Anybody who grew up in the 90’s remembers the Oscar-winning classic, “Space Jam.”
It pitted the Toon Squad, led by Michael Jordan against the Monstars; a group of evil space aliens equipped with the basketball skill of five NBA superstars.
Those superstars were: Charles Barkley, Shawn Bradley, Larry Johnson, Patrick Ewing, and Muggsy Bogues.
Fast forward to 2015. Which current NBA players would fit the “Space Jam” Monstars mold?
Here are our picks for the modern day Monstars.
Pound — The Orange Leader of the Nerdlucks
1996 Version: Charles Barkley
2015 Version: Blake Griffin
This has nothing to do with the fact that Blake Griffin is a ginger. Nope. None at all.
Blake is an athletic freak and Chuck was..well, known as the ‘Round Mound of Rebound’ so on paper it may not be an exact match. It’s however close enough, and as the de facto leader of the of the Monstars this player needed to be big and also one of the 5-10 best players in the NBA.
That is Blake Griffin.
Blanko — The Dim-Witted And Gangly Blue Nerdluck
1996 Version: Shawn Bradley
2015 Version: Kristaps Porzingis
Tall and lanky? Check.
Kind of dopey looking? Check.
This one was honestly far too easy. Though Kristaps Godzingis can actually hoop and Shawn Bradley was merely a human poster, it still fits. Daps isn’t immune to the poster himself, though.
Bang — The Belligerent Green Nerdluck
1996 Version: Patrick Ewing
2015 Version: DeMarcus Cousins
In the NBA today, DeMarcus Cousins is basically the epitome of belligerent. Whether that is belligerence towards his head coach, his teammates, or what I like to call, “going belligerent” on the other team; he embodies it.
Boogie is Bang. It’s as fitting as Cinderella’s slipper.
Bupkus — The Giggly And Crazy Purple Nerdluck
1996 Version: Larry Johnson
2015 Version: Paul Millsap
This one took some time but ultimately we settled on Paul Millsap simply because he’s the closest comparison to Larry Johnson. While Johnson was far more athletic in his prime, and Millsap is more fundamentally skilled than Johnson ever was; the two represent a brand of “tweener” basketball in the NBA.
Plus, take one look at Paul Millsap and it’s hard not to see a dude with an alter ego potentially named Bupkus.
Nawt — The Diminutive And Clever Red Nerdluck
1996 Version: Muggsy Bogues
2015 Version: Russell Westbrook
I’ve always likened Russell Westbrook to a Ninja Turtle, and for good reason. When he wore that mask after breaking his face he looked like a Donatello/Batman mashup.
When deciding who would represent Nawt it didn’t take very long to land on Russ. Who’s the most annoying player in the NBA? Not annoying in the traditional sense, but irritating. He’s abrasive, yet talented as hell, but it’s 100 percent Russell.
It’s all too perfect.