The SPACE JAM Fantasy Draft
It's Space Jam Week! Everybody get up, it’s time to slam now. We got a real jam goin’ down.
Everybody get up, it’s time to slam now. We got a real jam goin’ down. Welcome to the Space Jam.
This is the definitive Space Jam draft. After days of analysis, myself and the one and only Arlin Golden, fellow Film Inquiry scribe, selected teams of six from the pool of players that participated in the game between the Tune Squad and the Monstars. Michael Jordan was excluded from the pool, as he was a mixture of Jesus, Mr. Fantastic, and, well, Michael Jordan (the patron saint of basketball).
The easy route to go down in any sort of fantasy draft like this is to accrue as much talent as possible. However, it is crucial to consider player roles and personalities, as well. Numerous teams have come up short of a championship because of egos and a roster with a lot of holes.
Arlin and I created scouting reports for the players and did our best to create the ultimate basketball team. Now, without further ado, let the draft begin!
Arlin’s 1st pick: Bugs Bunny
This is surely the most boring possible first pick, but I have to play it smart. For all intents and purposes, Bugs is the Michael Jordan of the Looney Tunes, and I’m not about to pull a Sam Bowie as my first action as General Manager. He’s a born leader, charismatic enough to relate to all his teammates, despite their various dysfunctions, and has the added advantage of two extra appendages in his bunny ears. Not to mention, the kid’s got hops!
Jay’s 1st Pick: Pound
As an Auburn alum and regular viewer of the NBA on TNT, this was a no-brainer. He is an undersized front court player, but his tenacity on the boards and uncanny ball-handling ability make him the MVP of the Monstars. He throws down thunderous dunks and had Jordan, Bugs, and the gang on the ropes. Getting him with the second pick is a steal. Bugs was propped up by MJ. He is no more than a complementary player.
Arlin’s 2nd Pick: Lola Bunny
How Lola slipped past the first pick on Jay’s team is beyond me, as she is clearly the only eligible player with any inherent basketball skills. She needn’t any alien technology to steal the talents of prominent NBA superstars, she is one unto herself.
Her handles are next level, and years before Lisa Leslie, she threw down a monstrous poster jam all over Pound’s face. Her chemistry with Bugs surely makes this among the most formidable back courts possible.
Jay’s 2nd Pick: Bupkus
Absolutely unbelievable! The two best players on the court at picks 2 and 4?! The Patrick Ewing Monstar is an absolute beast, a hulk of a player who can jump out of the building. You can have two bunny rabbits, I’ll take the monster movie versions of two of the best players from the ‘90s (which was one of the most talent-rich eras in NBA history). This tandem is darn near unstoppable, especially without Jordan around.
Arlin’s 3rd Pick: Bang
I’m pleased as punch that the first two opposing picks were taken by Monstars, they are the equivalent of and1 players, supremely talented and athletically gifted, but without the practice, discipline and basketball IQ to be effective leaders on a winning hoop squad.
But the point is taken that my line-up is starting to look a bit undersized, so I’m going to take Bang, who derived his talents from Larry Johnson, one of the most explosive and exciting small forwards of this era. With his size and quick cuts to the basket and the bunnies’ excellent court vision, this line-up is looking like pick and roll manna from heaven.
Jay’s 3rd Pick: Tasmanian Devil
Known for his spin move and never-say-die attitude, the Devil is basically the Russell Westbrook of the Loony Tunes world. He has a motor that won’t quit and is a surprisingly gifted athlete. His dunk in the game means that he has a vertical of at least six feet. His quickness so low to the ground will make it extraordinarily difficult to handle the incredible size I have established with Pound and Bupkus.
Arlin’s 4th pick: Bill Murray
This is the point where my fantasy drafts often begin to crumble; a strong string of early picks begins to be threatened by my emotional decisions to include my favorite players on my team before the option is taken from me (if Joakim Noah was eligible in this draft, you could be sure I would have picked him by now). In this case though, I am confident that this pick’s b-ball bona fides will make him a worthy contributor to my team, in addition to satisfying my logic-blind emotions.
While Jay continues to pick the dullards of the available players, Murray is going to only further increase the chemistry and team skills already endemic to my squad. He has a life-long love affair with the game, is no slouch at 6’2”, with the hands to match, and once dominated a cardboard cut-out of Shaquille O’Neal. In this era of 3-chuckin’ small ball, I don’t see how my opponent will stand a chance against these first four picks.
Jay’s 4th Pick: Wile E. Coyote
Marvin the Martian, the referee in the final game of the movie, swallowed his whistle and tried not to call any fouls. This is in accordance with street ball rules, where you have to call your own foul. Never say that you got fouled. It is this principle that makes Wile E. a valuable asset. In Space Jam, he attaches approximately 95 sticks of dynamite to the basket and blows them all just as a Monstar goes up for a dunk. No foul was called. He is the ultimate enforcer.
Arlin’s 5th pick: Elmer Fudd
I find it ironic that Wile E. Coyote was just selected for his enforcer ability, as the dynamite trick described as justification for the pick was only successful due to the direction of one Bugs Bunny. Separated from his leader, Wile’s antics are likely to go the way every single one of them had up until that point, quite literally blowing up in his face.
