With the NBA season fast approaching, let's take a peek at how the 30 squads will compare to one another.
And for all you cinephiles out there, try to spot the movie reference accompanying each team—which should be about as difficult as making Manu Ginobli flop!
1. Boston Celtics, 58-24
With Rajon Rondo’s postseason ascension, a clever media takes to calling him, KG, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen the Fantastic 4. Following the script, Rondo, as the Invisible Woman, will end up marrying Garnett in this year’s sequel.
2. Philadelphia 76ers, 45-37
Looming larger than life in his new town, Philly fans and teammates look in awe at the terrifying Elton Brand. With zero fourth-quarter assists on the year, it’s apparent no one wants to take the Monster’s Ball, at least not with the game on the line.
3. Toronto Raptors, 43-39
Rumor has it Andrea Bargnani, the No. 1 pick from 2006, underwent an intense offseason workout regimen. Secretly, though, Bargnani has been training as an undercover assassin, as succeeding in the NBA is not something he ever really Wanted—as evidenced by last season’s abysmal performance.
4. New Jersey Nets, 34-48
On a new squad and still utilizing incomprehensible English, Yi Jianlian continues his transformation into Wall-E by befriending one of the Continental Airlines Arena cockroaches—and, in a scientific find of the decade, inadvertently discovering actual vegetation in North Jersey.
5. New York Knicks, 12-70
Stephon Marbury’s downward spiral continues, as the point guard claims he goes spelunking in the nude, eats live pigeons before gamedays, and actually enjoyed The Happening. Somewhere, Freud and Isiah Thomas smile.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers, 52-30
After a swift rebuke from Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, King James comes clean on his future in Cleveland. Will he stay? “Definitely, (Maybe).”
2. Detroit Pistons, 50-32
After Rasheed Wallace, Tayshaun Prince, and Rip Hamilton all retire to form a breakdance troupe, “The Motown Movers,” first-year Pistons coach Michael Curry looks to Rodney Stuckey to Step Up. Stuckey feels the beat, leading the Pistons back to the Eastern Conference Finals.
3. Chicago Bulls, 40-42
Seeking Atonement for last year’s horrific implosion, Joakim Noah offers to sacrifice his hair, turning it into some Hot Fuzz via blowtorch. (Oh man, two movies for the price of one Joakim Noah-has-awful-hair joke! Sweet!)
4. Milwaukee Bucks, 31-51
Still smarting from his team’s humiliating loss to the USA in the Olympics, Andrew Bogut, a native of Australia, retaliates by sending every member of the Redeem Team live crocodiles. And thus, the legacy of Steve Irwin lives on.
5. Indiana Pacers, 18-64
This team’s highest-paid players, in order, are Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy, and Rasho Nesterovic. Is Will Ferrell filming a sequel to Semi-Pro, or does Larry Bird just not care anymore?
1. Atlanta Hawks, 52-30
With Josh Childress soaking up the Hellenic rays, general manager Rick Sund has a midseason Nightmare Before Christmas when he dreams that the former Hawk’s ’fro is still taking up cap space.
2. Washington Wizards, 49-33
In a recent blog entry, Agent Zero asks his fans to share a Quantum of Solace for his brittle legs before every home game. DeShawn Stevenson pleads for the same, as multiple fungi have started taking over his beard. (Meanwhile, Jay-Z formulates a ‘Yo, Dat Fungus is Humongous’ riff.)
3. Miami Heat, 46-36
Stealing the cape from his in-state neighbor, Dwyane Wade uses the 2008-09 season to show that when Superman Returns, he does so with a vengeance. Plus, Chris Quinn could pull off a Lex Luthor, don’t you think?
4. Orlando Magic, 31-51
After being on the wrong end of Rudy Fernandez’s Olympic YouTubery, Dwight Howard switches superhero personas, but regresses more than Sam Raimi did with Spiderman 3 as the Magic fall from playoff contention.
5. Charlotte Bobcats, 30-52
With apathy and approaching senility, Larry Brown spends most of the season lounging on the Carolina coast, earning the moniker of Old Man and the Sea. To everyone’s surprise, Adam Morrison eventually grows a beard and wins a Hemingway look-alike contest.
1. Los Angeles Clippers, 60-22
The Life of Brian Skinner entails many things, such as riding the pine, picking up Baron Davis’ water bottles, and cowering from the Cloverfield monster—er, Marcus Camby. The one thing Skinner accomplishes this season? Stealing the "Ugliest Baller" title from Chris Kaman. (Again, two movie references—what's with bad hair and more movie shout-outs?)
2. Los Angeles Lakers, 58-24
With Pau as Brian, Odom as Champ, Kobe and Ron, and Bynum as Brick, this Laker squad succeeds both on the court and in the newsroom. What, you didn’t know Phil Jackson coaches Anchorman reenactments in his spare time?
3. Sacramento Kings, 48-34
Kevin Martin plays out of his brain, sneaking his surprising team to the second round of the playoffs. As congratulations, Shaq sends K-Mart a copy of The Queen.
4. Golden State Warriors, 41-41
After being axed as the Warriors’ mascot, “Thunder” finds success of the set of the upcoming Smurfs film, valiantly playing Smurfette’s sexy pool boy, although he later sues Papa Smurf for making him reenact Monta Ellis' moped accident. (Side note, with an added movie reference: Which NBA player can look his teammates in the face and say he rides a moped? That's like the scene from The Departed, where Leo DiCaprio's character gets flak for drinking cranberry juice. Are we to believe Ellis accepts bar brawls as the toll for trolling around on a moped?)
5. Phoenix Suns, 28-54
Looking to reclaim the run’n’gun offense from the departed Mike D’Antoni, Steve Nash and company average 299 ponts per game for the season. Unfortunately, their opponents tend to notch just over 300.
1. Houston Rockets, 64-18
In order to protect his (deep breath) back, neck, shoulders, wrist, knee, ankle, and hamstrings, T-Mac constructs a protective suit of gold alloy for game day. Much to his chagrin, the non-element-savvy media still tags him as Iron Man.
2. New Orleans Hornets, 60-22
Now that people actually recognize him, David West lies awake at night, just waiting for someone to come forward and produce a picture of his 1992-94 stint as a Jeri-curled Wedding Singer. Think Calvin Murphy, but with falsetto.
3. Dallas Mavericks, 43-39
Using the Pineapple Express to take his game to the highest level, Josh Howard helps Dallas smoke out the regular-season competition. Not to be blunt, but Howard loves the ganja—does that make him more or less anti-American?
4. San Antonio Spurs, 29-53
Trying to will his way past stale teammates and an aging core, Tim Duncan toughens up and adopts the moniker of American Gangster. However, people quickly remember he’s from the Virgin Islands, and the Big Easy reverts to being softer than a marshmallow Peep.
5. Memphis Grizzlies, 22-60
As brother of Pau, Marc Gasol may always be considered Almost Famous, but he reaches the apex of Google searches when he stands on top of the FedEx Forum and screams, “I am a golden god!”
1. Utah Jazz, 56-26
After carrying the Russian flag through the Opening Ceremonies, Andrei Kirilenko decides to continue the tradition at all Jazz home games. Alas, David Stern is a big fan of Red Dawn, and quickly nixes Skeletor Kirilenko’s idea.
2. Portland Trail Blazers, 48-34
Calls are still out to Danny Glover, a Portland native, to portray Greg Oden in the sequel to The Rookie—so long as Glover can look ten years older.
3. Denver Nuggets, 41-41
Deciding that it was frugal to ride to Denver together on a motorized scooter, AI and ’Melo give new meaning to Dumb and Dumber when they decide to try some of Chris Andersen’s, um, “prescriptions” along the way.
4. Minnesota Timberwolves, 30-52
Kevin Love’s weight continues to balloon as the rookie devours anything he can get his hands on. Kevin McHale cringes when, during a road trip to NYC, Love mistakes the city’s power cords for black licorice and throws Gotham into The Dark (K)night.
5. Oklahoma City Thunder, 12-70
Acting out scenes from Superbad, the utter boredom of OKC leads Kevin Durant and Jeff Green to get the baby-faced Russell Westbrook, a.k.a. McLovin’, to buy them some booze. “The funny thing about my hook shot is that it’s located on my...low block."