“White Men Can’t Jump” is the latest classic to get rebooted, with Jack Harlow and Sinqua Walls playing the characters that Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson made famous in the 1992 movie about the culture of street basketball in Los Angeles.
That unlikely duo hustled their way through SoCal courts, including neighborhoods in Venice Beach, Crenshaw and Watts.
What if Billy Hoyle and Sidney Deane took a new approach and served as coaches for a 3-on-3 game featuring other fictional hoops movie stars?
Excluding NBA players to play themselves (i.e.: Michael Jordan in “Space Jam” or LeBron James in “Space Jam: A New Legacy“) or fictional characters (i.e.: Ray Allen as Jesus Shuttlesworth in “He Got Game” or Anthony Edwards as Kermit Wilts in “Hustle”) here’s how those teams could look:
Jimmy Chitwood (Maris Valainis), “Hoosiers”
Scouting report: While not a pro or even a college player, Chitwood has proven to be a shot-maker in many situations including games against more talented rosters. Most teams could use an elite shooter, and Chitwood can do that. He’s also clutch with some swagger. When tasked with taking the game-winning shot against South Bend Central in the Indiana high school state championship game, Chitwood said simply, “I’ll make it.” He did just that.
Lola Bunny, “Space Jam”
Scouting report: After MJ arrived in the Looney Tunes world, Lola had a successful tryout with the Tune Squad. Along with her ability to effectively distribute and score the ball, her basketball IQ was instrumental to the team’s success.
Clarence Withers (Andre Benjamin), “Semi Pro”
Scouting report: Despite the ball dominance of player/owner Jackie Moon and the ambiguous tactics of point guard Ed Monix, Withers, aka “Coffee Black”https://www.espn.com/”Downtown ‘Funky Stuff’ Malone”https://www.espn.com/”Sugar Dunkerton”https://www.espn.com/”‘Jumping’ Johnny Johnson,” was the best player on the Flint Tropics. He also embodied the style of the 1970s ABA basketball. With the Tropics, his high-flying game helped invent the alley-oop dunk. Withers was then a member of the San Antonio Spurs for their first season in the NBA.
Scott Howard (Michael J. Fox), “Teen Wolf”
Scouting report: To be clear, it has to be Scott the werewolf and not Scott the regular high schooler. Once Howard discovered he came from a lineage of werewolves, his hoops game somehow got better as well. In his lupine form, Howard has a flashy, above-the-rim game that allows him to take over games. Howard was a bit of a showboater in wolf form, but what team couldn’t use extra swagger?
Air Bud (Buddy), “Air Bud”
Scouting report: He is a four-legged bucket-getter. Let’s see a team try to scout a way to defend such a unique player. He faced some hostile crowds and tough coaching as a high school hooper at Fernfield. But he also came into the second half of the championship game to rally his squad to bring home a title.
Lewis Scott (Damon Wayans), “Celtic Pride”
Scouting report: He is a shoot-first player and a bit of a ball-hog. However, after dealing with some rough local fans, he changed his game in time to beat the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals. So he’s been tested in tough environments and came out a winner.
Saleh (Charles Gitonga Maina), “The Air Up There”
Scouting report: This team needs some size, and the 6-foot-10 Saleh provides that. He was discovered by a scout in Kenya before playing college basketball in the U.S. He’s got length and can be a force in the paint. He can also hit defenders with the “Jimmy Dolan Shake and Bake.”
Monica Wright-McCall (Sanaa Lathan), “Love & Basketball”
Scouting report: Wright-McCall starred on the girls’ basketball team at Crenshaw High School before playing for USC. Her skill and love for the game saw her playing professionally in Barcelona. After a short stint away from the game, she returned back to the U.S. and suited up for the Los Angeles Sparks.
Calvin Cambridge (Shad Moss), “Like Mike”
Scouting report: Cambridge’s path to NBA super stardom started when he found a pair of sneakers with Michael Jordan’s initials scribbled on the inside. Shortly after acquiring the shoes, the 13-year-old won a halftime dunk contest between the Minnesota Timberwolves and fictional Los Angeles Knights. Cambridge was ultimately signed to the Knights and helped the team make its first playoff appearance.
Monstars, “Space Jam”
Scouting report: This group is composed of five aliens (Pound, Bang, Bupkus, Blanko and Nawt) that were known as the Nerdlucks before they stole the abilities of NBA legends. The quintet worked for Mr. Swackhammer, owner of fictional theme park Moron Mountain, and hoped to attract more guests with the basketball game against the Tune Squad.
‘Air Bud’ to ‘Space Jam’ – Basketball movie fantasy rosters