Top 5: Basketball movies that never were

After researching the history of basketball movies that never received a green-light for distribution, I was amazed to discover the following working titles that somehow missed the cut. Here they are, in reverse order:

5. Curious Georgetown (1981) John Thompson stars as The Man in the Yellow Hat, who hires an inquisitive monkey to officially scout players for his basketball program.

4. Alien (1995) A crew of scientists investigate a series of alleged alien sightings in the state of Texas, only to discover it was in fact Houston Rockets guard Sam Cassell. The role of Sam Cassell is played by Ronald ‘Popeye’ Jones. [Apologies to Sam and Popeye - I'm no oil painting myself!]

3. To Mock a Larrybird (1992) Set in French Lick, Indiana, this coming-of-age tale revolves around a severe case of Tall Poppy Syndrome. Larry Bird (played by Mackenzie Crook; The Office, UK) defies the odds and label of ‘hick’ to leave his small town and make it as a superstar in the NBA.

2. Diff’rent Strokes, The Movie (1993) Derrick Coleman stars as a petulant franchise player on the NBA’s New Jersey Nets. Trouble abounds when the team’s General Manager tries to convince him to alter his shooting style, leading to Derrick’s scene-stealing quote – “What you talking about Willis Reed?”

1. The King’s Speech (2010) LeBron James, suffering from a debilitating clutchness impediment, is suddenly front and centre on national TV, an event arranged by his handlers. King James decrees he is leaving Cleveland, taking his talents to South Beach (Miami). After an awkward beginning, he develops a seemingly unbreakable bond with his new teammates [the 'decision' to cease production of this movie paved the way for another movie, starring Colin Firth, to use this same title].

Are you aware of other such movies that are not on this list? If so, add them below in the comments section.

Poem: Rookie Jordan

Here’s my first attempt at a poem. The main focus is Michael Jordan entering the NBA, following his college days at the University of North Carolina. Please let me know your thoughts below, good or otherwise…

Jordan left UNC following his junior year

with an expanse of honors, the NBA Draft near

He co-captained USA, en route to Olympic gold

averaging 17 points per game, a sight to behold

 

Along came the Draft, June of 1984

his basketball skill-set, never dreamt of before

First went Olajuwon, then Bowie of Kentucky,

Bulls took Jordan at three, experts said they were lucky

 

Jordan, now a Chicagoan, his coach Kevin Loughery

the only problem? His Bulls were a mockery

In his rookie season, MJ turned the franchise around

with offensive artistry that left opponents dumbfound

 

The Bulls made the Playoffs, the first time in a while

Jordan simultaneously raising his profile

That was just the beginning for Chicago’s draftee

whose impact worldwide no one could foresee

 

NBA poetry

I’m introducing a new wrinkle to the site – poetry. Yes, poetry. It should be noted, it took every ounce of my being not to use the word ‘slam’ in the main title of this post.

Ideally, I’d love to field reader requests for any Jordan-era player, moment, event, indiscretion or anything else you can throw at me. In turn, I’ll select my from my favourite comments and produce a poem of sorts, based on said request. The resulting poems won’t rival those of T.S. Eliot; more likely, Sean Elliott.

There is a plethora of material to be mined. To get you started, here are just a few examples:

- Bulls v Pistons / Knicks rivalry

- Showtime Lakers

- Dennis Rodman / John Starks / Reggie Miller (need I say more?)

So, if you’d be kind enough to make a suggestion in the comments section below, we can get the ball rolling – literally and figuratively. All finished poems will be posted to the ‘NBA Musings’ category.