This year’s NBA season is absolutely upside-down crazy. When you look at everything that’s happening both on the court and off, it’s like trying to follow a hundred different plots. Seriously, the NBA has about as many story-lines as… Love Actually.
Thus the purpose for this column, where I pair up story-lines from Love Actually and The NBA. Why not, right? Plus… it’s Christmas after-all.
Harry and Karen … and Mia
-“I don’t want something I need. I want something I want – something pretty.”
Harry and Karen have been happily married with children for several years. All goes wrong when Mia, the whore, insists on shoving her crotch in Harry’s face.
Two teams get this one. Boston was faced with a similar choice. Do they stay loyal to their old love, Paul Pierce or do they take the bait of young draft picks. Meanwhile, The Nets were on the saucy hunt of their own. There isn’t a whole lot of depth here. Brooklyn is the easy whore who’s readily and shamelessly available for any old timer willing to give them the time of day.
Eventually the weak-willed Harry, gets increasingly curious as the story progresses, causing him to buy a necklace for Mia. Karen finds the necklace, realizes it isn’t for her and questions, you know … her entire life.
Just like Harry, Boston went for the young pieces and assets. Pierce and Karen are both devastated and trying to move on with their lives. Although we are quite certain they’re both just listening to Joni Mitchell and looking at love from both sides now.
Mia: It’s an art gallery, full of dark corners, for doing… dark deeds.
Harry: You’re so subtle. That’s what I love about you.
Prime Minister David and Natalie
-“I did have an awful premonition that I was gonna f*** up on the first day. Oh, piss it!”
David is the Prime Minister and Natalie is his “Ooooo, would we call her chubby?” assistant who falls in love with him. Contrary to what you probably thought, David, the most powerful man in the UK, falls in love with her too!
Just like David, The Miami Heat are on top of the world right now. They’re the two-time defending champs, coasting their way to play for an illustrious three-peat. Like David, someone unexpected has caught their eye. His name is Michael “Ooooo, would we call him chubby?” Beasley.
There are a few minor hiccups that every couple experiences. There’s work tension, there’s Billy Bob Thornton’s penis, you know … the normal stuff. David and Natalie eventually find a way to express their love and live happily ever after.
In Miami, Beasley is playing well within his role and it’s a wonderful thing to see. He’s being unselfish and seems to have taken a liking to this Miami Heat lifestyle. It’s weird and unexpected seeing royalty with someone far beneath them, but in the cases of both Miami and David, it works.
Prime Minister David: We are prepared to be much stronger.
President Billy Bob: What? Sorry… I was on Tinder. Tons of right swipes, if you catch my drift.
Prime Minister David: I get it.
President Billy Bob: Because of sex.
Daniel, Sam, and Joanna
-“I have a plan!”
“Thank the Lord! Tell me.”
Sam and his stepdad, Daniel, are recovering from the tragic death of Sam’s mother (Daniel’s wife), by scheming for ways Sam can get the girl in his class, Joanna, to notice him. And who in the NBA is better at scheming than the OG-GM, Daryl Morey? Sam and Daryl are both builders. Sam builds a relationship based on the simple knowledge that girls like musicians while Daryl builds teams based on the complex knowledge of advanced analytics and acquiring assets.
We all know that you can plan and plan like Daryl and Sam, but at the end of the day, all that matters is the pursuit. After his school’s Christmas concert, Sam illegally chases Joanne through the airport to reveal his love for her and ultimately receives that coveted kiss on the cheek.
Just like Sam at Heathrow, Daryl, with the perfect plan in hand, darts and weaves his way through meetings in Los Angeles to snag his most coveted possession in Dwight Howard. With the signing of a contract, Daryl seals the deal and finally gets his guy.
Joanna: (Ghasping) Sorry about that guys, I had to go kiss this kid on the cheek real quick.
Joanna’s Dad: IT’S COOL. We missed our flight, which is fine because airline tickets at Christmas time are super cheap. Also Christmas is canceled. I need a Wetzle’s Pretzel… NOW.
Sarah and Karl
-“Would you excuse me for one second?” **Dances alone**
Sarah is a single American woman who can never truly be happy due to her sacrificial attitude towards her brother. So, sacrificing over and over again only to see yourself never truly happy? Hello Cleveland!
Sarah has long been in love with a guy in her office named Karl. Come to find out later that Karl, in all his tanned six-pack glory, is in love with Sarah too. The kicker is that Sarah is the only person on planet earth who is able to care for her mentally ill brother, Michael. So when it’s time for Sarah to do anything, such as go to a party or consummate her working relationship with Karl, Michael interrupts her life causing her to sacrifice everything for the love of her brother.
Cleveland has tanked their way into two number one picks in the last three years and could be on their way to a third! What’s the point of sacrificing if you can’t be happy and win some games? They’d be in the lottery again if the regular season ended today … and that’s with two healthy number one picks… IN THE EASTERN CONFERENCE!
Sarah: I’m sorry. I have to go.
Karl (as Xerxes from 300): There will be no glory in your sacrifice
Billy Mack and The Race for Christmas Number One
-“This is shit, isn’t it?”
“Yep, solid gold shit, maestro.”
Billy Mack is an aging pop/rock star whose career has drifted into meaningless irrelevance. In order to have one final sniff at the good life, he attempts to re-write a horrible Christmas version of one of his already existing love songs. Think “Home” by Blake Shelton/Michael Buble.
Just like Billy Mack, the Lakers decided to put most of their eggs in one old-ass basket. Their basket just happens to be a new (worse) version of an old (better) thing. I guess they just “feel it in their fingers; feel it in their toes” or something like that.
