Potential NBA MVP Russel Westbrook will be excited to have Motaw on his team as he’s been seen in the past wearing his jersey. The biggest question for Motaw is whether or not he’ll be able to leave his past life and Birdie behind for his shot in the NBA.
22. Brooklyn Nets: Justin Bieber, Atlanta
We saw Bieber play in an Atlanta celebrity charity event and his skills were apparent. While he got into the head of Atlanta rapper Paper Boi, he let it effect his game as well. If nothing else, the Nets should get a boost in attendance of teenage girls and get a youthful prospect that may develop into more in the future.
23. Toronto Raptors: Brian Flanagan, Cocktail
Flanagan hits seven consecutive 3-pointers in Cocktail including one hook shot and one shooting backwards. Flanagan’s height is somewhat of a concern, but players like Isaiah Thomas, Nate Robinson and J.J. Barea have all found success despite their height in the NBA. We don’t know much else about Flanagan’s game, but at minimum he provides shooting for the Raptors and has the ability to throw an accurate, fundamentally sound chest pass.
24. Utah Jazz: Paul Crewe, The Longest Yard
Crewe’s sport of choice is football, but he showed his skills in a one-on-one game in an attempt to recruit more players to the prison’s football team for their game against the guards. Crewe nearly wins the game despite his opponent, Deacon Moss, intentionally fouling him throughout the game and the onlookers occasionally stepping in to block Crewe’s shot attempts as well. Crewe’s toughness and shooting ability could make for an apt replacement for Joe Ingles if he gets an offer the as a RFA the Jazz are unable to match.
25. Orlando Magic: Chip Douglas, The Cable Guy
Douglas is still raw, referring to the game as “roundball,” but he shows potential as a lethal screener and rebounder. His game is all heart and hustle with very little skill, but he’s a perfect fit for the smashmouth basketball that Magic coach Frank Vogel loves.
With their third pick in the round, the Trailblazers take a draft-and-stash player that they hope will continue to develop. Chiranjeevi becomes the first Indian player to be selected in the first round. You (literally) won’t believe what he’s able to do with the ball.
27. Brooklyn Nets: Air Bud, Air Bud
Air Bud will likely struggle against the taller players of the NBA compared to playing with and against 12-year-old children, but this is more of a publicity stunt for the struggling Nets that could help ticket sales during their rebuilding process.
28. Los Angeles Lakers: Lola Bunny, Space Jam
The second straight animal to be chosen in the draft. Lola Bunny was created to play basketball. Easily the Tune Squad’s second-best player, Lola scored only eight points but was clearly underutilized by Michael Jordan. If the Lakers can figure out how to get the player she becomes when she’s called “doll” on every play, the Lakers found a steal at the end of the first round. Jack Nicholson would probably be willing to call her doll before every home game.
29. San Antonio Spurs: David 8, Prometheus
David 8, an android, hit a hook shot from 3-point range while riding a bicycle in Prometheus, and the Spurs have had previous success working with androids (Kawhi Leonard), so this should be a perfect fit with Popovich and the Spurs.
30. Utah Jazz: Kevin Malone, The Office
While he was not chosen for the office vs. warehouse basketball game, Malone showed his skills making 14 consecutive shots after the game was over while still wearing his suit. This is like the story of the ball rolling over to Larry Bird during a Pacers practice and him draining 15 consecutive jump shots with rolled up sleeves and dress shoes before just walking away like it was no big deal. I’m not saying Malone is Bird, but Michael Scott had an actual secret weapon all along and it wasn’t Stanley Hudson.
Talk about a steal: You can trade me CASH for one of these. 👀👀👀
Each shirt also comes with a complimentary early second-round draft choice while supplies last.
In the span of two seasons, Solomon Hill went from leading all Indiana Pacers players in minutes to being stuck to the bench and from having Larry Bird waive the 4th-year team option on his cheap rookie deal to becoming a crucial part of the Pacers rotation down the stretch and in the playoffs.
This Solocoaster of sorts (please, forgive me) has been a bumpy ride for Hill, but his late season performance has more than likely put him out of the Pacers price range if they want to retain him. Here’s a look at his past two seasons with some lyrics from the Hotline Bling parody, “SoloBling,” sprinkled in throughout.
In 2014-2015 as Hill started 78 games and led the Pacers in minutes, his performance was mediocre at best; while he averaged 8.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists, he also had a Pacers-worst -9.6 on/off rating. He played his usual solid defense, made the occasional surprising forceful drive to the rim for a dunk, and struggled mightily with his jump shot (shot under 40% for the season).
🎶 Ever since the Summer League,
I wasn’t in the rotation as a wing now.
Everybody played and I felt left out,
but GR3 too young, and where is Chase now? 🎶
Late in game four, Solomon Hill gave a shout out to Raptors’ fan/ambassador/celebrity, Drake, after hitting a 3-pointer with the hotline bling hands (No idea what I should actually call those). Matt Kryger of Indy Star captured this picture that inspired this silly tweet on the iPacers twitter account: