“The Princess Bride”…Starring the Utah Jazz
Westley–from humble beginnings, Westley left his home of Florin to seek his fortune across the sea and grows into a man uniquely skilled at beating his opponents at their own strength, whether it be scaling ridiculous cliffs, fencing, hand combat, or a battle of wits. With a sword, he is equally adept at offense and defense. Despite his slight frame, he is able to best a giant. From humble beginnings (1) and also blond, Andrei Kirilenko left his home of Russia to seek his fortune across the Atlantic Ocean and grows into a man uniquely skilled at beating his opponents at their own strength, whether it be making ridiculous passes, stealing, blocking, boarding, or scoring. With a basketball, he is equally adept at offense and defense. Despite his slight frame, he is able to best a giant (2).
Buttercup–the most beautiful girl in the world, with hair that is her crowning glory. All of the boys in the village throw themselves at her, but she doesn’t pay them any attention. Kyle Korver, the prettiest Jazz player in Utah, with hair that is his crowning glory. All of the girls in the city throw themselves at him, but he doesn’t (appear to?) pay them any attention.
The ruler of Buttercup’s land (the Prince) decided her fate (that she would be his bride), after which she was kidnapped and taken to somewhere she didn’t want to go (across the Channel). However, she lived happily ever after. The ruler of KK’s team (the 76ers front office) decided his fate (that they wanted Gordan Giricek(‘s contract)), after which he was traded and forced to fly to somewhere he didn’t want to go (across the country). However, he has grown to love SLC and now wants to stay there long-term (3), where he will presumably live happily ever after.
Kyle’s understudy is Carlos Boozer. Remember the scene where Westley and Buttercup were trapped in the Fire Swamp and a ROUS was about to attack Buttercup? What did she do? How did she defend herself? By yelling “WESTLEEEEEEEEY!” Yes, this is exactly the same as Boozer’s version of defense, i.e. “GET IT MEMO!”
Dread Pirate Roberts–the most feared man on the high seas, who takes no prisoners and never leaves captives alive. He took over the pirate ship “Revenge” from its previous captain, the previous Dread Pirate Roberts (real name “Ryan”). Deron Williams is the most feared man at high altitudes, and takes no prisoners and never leaves captives alive, especially not ones with two first names. He took over the basketball team “Utah Jazz” from its previous captain, the previous point guard (real name “John Stockton”). (We’ll ignore the two-year gap in between.)
Prince Humperdinck–shaped like a barrel. He isn’t tall, but weighs close to 250 pounds and is brick hard. When he is determined and focused on something, he is relentless. He is the heir to the throne of Florin, and fought Westley over Buttercup. Paul Millsap is, more or less, shaped like a barrel. He isn’t tall, but weighs around 250 pounds and is presumably brick hard. When he is determined and focused on getting a rebound, he is relentless at getting the rebound (4). He is the heir to the throne of Louisiana-Tech-Utah-Jazz-Power-Forward, and [figuratively] fights AK over minutes at the 4.
Sap’s understudy is Matt Harpring, who is also shaped like a barrel, weighs close to 250 pounds, brick hard, and relentless. He is the heir to the throne of Football, and always up for a fight.
Count Rugen–first name is Tyrone. Ty Corbin–first name is Tyrone.
Fezzik–a cheerful, simple Turkish giant who is a former champion fighter. He was played by Andre the Giant, who had back problems. Could this one be any more obvious? Mehmet Okur is a cheerful, simple Turkish giant who is a former champion with the Detroit Pistons, and he has back problems.
Andre the Giant needed a stunt double during filming because of his back. I am therefore casting Kyrylo Fesenko, another cheerful, simple giant, as Memo’s stunt double (Turkey and Ukraine are relatively not that far from each other, and “Fezzik” and “Fesenko” sound relatively similar). Also, Fes seems like the type that would enjoy silly rhymes.
Inigo Montoya–a slim, athletic swordsman with a skinny mustache and scars on his face. He was very close to his father, who was one of the best sword makers that ever lived. Ronnie Brewer is a slim, athletic slasher with a skinny mustache and scars (5). He is very close to his father, who was one of the best Arkansas basketball players that ever lived.