For true enforcer duties, one truly trained in the ways of violence is required, and that means Elmer Fudd. In Space Jam, Fudd, along with Yosemite Sam, do their best Jules & Vincent impression and shoot out all the teeth from Bupkus’ dumb, talent-stealing mouth. Though he never could get the best of Bugs, with their powers turned toward the same goal they could be unstoppable.
Jay’s 5th pick: Nawt
There is no doubt that Arlin got the best point guard, Bugs Bunny. He is a guy who makes every player around him better. But this guy, who stole the powers of the incomparable Muggsy Bogues, has a tremendous handle, great court vision, and sticky fingers. He’s not much of a scorer, but my team already has that in spades. With Nawt manning the point, this starting five is taken to a new level. The players compliment each other perfectly. Hopefully Arlin has some tricks up his sleeve on the bench, because his starting five will get smoked.
Arlin’s Final Pick: Blanko
I am immensely satisfied with my first five picks; we are a fast, high scoring and hilarious team. Despite aspersions to the contrary, we have solid size at the three and four with Bang and Bill Murray, and we’re only about to get bigger. Originally, I had intended to pick Foghorn Leghorn here, as he has both the size and verbiage that I’m looking for, but not necessarily the basketball skills. Hell, the Monstars turned him into a plucked and cooked bird, ready for dinner, no place for that on this crew.
So I am going with Blanko, the blue Nerdluck who appropriated the powers of Shawn Bradley, easily the least notable NBA player to appear in Space Jam (no doubt this role would have gone to Manute Bol had he not left the league the season prior). As was his role in the film, he is on my squad merely for size, which he has in spades as the tallest eligible player.
With the five I’ve already put in place, I’ll merely need to stick Blanko somewhere on the baseline, arms outstretched and spinning in circles, in order to provide all the extra D needed, as well as some easy low post buckets.
Jay’s Final Pick: Daffy Duck
Daffy is the quintessential heat check sixth man. He has a bad attitude, has a tendency to turn the ball over, but he can light it up when he gets rolling. He isn’t a fan favorite, and he could cause some friction in the locker room, but there is always a place for a player with talent. Think of Daffy as the JR Smith, Ty Lawson, or Josh Smith of this team.
With a little bit of an attitude adjustment and strong team leadership, Daffy could be a valuable scorer off the bench. You know a good way to scare a player straight? Have the team’s two best players be scary monsters. Plus, there is always a special motivation when Daffy has the opportunity to play against his main rival, Bugs Bunny.
Arlin, since you had first pick, looks like my team gets the ball first. Let’s get this thing started!
Final Team Rosters:
|PG||Bugs Bunny||Nawt (Muggsy Bogues)|
|SG||Lola Bunny||Tasmanian Devil|
|SF||Bill Murray||Wile E. Coyote|
|PF||Bang (Larry Johnson)||Pound (Charles Barkley)|
|C||Blanko (Shawn Bradley)||Bupkus (Patrick Ewing)|
|6th Man||Elmer Fudd||Daffy Duck|
It was an interesting draft, with many surprising picks. Arlin had a focus on team chemistry. With Bugs and Lola, Arlin’s team has its glue that will hold them together with strong leadership and a great will-they-won’t-they dynamic. The other standout on the roster is Bang, the Larry Johnson Monstar, a freak athlete with incredible size and speed. The rest of Arlin’s roster is full of question marks.
Bill Murray is another player with a tremendous attitude and love for the game, but he is the worst athlete of the draftees by a country mile. Can a player like Murray survive with a mid-range jumper in a game where high-flyers dominate? Speaking of poor athletes, Arlin selected the Shawn Bradley Monstar, the dumbest and least imposing of the Monstars. But he does add much-needed size to his roster. Finally, Arlin brought on Elmer Fudd as his enforcer off of the bench, a staple of any successful NBA team in the ‘90s. He may have a shotgun on him, but he may not be able to bring anything else to the table.
I, meanwhile, focused on athleticism and team fit. My chemistry may not be as strong as that of Arlin’s team, but Shaq and Kobe seemed to do fine for a few seasons. Surely, my team will be able to stand each other for one game. My roster consists of three Monstars who each have very defined roles and freakish athleticism. Barkley and Ewing were each members of the 1992 “Dream Team” and have cemented their legacies as members of the Basketball Hall of Fame (none of the other Monstars can claim either of those things as accomplishments). They were no-brainers as the top two picks, and putting them on the same squad will be difficult to deal with.
The other Monstar on my roster is the Muggsy Bogues avatar, who is the second most natural point guard of the available players, after Bugs. With the Monstars providing incredible size and athleticism, I filled my roster out with effort guys (Taz for his motor and ability to get to the basket and Wile E. Coyote for his craft defense), and a spark plug off the bench (Daffy has a terrible attitude but can heat up faster than a microwave and set the basket ablaze).
With the teams selected, there is nothing left to do but play the game. Which team do you think would win the game? And what would your team look like?
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