I love films. I love the Milwaukee Bucks. You’ve been here before. We’ve done this already. So let’s just jump straight into comparing some basketball players to the eight Best Picture nominees at this year’s Academy Awards (oh, and what the heck, let’s throw in a bonus one, too).
John Henson and Kenyon Martin - Whiplash
Whiplash is the story of a mean old jerk who coaches some young punk into a good and meaner drummer. The Signing of Kenyon Martin to a 10-Day Contract and Then Another 10-Day Contract and Then for the Rest of the Season but Then Actually Waiving Him is the story of a mean old, uh, basketball player who coaches some young punk into a good and meaner (but still adorable) member of the Bucks frontcourt.
Jared Dudley - Selma
By all accounts, Jared Dudley is a good dude who inspires those that surround him. He’s the kind of guy you want on your team, especially a young, impressionable one. Is he Martin Luther King, Jr.? Hell no. But the concept of this article requires me to compare Bucks players to best picture nominees, and so here we are. Just be thankful I didn’t pick Zaza.
Kendall Marshall and Jabari Parker - The Grand Budapest Hotel
Everything seemed so wonderful, didn’t it? One minute you’re bathing in stylistic decadence and the promise of the future, and the next you’re watching your favorite players get taken down by Nazis and ACL injuries and trades at the deadline. Ralph Fiennes deserved better. Jabari Parker deserved better. Kendall Marshall deserved better.
O.J. Mayo - Birdman
Lotta hype for this one. Looottttaaa hype. I thought it was just loud. Cinematography was dope, though. It was like every time I wanted to write this thing off as pure nonsense it went ahead and led four successful fastbreaks. But at the end of the day, you’re only as good as your last seventeen missed jumpsho … okay, let me drop this concept for a second and say that I actually really disliked this movie but I like OJ Mayo! I’m sorry, OJ! I just didn’t know who else to pick! And the hype angle was the only one that kind of worked! The photoshop looks pretty cool, at least! You can Instagram it, if you like!
Giannis Antetokounmpo - Boyhood
As you heard on the fourth hour of the Today Show, Boyhood is a coming-of-age story featuring a cast and crew that literally comes of age over the course of 12 years. It’s a pretty irresistible hook from a narrative standpoint, but it’s even more fun to watch everybody really sink into their roles and improve their performances as the film marches on. HOW GREAT IS IT THAT GIANNIS MIGHT BE OUR BOYHOOD? In my opinion, it’s really great.
Michael Carter-Williams - American Sniper
Do you think American Sniper is overwhelmingly in favor of murder in the name of America or do you think its working in more ambiguous terrain? Did you think Brandon Knight should have been a central piece of the Bucks future or did you think he wasn't worth his probable asking price like Bucks ownership? I can’t answer either of these questions, but I do know that no matter what answer you choose, someone is going to yell at you about it on the Internet and Clint Eastwood is still going to get paid and Michael Carter-Williams will still be on the Bucks.
Look, without boring old white guy biopics like The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game, I’m not sure the Oscars even exist. Despite all the snores caused and problems raised by these two films (and their promotional campaigns), they’re a necessary evil if we want to continue to celebrate a few above-average American movies for one Sunday night each year. And, well, we could do a lot worse than the ones we got this year. To be fully honest that last sentence only applies to Lasry and Edens. Did y’all really think I went to the movie theater to see either of these two movies? No way. I did see the new SpongeBob movie, though. It was good.
Larry Sanders - Inherent Vice
Inherent Vice is not nominated for best picture. Larry Sanders is not on the Bucks. Inherent Vice is stocked full of marijuana. Larry Sanders is stocked full of marijuana. Underneath all of that hazy exterior, though, there’s some pretty heavy melancholy in Inherent Vice. Same seems to be true of Larry Sanders. Get better, Larry. I hope you enjoy the Oscars.