NBA Basketball: Monstars Then and Now

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NBA Basketball: Monstars Then and Now

Sometime in his career Michael Jordan found the time to act in a movie that hit the Big Screen in November of 1996. However we rarely acknowledge the other NBA Players that took time out of their schedules to play a much smaller role in "Space Jam." 
To pay tribute too (and make fun of) the other five players that played a major role as the "Monstars" I'll delve into who your Monstars would be if Space Jam was remade starting tomorrow. 
While it is very tempting to break down who your Monstars would be by pointing out that Rajon Rondo and Chris Bosh look like aliens and thus would be perfect candidates for your 2011 Squad, I'll be a little less superficial and take stats and playing styles into consideration. 
1996 Monstar: Muggsy Bogues2011 Monstar: Earl Boykins
Bogues was a tiny 5'3" that averaged nearly as many assists (7.6) as points (7.7) per game over his 15 year career. While Boykins is nowhere close to as talented as Muggsy, he is the closest thing we have in height at 5'5". Boykins has only averaged about 2.5 assists over his career, but like Bogues has managed to survive in a league of giants for over a decade. It's safe to say that Boykins skill set would suffice in setting up the rest of his star studded Monstars, while providing good cheap laughs simply because of his size.
1996 Monstar: Larry Johnson 2011 Monstar: Joe Johnson

Larry Johnson was coming off a career in year in 95-96 (20pts, 8 rbs, 4 ast), and while Joe Johnson has put up better scoring numbers than that the players are semi-comparable. This past season Joe averaged just over 18 points, 4 assists and 4 rebounds very similar to Larry's stats in his pre- space Jam season. Both players have the last name Johnson, rode career years to big raises, and never give you a shot at a championship if they are your best player. Larry was 6'6" while Joe is 6'7" but both handle the ball well which is key for a Monstars team that deploys the strategy that size will win. (Seriously, what if they had added another guard instead of Bradley? Maybe a 3 point shooter to stretch the floor? No way MJ and crew win that game.)
1996 Monstar: Charles Barkley2011 Monstar: Kevin Garnett

Sure KG at 6'11" has a solid five inches on the 6'6" Barkley but everything else adds up. KG can score the basketball at a rate similar to Chucks, and also rebounds at a rate similar to Barkley's. However, Garnett brings a defensive presence to the floor, something which Barkley never did for his '96 Monstars. More importantly, both players have big mouths and are great "lead Monstars" in terms of personality. The only downside to including Garnett is that you might have to change the movie rating to PG-13 because he tends to scare small children.
1996 Monstar: Patrick Ewing2011 Monstar: Amare Stoudemire 

I can't keep the city of New York from having a star in this game, especially with some of the similarities these two share. Ewing was a 7 footer who had a wonderful back to the basket game but could also put the ball on the floor for a dribble or two before punishing a helpless defender with a monster jam. Stoudemire at 6'10" thrives off of posterizing less athletic and smaller defenders and like Ewing has never won a championship. Moar importantly, who wouldn't love seeing Alien-Stoudemire running around wearing glasses like Amare?
1996 Monstar: Shawn Bradley2011 Monstar: Zydrunas Ilgauskas

 As a child I enjoyed watching the Mavericks for one reason and one reason only, Shawn Bradley. He was good for a couple baseline 15 footers, clumsily running into guards attacking the rim, and of course at least one collision with the floor per game. The only criteria for replacing Bradley on the Monstars was the following: Tall, White, Awkward, Nice Mid-Range Game. Now survey the landscape of the NBA, and with the exception of Brian Scalabrine nobody else fits the criteria. Big Z has had a relatively successful NBA career and is currently chasing his first ring with the Miami Heat right now. But like Bradley, I couldn't imagine a worse pick/bigger waste of space for this Monstars team than Ilgauskas.



So there you have it, your 2011 Monstars. A squad that would definietely give Kobe (2011 MJ) and Bugs a run for their money. The ball is in your court (pun intended) Warner Brothers.

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