Building a Starting Lineup out of Fictional Basketball Players from Movies.

Updated: Oct 16, 2020

Recently, I have been watching some basketball movies and came up with this idea. Even though there are a lot of basketball movies, I feel that I have seen all the big ones, where these characters are all included from. I of course haven't seen all of them, so leave a comment if you think I missed one. 

Before I start though, there will be spoilers in this article, so if you want to scroll through it just to see the players, scroll down to the bottom for the starting 5, 6th man and coach. And one rule I have decided to add is that players who stole talents from real players such as the mon-stars, Calvin Cambridge and that kid from thunderstruck. Another rule would be no including real-life NBA players such as Michael Jordan in Space Jam, however, if there is a player acted by a real-life guy such as Neon Bourdeaux, Butch McRae, and Jesus Shuttlesworth are all valid options.

Point Guard: Billy Hoyle (White Men Can't Jump)

Hoyle is a former college basketball player who makes his living by hustling streetballers who assume he cannot play well because he is white. Billy never degrades his race when joining in on pickup game, he often tricks his opponents (who are typically black) into thinking he isn't very good based on his race and the way he dresses.

In a lot of pickup games we see over the movie, Hoyle can score from three levels, pass to his partner, play defense, and dribble-drive past defenders. He, and his teammate, Sidney Deane, won loads of money together and were a dynamic duo. One night, after splitting a $5000 prize tournament, Billy makes a bet that he can dunk, and bets his portion of the $5000. He gets three tries to dunk and is unable to put it in, hence the title, White Men Can't Jump

After this, Billy's girlfriend breaks up with him once she finds out he lost the earnings. Desperate to get her back, Billy goes to Sidney for help. Sidney reveals that he has a friend who works as a security guard at the TV studio that produces Jeopardy! The friend agrees to use his connections to get her on the show if Billy can sink a hook shot from beyond the half-court line, which he does. He gets her back, and now it is Sidney who needs a favor from Billy. Sidney needs Billy's help in a pickup game against King and Duck, putting all the money on the line. They win the match with an epic alley-oop finish and come back with double their earnings. 

Previous to the game, Gloria, Billys girlfriend warns him that if he gambles, they are through and despite winning double the money, Gloria has left him. Fortunately for Billy, he will always have a friend and pick up a partner in Sidney though.

Shooting Guard: Jesus Shuttlesworth (He Got Game)

Jesus Shuttlesworth, played by Ray Allen was the #1 high school prospect in the United States. He went to Abraham Lincoln High School in Coney Island, New York. As a kid, he was always pushed by his dad to be better at basketball, until tragedy struck. One day, late at night they were in a heated 1v1 where Jesus was being pushed around by his dad, Jake. Eventually, they went home, and Jake and he got into a very heated fight which resulted in Jake accidentally murdering his wife. 

Jesus was always able to cope with this and made it his duty to play basketball at a high level. He was recruited by many big schools such as Tulane, the University of North Carolina, and many NBA teams even recruited him to the teams. At one point, in a TV commercial about him, he receives high praise from NBA Hall of Famers, Shaquille O'Neal, and Reggie Miller, saying that he was a special high school talent that we haven't seen for a while. 

In different parts of the movie, Jesus Shuttlesworth is seen dribbling his way out of double teams, draining threes, and making high quality passes to open teammates. At the end of the movie, he ended up committing to Big State University. Fun fact about this movie though, is that this movie was based on Stephon Marbury's journey into making it to the NBA.

Small Forward: Clarence Withers aka Coffee Black (Semi-Pro)

Playing in a fictional ABA, Coffee Black was the only good player on the Flint Tropics. He often dribbled his way out of double teams and was a shifty scorer and playmaker.

Once the NBA agreed to take in four teams from the ABA, Coffee Black was one of the few players determined to make it there, nominating teammate, Ed Monix to be their coach. Once Monix started coaching, Black had less work on the team, and then they started to win games. He was their driving force, and lead them to 5th place in the league, one place short of joining the NBA. Their final game against the San Antonio Spurs, the ABA commissioner let player-owner, Jackie Moon that even if they win, they won't join the NBA and that Flint isn't a big enough market for them.

Because of this, Moon decided to save Coffee Black's career by trading him to the Spurs, for a chance to blossom in the NBA. In the final game, Coffee Black couldn't play during the first half, feeling guilty that he gets the opportunity when he and his teammates deserve the chance. At halftime, Coffee Black takes off his Spurs jersey and re-joins the Tropics in their locker room. Coming out of half time, Jackie Moon and Coffee Black come up with a new play called the alley-oop, and in that universe, it was the first one ever. Using the alley-oop, the Tropics beat the Spurs, winning the "mega-bowl." After this game, the Spurs sign Coffee Black back, and he plays in the NBA.

Power Forward: Thomas Sheppard (Above The Rim)

To put it simply, Jimmy Chitwood was born to shoot a basketball. Chitwood was shown only missing four shots throughout all of Hoosiers. He scored 32 of the team’s 42 points in the championship game. It’s one of the most impressive on-court performances in any basketball film.

There’s only one that tops it, and that would be Shep’s performance in the final game of Above the Rim. If Jimmy was born to shoot a basketball, then Shep is born to function as a basketball-playing robot. In the final match, Shep shot 14-14 and 10-10 from three along with the game-winning steal.

Shep was also a great mentor for Kyle Watson, who was a young basketball protogue who ended up getting a full-ride scholarship to Georgetown University.

Center: Neon Bordeaux (Blue Chips)

Neon Boudeaux is a giant, powerful, athletic freak. He’s unstoppable the whole movie. The role played by Shaquille O’Neal is the classic low-post, paint dominant center.

Bribed by Pete Bell, to join Western University he recieves a nice mercedes benz, and preforms outstandingly for them. In one game, against the #1 seeded Indiana Hoosiers Neon, along with the help of fellow teammates, Butch McRae, and Ricky Roe beat them which was a huge upset.

After his time at Western University, he and Butch made the NBA and is said to be all-star caliber players for their teams.

6 Man: Sidney Deane (White Men Can't Jump)

It's only right that the sixth man should be Sidney Deane. After his, and Billy's adventure they have great chemistry and know each other's game just as well as they do their own. This spot was between Sidney, and Jimmy Chitwood from Above The Rim but Sidney and Billy's chemistry puts him ahead of Chitwood.

Sidney is a great playmaker and makes fancy passes and complex dribble sequences look easy. His shot isn't as good as Hoyles, but now playing inside rather than outside the wind won't be a factor so we could see an increase of FG% in Hoyle and Deane.

Coach: Ed Monix

As I said earlier, Ed Monix took the Flint Tropics from a joke in the ABA, to contending for a spot in the NBA based off of their talent. As we saw early in the movie, practices from Jackie Moon often included dance choreography, and ways to make money, no basketball included.

Once Monix took over, we see in his first practice players practicing a play until they all threw up. After this, we see a significant increase in talent from the Flint Tropics as they begin to win games. The more practices ran by Ed Monix, the more they began to grow as a team, rather than individual players.

Spoiler Free Lineup:

PG: Billy Hoyle (Like Mike)

SG: Jesus Shuttlesworth (He Got Game)

SF: Clarence Withers aka Coffee Black (Semi-Pro)

PF: Thomas Sheppard (Hoosiers)

C: Neon Bordeaux (Blue Chips)

6 Man: Sidney Deane (Space Jam)

Coach: Ed Monix (Semi-Pro)

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