Maybe it’s just me but while a new version of the old song might sell, the quality will be so low that nobody will ever take you seriously. I hate to do it, but the same goes for Kobe and the Lakers. Kobe will sell seats, but making him the centerpiece of a team going forward will not produce championship winning teams. That makes me wonder, do the Lakers really want to put out a quality product or are they doing just enough to remain relevant, like our Uncle Billy?
Billie Mack: Solid choice hanging with you tonight. What’s that, three episodes of Fresh Prince we’ve watched?
Billie Mack: (sigh)
Jamie and Aurelia
“It’s my favorite time of day, driving……”
Ok. I cut off the quote because finding something that both Monta and Colin Firth would ever say is impossible.
Jamie just discovered that his girl was cheating on him with his brother and decided to go to the country and write a new novel. You know who else has had a rough past? Monta Ellis. He might have himself to blame, or it might’ve been the teams he played for… Either way, Monta has had plenty of problems with prior relationships.
At Jamie’s cottage, he hires a Portuguese housekeeper, Aurelia, to help him keep things tidy and wouldn’t-ya-know-it … they fall in love! Here’s the kicker, Aurelia and Jamie speak different languages proving, once and for all, that looks matter more than words. So, they finally learn each other’s language and get engaged on Christmas.
So, who does Monta finally find his happiness (and best game) with? A German foreigner named Dirk Nowitzki. Now, Monta is playing the right way; shooting much more efficiently, driving to the basket, and dishing to Dirk. Maybe it’s too early to say Monta Have It All (or as the Portuguese say, Monta Ter Tudo) but judging by this season so far, it looks like Dirk and Monta are perfect for each other.
Jamie: I’m really glad we finally learned each other’s languages. Nothing can go wrong now.
Aurelia: Me too. I mentioned this before but I have a pretty big gambling problem and some people are after me. Also, Nickleback is my favorite band so… lots of Nickleback in your future.
Juliet, Peter, and Mark
-“Enough. Enough, now.”
Juliet marries Peter and Peter’s best friend, Mark, is all jelly because he actually loves Juliet too. Now I wouldn’t dare say Reggie Jackson is jelly of Russell Westbrook, but this guy could be the starting point guard on a ton of other NBA teams right now. Just like Mark, Reggie’s been quietly waiting in the wings for his opportunity to shine.
After Juliet discovers that Mark is deeply in love with her, things get a little awkward but all is solved in the end when Mark rolls up on their doorstep, and confesses his total love for Juliet via poster board and pre-recorded Christmas carols. They kiss and Mark moves on with his life while his bro, Peter, faithfully and unassumingly waits for his loving wife to return to him on the coach.
Jackson and Mark both took the opportunity and seized it when the time was right and appropriate. With Jackson, it was when Westbrook went down. With Mark, it was when Peter was ten feet away, chilling on the couch thinking “I love my wife and my friends.” Either way, Jackson and Mark took control over their moments and can each walk away with a little smirk on their face, knowing it’ll all be ok.
Peter: Honey. There’s poster-boards full of like… love notes or something in our front yard. You think those kids are messin’ with us again? So help me, if they are.
Colin and The Americans
-“I’m on Shag Highway heading West!”
It’s a tale as old as time. A young Englishman goes to America in hopes to have tons of sex with American girls. He goes to Milwaukee and all of his expectations were met and then some.
There’s just something about a horny, gangly, pale European that reminds me of Doc Rivers. While he loved his home in Boston, Doc has been striking out like a European in… Europe, I guess. He saw a better life full of promise and hope elsewhere, so like Colin, he packed his bags (likely with more than just condoms) and headed out west. Doc found immediate success with the younger and much more eager talent that surrounded him.
Colin: There’s a fifth roommate?!
Girls: Yup! Meet Penny!
(Penny Marshall enters)
John and Judy
-“I promise I won’t look.”
Just like the Phoenix Suns, this is one of the most enjoyable storylines of the movie. John meets Judy on the set of a movie, not because they are actors but because they are sex/body doubles. They thought it was just going to be another boring day at the office of just sitting on top of people naked but they were wrong.
You know who else was wrong? All of us about the Phoenix Suns! We all assumed the Suns were destined to tank this season, which would have been a very boring thing to do. But let’s get back to the naked people.
Eventually, the shy couple begins to fall in love during their quirky conversations as they ride each other all the way to an engagement.
So far this season, something appears to be blossoming through all the glitz and glamour of the 2014 draft class. There seems to be competitive basketball happening in Pheonix. Some might say its crude to not tank and get a superstar, just like some might say it’s crude to fall in love doing soft-core porn. But most of us are just really happy to see good teams compete and good people fall in love.
John: The weather was crazy this morning.
President Billy Bob: I know, right?
Director: Mr. President, can you please put your clothes on? We’re trying to film a movie.
-“Look, can we be quite quick?”
Rufus serves one purpose in this movie. To cock-block everyone who is trying to accomplish anything at all, whether it’s the security guards at the airport, or an old man desperately seeking a gift for a potential mistress. Rufus’ antics usually work out for the best, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that his main point of existence is to be one giant obstacle.
You know who LeBron James would call a cock-block to his third straight ring? The Indiana Pacers.
Much like Rufus, they move at a slow, grind-it-out pace that frustrates the hell out of anyone trying to pass through. “Oh, you want to run with your small-ball line-up, Miami? Well … enjoy this gift box, with wing defenders, in a bag, with rim protectors, and cinnamon, and a post-game, with candy, three point shooting… and a sprig of holly.”
Rufus: The final touch for a perfect gift.
Harry: What is it?
Rufus: Mother F**er! Would you let me do my job?! You come in here, creepin’ like Glen Davis at a travel lodge and I’m tryin’ to do you a favor. You know what, wrap your own gift, douchebag.