5-vs-5 : Who Wins, In Their Prime?

Prime Cover
Welcome to another 5-vs-5, where we ask our NBA experts a series of questions that are relevant to the NBA.  We are the first people to ever do this.  

Today’s Topic:  Who wins, One-on-One, In Their Prime (Old  vs. New ? )

The Experts: Ryan Weisert (@Spectavious), John Sabine (@jsabine214), Tyler Parker (@_tkparker), Chandler Goodman (@SuchAGoodman), and FBJ (@FBJ0)

Moderator: Jason Gallagher (@jgallagher41)


1.  Blake Griffin or Dunk-A-Roos?  Who wins, in their prime?

Blake Dunkaroos

Weisert: This is a matchup of the greatest posterizers in history. We’ve all seen Blake do what he does, but in the mid-90’s there was nobody like the Dunkaroos Kangaroo. I once saw him throw down a one-handed 360 over ALL THREE Teddy Grahams. You think Kendrick Perkins got it bad? Honey, Chocolate, and Cinnamon were never the same after that dunk. May God rest their souls. Dukaroos wins.

Sabine: Two strong competitors from two different eras. All things the same? In their prime? I think Dunk-A-Roos takes it but only if it’s Cookies & Creme. Blake still hasn’t hit his ceiling yet, but in its prime, no one, not even Jordan, could touch Cookies & Creme Dunk-A-Roos.

Parker: I love Blake. I think he gets a bad wrap. He’s got a better offensive game than people give him credit for and I think he’s genuinely likable. He’s an Oklahoma guy, like me, and he’s a huge reason the evil empire is the second best team in LA now. But has he even reached his prime? Wouldn’t appear so. He’s got another couple years to go to get there. BUT HE COULD WIN THE NEXT TEN NBA CHAMPIONSHIPS AND HE WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO CLEAN D-ROOS ICING CONTAINER. D-Roos are the snack equivalent of Bill Russell’s ability to win basketball games. If Michael Jordan was 8 ft tall he couldn’t beat D-Roos in their prime. Need to make it clear I don’t have time for stupid questions.

Goodman: Well, according to Wikipedia, at the height of its popularity in 1996, Dunk-A-Roos “held a contest known as ‘Dunk-a-Roos Kangaroo Kanga-Who Search,’ resulting in the new mascot: Duncan, named the dunkin’ daredevil.” Last year, Blake Griffin put up a 16.3 PER in the playoffs, which put him in roughly Mike Dunleavy, Jr. territory. So, you tell me? (I’ve never eaten a Dunk-A-Roo in my life, so seriously, you tell me.)

FBJ: In its prime, every kid in the cafeteria was dying for some Dunk-A-Roos to replace the plastic aftertaste of school pizza. Dunk-A-Roos taught kids how to barter and negotiate. Invaluable skills. Duncan had a better jumper than Blake too. Give me Dunk-A-Roos. No seriously, you said you’d pay me in Dunk-A-Roos, Jason. I want them now.

2. Dwight Howard or Lisa Frank?  Who wins, in their prime?

dwight lisa frank

Weisert: Dwight Howard would own Lisa Frank in her prime. Wait, sorry, I meant to say Dwight Howard owned Lisa Frank in her prime. His trapper keeper was all LF from front to back.

Sabine: Lisa Frank is strong. In her prime, Lisa Frank played a loud, bold style. But people forget how good 2009 Dwight was. He averaged 20 pts, 15 rebounds, and 2 blocks. He took an average Magic team to the Finals. As much as I love Neon Turtles riding Neon Unicorns (and believe me, I LOVE THEM) Dwight was just too good.

Parker: The only Frank that Howard would beat in his prime is Uncle Frank from Home Alone and that’s only because that guy really sucked something awful. I do not now, nor will I ever, condone the thievery of silverware from a major airline.

Goodman: Well, I have no idea what Lisa Frank is, but according to Wikipedia, her corporation’s artwork”features extremely bright rainbow and neon colors and stylized depictions of animals, including dolphins, pandas, and unicorns,” and was popular among middle school girls throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Speaking of middle school girls, you know who else is known for being dramatic? Let’s call this one a tie where everyone loses.

FBJ: The Urban Outfitters stores in Houston hit records sales this month, solely because Dwight Howard bought their entire inventory of Lisa Frank vintage merchandise. Still, I’m going to go Dwight here. His work in Orlando with Jameer Nelson and Hedo as his “Big Three” was incredible. Plus, I was more of a Trapper Keeper guy.

3. JR Smith or LA Gear?  Who wins, in their prime?

jr la gear

Weisert: J.R. Smith gets paid to light it up on the court. So does LA Gear. The only difference is, 30-90% of the time, J.R. doesn’t light anything but the crowd’s ire whereas LA Gear lights up every step no matter what (unless it’s out of shoe gas.) LA Gear wins for consistency.

Sabine: JR Smith. LA GEAR was overrated in its time and is overrated now. At least JR Smith thinks he’s a great player. LA GEAR didn’t even try to be great. LA GEAR is worthless. NO ONE LIKES LA GEAR!

