Riding high on their latest soul crushing of the Boston Celtics, Miami's favorite team, the Heat, are now second on the all-time list of longest NBA win streaks at 23 games. They're second only to the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers, whose streak lasted 33 games and ended in a blowout against the Milwaukee Bucks in early 1972. That Lakers team featured an overwhelming amount of all-time greats like Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Gail Goodrich, Elgin Baylor, and a much younger and less debonair Pat Riley.
While records in the sports world may seem like the pinnacle of success, nothing means forever like the immortality of film. Let's be honest: before this season, did anyone even know or care that the NBA win streak record was 33 games? Comparatively, we're sure way more people knew that in Rocky IV Apollo Creed came out to James Brown singing "Living In America." Or that Ricky Vaughn's nickname was "Wild Thing." Or that Matt LeBlanc was the baseball tutor for a monkey named Ed.
In the world of entertainment, film trumps sports, hands down. So to commemorate this year's Miami Heat, and the impressive win streak they've pulled off (and should extend tonight), we're imagining our own Hollywood blockbuster about the team: Miami New Times' Cultist presents a Chuck Strouse production: Blaze, The Much Told Story of The Miami Heat's 23 Game Win Streak.
Eric Spolstra, played by Pat Morita
Legendary Bulls and Lakers' coach Phil Jackson famously earned the nickname Zen Master for his calm personality and endless reservoir of basketball knowledge. While Eric Spolstra may not have enough basketball years under his belt to earn a truly awesome moniker like that, we'd like to put in an early nominee for the nickname Eric "Sensai" Spolstra in honor of Mr. Miyagi himself. Yes, there is a bit of an age difference between Miyagi and the Heat's young coach Spolstra, but thanks to the magic of New Times technology, we were able to scoop up a young Morita from his time on Happy Days.
LeBron James, played by Will Smith
The Heat's leading man can only be played by one of Hollywood's most famous and beloved leading men, except with a lot better hairline (sorry LeBron). Only Smith has the range to capture James' notorious goofy side, and still have the dramatic acting ability to portray the most infamous moments of the streak -- including the one that has come to be known simply as "killing the Jet":
Dwyane Wade played by "Dwayne Wayne"
Low hanging fruit, you say? We agree. But Wade brought it on himself the second he decided to pay homage to Wayne in last year's finals post-game interview by sporting The Other Wayne's trademark flip up sunglasses. While so many other actors could have more appropriately taken on this role, such as Omar Epps, Terrance Howard, or even Wade's own comedy stalker Kevin Hart, nostalgia and a weird sense of humor squeezes Kadeem Hardison into playing the Heat's second superstar. Let's hope he hasn't put on too much weight since his A Different World days.
Chris Bosh played by an
Ostrich Dinosaur Dave Chappelle
What would it take to get Chappelle out of self-imposed mainstream retirement? How about a role as the Heat's goofiest member, complete with a montage of video bombs set to Joey Esposito's "You're The Best Around"? Plus, all the pot he can smoke; this is a New Times production, after all.
Ray Allen played by Jesus Shuttlesworth
In a Tropic Thunder-esque "I'm a dude, playing a dude, disguised as another dude" moment, Ray Allen plays himself through the world of a retired, post-college basketball player-turned-actor Shuttleworth. That's Ray playing Jesus playing Ray.
His most important moment in the film would be recreating that scene in He's Got Game, the one when Shuttlesworth is being "shown around campus" and he finds himself in a three way with two white hotties. Except, since it's the NBA, there's 15 women, a couple of dudes in sombreros, a brother and sister set of donkeys, a kangaroo, a set a rubber gloves, and a toilet plunger. If we're lucky we could maybe, just maybe, get Denzel Washington to make an appearance in that amazing afro he sported for Spike Lee in 1998.
Some other possible supporting roles:
Pat Riley played by Christopher Walken (but only because Al Pacino is way, way too obvious)
Udonis Haslem played by Friday's Deebo (Tiny Lister).
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Chris "Birdman" Anderson played by an alien.
Joel Anthony played by a piece of wood on a spring.
Mario Chalmers played by Pepe Billete.