This weekend was Oscar Sunday, and some of the biggest names in all of Hollywood found out just how good their acting and directing are (at least according to “critics”). This year, names like Bradley Cooper (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Denzel Washington (“Flight”), Daniel Day-Lewis (“Lincoln”), Hugh Jackman (“Les Misérables”), and Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty”) were the top names in the best actor and actress categories.
In the NBA, acting has a negative connotation. Most of the time it is connected to flopping — the league even set up a fine system in order to get players to stop “acting.”
We have seen players transition over to the silver screen before: to name a few, Ray Allen (“He Got Game”), Shaquille O’Neal (“Kazaam”), Penny Hardaway (“Blue Chips”), Michael Jordan (“Space Jam”), Dwight Howard and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (“Airplane”). However, none of these players starred in an autobiographical movie (even if “He Got Game” was based on Stephon Marbury). That got me thinking; whose career would make the best movie? What players have stories that need to be told?
Let’s take a look at 10 players in the NBA today that have the most storybook careers to date.
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10. RICKY RUBIO
The Minnesota Timberwolves point guard hasn’t exactly had the great start to his NBA career as once was predicted. For his career, Ricky Rubio is averaging 9.7 points, 7.6 dimes and 2.2 steals per game, which are solid numbers. But they aren’t yet at the star level production that many saw for young Rubio (last season’s knee injury must be mentioned).
Rubio, a Spanish native, first began playing professionally when he was just 14 years old. He wasn’t some sideshow act like Bow Wow in “Like Mike” either, this kid could ball. His talent and his youth lead to him eventually becoming one of the biggest names in Spain.
I don’t know about you, but a story about a 14-year-old dealing with the pressures of playing professionally at such a young age and than having to deal with the hype and constant media attention as well would make for amazing drama.
Eight years later, Rubio is now firmly planted on the biggest basketball stage with the brightest lights. Though he still has a lot of games left in his career, the first 22 years of his life are definitely worthy of a movie.
9. NICK YOUNG
Nick Young is one of the most charismatic players in the league. Swaggy P, as he likes to call himself, has shown that he can take over the camera at any time. The Californian started off playing for the Washington Wizards, but after five up-and-down seasons he was traded back home to the Los Angles Clippers. It would’ve made for an amazing end for Young’s story, yet the Clippers let him walk in free agency and now he fulfills the sixth man role for the Philadelphia 76ers.
It isn’t his path to finding the right team in the NBA that makes his life worth a movie, it’s the fact that Young dealt with loss, failure and redemption before finishing high school. His senior year of high school is well documented in a movie titled “Second Chance Season.”
Young had flunked out of two schools because members of a gang that killed his younger brother were his classmates. His grades were sub-par at best and some of his teachers worried if he could get a high enough SAT score to even be able to accept a scholarship.
For all his charm, Swaggy P has some haunting stories in his past and his ability to overcome all of the odds he faced previously has movie written all over it.