Parker: JR Smith would beat LA Gears if LA Gears were Sketchers but LA Gears are LA Gears and not Sketchers and they gave us fantastic moments in advertising such as this one so go ahead and stay at the house JR. I’ve got no use for you. There’s probably only twenty players in the history of the league, maybe, that can beat the feeling of creating a lightning storm on the ground simply by stomping your foot.

Goodman: They both light up. Only the cool kids love ’em. They’re probably gonna fail when you need them most. I got LA Lights in 7.

FBJ: Get verified, @LAGearOriginals. Then we can talk. Until then, I’m going with the #STARER, JR Smith.



4. Kawhi Leonard or Super Soaker 50?  Who wins, in their prime?

kawhi super soaker


Weisert: If we’re talking mano-a-mano, Kawhi vs. the Super Soaker, it’s Kawhi hands down. But a rifle, whether it fires bullets or pressurized streams of water that my mother swore could put my eye out, is nothing on its own. But put that Super Soaker 50 in the hands of a trained aquassassin like myself, and we dominate Mr. Leonard every time. The SS50 is still in its prime.

Sabine: This is the toughest. People love hopping on the Kawhi Leonard bandwagon as much they love hopping on the nostalgia Buzzfeed bandwagon. Again, like Blake, I don’t think Kawhi has reached his prime, where as we know what we are getting with Super Soaker 50. Right now Super Soaker wins, but in two years it might be a different story.

Parker: Super Soakers are overrated. Been waiting years to say that. If you had one and you thought it was cool then you’re remembering it wrong, Roger Clemens to Andy Pettitte style. Kawai is boring and seems to barely register a pulse in the biggest moments, sure, but at least you don’t have to constantly pump him to get him to go. And you don’t have to refill him at crucial moments during the water war causing your stronghold to be taken by the Perry kids. And I was smart with my ammo conservation, too, so don’t give me that. I used it only when it was necessary. I didn’t use it like some Goldeneye rookie used their shotgun shells too quickly when they got into close quarters combat with Boris. I was smart about it. The SS50 was just a garbage weapon. Can’t believe I was so pumped to get you for my birthday in 1998. I hate you. You’re trash.

Goodman: Rangy, lightening quick, surprisingly powerful: After spending three years living next door to the McLaughlin boys on Stillman, I know never to doubt the Super Soaker 50. I’ve got a couple pairs of Umbros that I’m still ringing dry.

FBJ:  This one is the toughest. Both are no-frills, brutally efficient destructive forces. While other kids on your block (teams) overpaid for the Super Soakers with multiple tanks (Rudy Gay) or the ones with multiple spray settings that were always defective (Richard Jefferson), you (the Spurs, duh) were smart and stuck with the reliably effective 50. So, yeah, Steve, I know your family had more money than mine but I still beat your…sorry, got sidetracked. Super Soaker 50, it is.


5. Serge Ibaka or Surge Soda?  Who wins, in their prime?

serge surge soda

Weisert: As far as I’m concerned, there is only one neon-colored, citrus-flavored soda worthy of drinking – Mountain Dew. Many imitators have come for its crown – Surge, Sierra Mist, something called Sun Drop – but Mountain Dew still stands as King of the um…well…Mountain for lack of a better word. Serge Ibaka wins by default.

Sabine: Push. It’s Serge vs Surge. Both came in with lot of hype. The hype fizzled, but they are still strong and serviceable. Right now, if they went head-to-head 100 times, I think each wins 50. This the most compelling of all of them now if you excuse me I have to go spend $115 on eBay for a 12 pack of unopened Surge.

Parker: I write a Thunder column and I frequently say “Serge Ibaka” like how I’d imagine a pirate would after Ibaka does something cool in a game, but there is no beverage before or since that has captured the hearts, minds, and tongues of America like Surge did. It made Mountain Dew seem lame. Do you realize how hard that is? The drink of TJ Lavin and Dave Mirra reduced to the ballpark concession stand back-burner in favor of some other lime green-ish nectar. Serge could average 30 blocks a game for an entire year and trade in Keri Hilson for “Say My Name” era Beyoncé — the best iteration of Beyoncé — and he still wouldn’t be able to touch the overall dopeness of Surge. And I’m on Kanye’s side. Dopeness is what I’m ultimately concerned with.

Goodman: Surge entered the game in 1996 with a lot of hype, and was out the biz by ’02. Serge may never be what many Thunder fan hoped, but he’s a more worthy competitor to Mountain Dew.

FBJ: If you were alive during the six glorious years Surge flooded the collective Coke machines of our hearts, the answer is simple. As a child during it’s all-too-short reign, Surge was everything. It was cocaine for 10 year olds. Ibaka has never inspired me to sit in front of my Macintosh LC for hours typing Star Wars: Rogue Squadron fanfic. The virgin green fairy was my inspiration. When it was discontinued, I was heartbroken. Surge.


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