Issue 96: Let’s Keep This One Short

We’re about to head into a long weekend in the U.S. to celebrate Independence Day. America has been a country for 235 years, which is a pretty long time.

But we’re here for a good time, not a long time. Which is why today’s issue is all about quick NBA player cameos on TV shows.

In these clips, the athlete in question is only on the screen for less than 60 seconds, yet still makes a big impression.

Kobe Bryant on Modern Family

We all know that NBA players and fans have had some…tenuous interactions in the past. Luckily, we’ve also seen many good encounters.

It’s enough to make you think, what would I do in that situation? If, in response to me cheering (or booing) at a game, a large NBA player came up to me, perhaps one I really admired, how would I react?

I’d like to think I’d be cool and collected, but I’d probably end up more like Phil Dunphy here.

LeBron James on Entourage

We already know from past issues that LeBron James can act (though we’ll see how Space Jam 2: Spacier and Jammier turns out). But with only about 11 words in the script for him here, he better really nail those lines.

I’ll be honest: I’ve never watched a single episode of Entourage. I’ve only seen clips here or there. This fact seems to surprise a lot of people, including one friend who once told me they thought it would be my favorite show. We are no longer friends.

(The friendship ended because we fell out of touch, though this egregious assumption certainly didn’t help.)

Anyway, LeBron mostly stands around here. Yet, when he gets a chance to calmly sink a dagger into Adrian Grenier’s heart, you better believe he delivers.

Kevin Love and Deron Williams on The Suite Life on Deck

Now talk about a show I HAVE seen — The Suite Life on Deck was a regular occurrence at my house growing up. And by regular occurrence, I mean I’d occasionally watch it while waiting for Even Stevens or Lizzie McGuire to come on. Young me was so easy to impress…

Kevin Love and Deron Williams show up here as potential basketball players against the Suite Life crew and…well, they say some words. Williams likes puppies, and Love is stoked he got a free hat at the NBA Draft.

I suppose you can’t expect the highest-quality writing on a Disney Channel show, so the gents are doing what they can.

Dwight Howard is also here, but he’s in the scene for more than a minute so he doesn’t count. Though I will complain that he makes a pretty good visual joke about Mosby being his half-brother by “whooshing” the air like he was cutting it in half.

And then Zack (or Cody, I’m not really sure) makes the comment, “well he is half your size.” Really hammering the point home to that Disney Channel audience.

Randy Foye on Wingin’ It

You may have missed the Canadian show Wingin’ It during its run from 2010 to 2012, but it still managed to sneak in 51 episodes.

The premise was an angel-in-training (Porter) comes back to Earth to get his angel wings by befriending a high school student (Carl) and making him the most popular kid in his school, Bennett High.

In the very first episode of the show, Porter signs Carl up for a shootout against Serge, apparently the best school in the land. Carl, being a kid that typically has bad luck, is lacking confidence.

So, Porter calls in the reinforcements: NBA guard Randy Foye.

Foye gets to deliver a couple of one-liners with about as much enthusiasm as someone who’s parallel parking, then offers a message that still rings true today. If you believe in yourself, good things will happen.

He shows off perhaps the slowest dribbling exercise I’ve ever seen, casually going behind his back in between the high schooler and angel-in-training while they stand watching in awe.

Also, the entire time Carl and Porter are standing next to each other, any shot with them in it just says “High” in the background (I assume “Bennett” is on the other side). Perhaps they were pushing for the legalization of marijuana, which would come a couple of years later.

Or maybe it was a reference to wings and soaring through the sky? I don’t know — you be the judge.

Carmelo Anthony on Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide

Talk about a real short clip. But man, Carmelo nails this one.

Other Reads and Watches

Scottie Pippen chats with GQ

Em Adler on the unguardability of Jewell Lloyd

David K. Li on how 99% of WNBA players are fully vaccinated and no one has tested positive for COVID-19 this season

Zach Kram on Chris Paul’s masterful Game 6 performance

That’s all ’til next time. Thanks for reading!


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