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Thursday, May 19, 2005
Episode IV - A New Hope by Bent 
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

It is a period of rebuilding and reloading. The Boston Celtics, striking from a base well hidden from the National Media and your average Joe sports fan, have won their first victory against the evil rest-of-the-NBA. During the battle for the Atlantic Division Crown, it became apparent that the Celtics rebellion would not be strong enough to overcome their evil opponents throughout the rest of the NBA galaxy.

The new owners, hopelessly over-matched and armed only with the outdated weaponry of the three-point shoot, volume scoring and post fronting, were able to lure out an old Mormon hermit from the peaceful world of Utah, who had once battled for the Celtics alliance during their one of the most successful periods in their history.

This Mormon hermit, custodian of the mythical "plan" that would restore equilibrium to the NBA galaxy, would become united with a simple, young kid and could sense that the "upside" was strong in him. He instantly knew that he was the only hope for the Celtics rebellion to restore pride and success to the patient, yet expectant, people of Boston...


OK, bear with me on this one. No analogy is perfect, but I am going for this all guns blazing (and you can't say it's not topical - even though it does start "a long time ago..."). Somebody will break my heart by telling me it's already been done, and done better (probably by Bill Simmons), but I put a lot of thought into this. (And please don't try and tell me that the Boston Globe's Star Wars/Red Sox analogy was better - Johnny Damon = Chewbacca...because they're both hairy? Puhleeze).

So who are the other key players in this tangled web?

Red Auerbach - Yoda:
A wise old sage. He is an ancient and revered master, the true leader of the alliance and one of the sharpest minds around. Everyone respects and looks up to him.

Larry Bird: Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader:
Originally discovered in a small town, it was clear from the start that this simple farm boy had something special about him. He would develop into one of the Galaxies most skilled and powerful warriors and would battle to many victories alongside many other young warriors, including the one who would later become the Mormon hermit mentioned above and one of his fiercest enemies when he would defect to a major opponent of the alliance.

David Stern - Chancellor Valorum/The Emperor:
Voted to the head of the general senate, his true colors as one of the sternest opponents of the alliance would be revealed as he would do everything he could to destroy it.

K C Jones - Qui-Gon Jinn:
A respected and legendary leader who was able to pass on his knowledge and expertise to the next generation of alliance heroes.

Paul Pierce - Han Solo:
A fiery and tempestuous vagrant. It was unclear as to whether he would be willing to work alongside the chosen one, as he stubbornly likes to be in control. He is in charge of steering and navigating a once-invincible ship, which had seen better days.

Ricky Davis - Chewbacca:
A key ally of Solo's and a former Wookiee of the year candidate. (And, erm...because he's hairy).

Mike and Tommy - R2D2 and C3PO:
Two differing characters present to oversee the whole tapestry of events. One being stout, loyal, over-excitable and with more influence than anyone would ever realise, the other being a masterful communicator, passive and dare I say, a bit camp.

Antoine Walker - Lando Calrissian:
A long-time ally of Solo, who (through little choice of his own) was forced to defect, but would later return to assist the alliance. (In one of Star Wars lesser known deleted scenes, Lando's addiction to Southern Fried Chicken is also revealed).

Wilt Chamberlain - Count Dooku:
A fearsome former warrior who was extremely productive over a long period of time.

Isiah Thomas - Jabba the Hutt:
An enemy of the alliance, but nothing more than an irritation for the rebellion. He was once powerful, as he surrounded himself with violent and brutal enforcers who would fight to protect him. Now, surrounded by an aura of self-importance and an obsession with spending money, he is little more than a joke.

Julius Erving - Darth Maul:
A phenomenally skilled athlete. He was capable of doing things, nobody had seen before, but ultimately did not present too much of a challenge to the alliance.

Michael Jordan - Boba Fett:
Everybody thinks this character is the coolest. The same DNA was used to produce an army of clones, which attempted to go into battle using the same style and technique and waged a hard-fought battle for supremacy.

Walter McCarty - Sy Snootles:
The musically gifted singer in Jabba's band (although Snootles is a better offensive rebounder).

Vin Baker - That droid that falls over in episode IV.
(Although the droid is a better defensive player).

Mark Blount - Jar Jar Binks:
He's big, he's clumsy and nobody seems to like him. A no-brainer.

Like I said above, no analogy is perfect. Perhaps Bird should be Chewbacca (the hick from Kashyyk) and perhaps Rick Fox is a better example of someone who defected to the dark side and then returned to good just before his ultimate demise.

I could go further. Chief Chirpa? - Robert Parish. Dikembe Mutumbo? - With that voice? Virtually anyone. Wicket the Ewok? - P J Carlesimo. Nein Numb? - Marquis Grissom. However, I've got to draw the line somewhere, so there you have it. Steven Hawking summarised the universe and everyone called him a genius. Then again, there is a fine line between genius and insanity and I am well aware that I have been tight-roping it since the start of the article.

So what happens next? Well, evidently, Isiah Thomas will freeze Paul Pierce in Carbonite and then Larry will try to lure Al Jefferson to the Pacers by telling him he is his father, only for Al and Larry to overcome the evil David Stern together and lead the Celtics to complete domination of the NBA. Now, that would be perfect.

I've also solved the riddle of who Ainge will draft in June. Apparently, there is another. The chosen one has a sister. "And with the eighteenth pick in the NBA draft, the Boston Celtics select Alison Jefferson from Prentiss High School". With that, I think I may have just fallen off that tight-rope.

(Editor's note: This story was written well before the appearance of SI.com's tribute to Star Wars and sports. Looks like they agree on at least one character.)

# posted @ 5/19/2005 08:59:00 AM - Message Board

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