When Vizzini, Fezzik, and Inigo were escaping to the Cliffs of Insanity, Inigo was the one that kept instinctively looking back to make sure that no one was following them. Which, of course, is the equivalent to being defense-minded in basketball. Also, Inigo doesn’t swim; neither the book nor the film explains why. Therefore, we can’t rule out the possibility that it is because of a childhood water slide accident (6).
Vizzini–a bald criminal genius mercenary whose ridiculously inflated opinion of himself is his downfall. He likes to yell orders at others instead of doing things himself (boat scene: “Go in! Get after her!” “Aaaaghhh!” “Hurry up! Move the thing! That other thing! Move it!”) and is constantly telling anyone who will listen how great he is (“you’re no match for my brains”). Paging Carlos Boozer! Boozer is a bald criminal (stealing millions from the Jazz) thinks-he’s-a-genius mercenary whose ridiculously inflated opinion of himself is his downfall. He likes to yell orders at others instead of doing things himself (any Jazz game: “Get it Memo!” “Aaaaghhh!” “And one!” “Get in there!”) and is constantly telling anyone who will listen how great he is (“I know I’m a great player”) (7).
Vizzini was trying to start a war between two lands (Florin and Guilder) for money. Boozer started a war between two lands (Cleveland and Saltland) for money. However, while Vizzini advised against falling victim to one of the classic blunders, “Never get involved in a land war in Asia,” Boozer was not able to avoid falling victim to a similar blunder, “Never get involved in a real estate war in Los Angeles” (8).
Yellin–he says whatever he thinks the Prince wants to hear (“The Thieves’ Forest is emptied”), but is fundamentally lazy. Yellin is supposed to protect the castle, but when threatened with physical violence, he immediately gives up the key to the castle gate and gets the hell out of there. Likewise, Carlos Boozer [when his foot is not in his mouth] says whatever he thinks fans / teammates / management / coaches want to hear (“It’s getting better…I’ll be back in two weeks”), but is fundamentally lazy. Boozer is supposed to protect the post, but when threatened with physical contact, he immediately gives up the key (i.e. painted area) to the basket and gets the hell out of there. Also, the character’s name is “Yellin.” It’s kismet. [Since Yellin only has a small part and Vizziki dies one-third of the way through the film, Boozer can easily play both roles.]
The Impressive Clergyman–old school, respected, and doesn’t own a computer. Others sometimes can’t understand what he is saying due to his unique enunciation of words (“Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togevuh, today”). Jerry Sloan is old school, respected, and doesn’t own a computer (9). Others sometimes can’t understand what he is saying due to his unique usage of country sayings (“there was about three plays in a row that really burned my craw”). Not to mention the Impressive Clergyman loves tractors. OK, I made that up.
Miracle Max and Valerie, played by Gary and Mrs. Briggs. Max resurrects the “mostly dead” Westley, while Briggs resurrected almost every “all-stages-of-dead” Jazz player last season. Max works with Miracle Pills; Briggs works with Magic Spray.
The King–a genial, happy old man that just kind of wanders around, smiling and saying whatever pops into his head. Hot Rod Hundley is a genial, happy old man that just kind of wanders around, smiling and saying whatever pops into his head.
The Grandfather–salt and pepper hair and a big salt and pepper mustache. He indulges his young grandson, who often times doesn’t seem to “get it.” Phil Johnson has salt and pepper hair and a big salt and pepper mustache. He, like the rest of the coaching staff, indulges his young coachee, CJ, who often times doesn’t seem to “get it.”
The Grandson–a young kid who prefers video games to books. He just barely tolerates his grandfather (“It doesn’t sound too bad. I’ll try and stay awake”), but eventually comes around and sees the light. CJ Miles–a young kid who prefers video games to books. He just barely tolerates his coaches (e.g. refusing to play in the Summer League year after year after year), but eventually comes around and sees the light (this is what I’m hoping).
ROUSes–During production, Boozer told everyone that he was a great actor and complained about how he should have a bigger role, regardless. Sick of Boozer’s complaints, the producer, KOC, and director, Scotty Layden, whispered amongst themselves and ultimately decided to let him also play the role of the ROUSes. Giant rats, giant snake, close enough.
The Albino will be played by Kosta Koufos, because this is the only character and Jazz player left to cast. As the Albino seems to be unusually short, KK2 will have to play the role on his knees or stand in a pit. Fortunately, the Albino’s costume is a big, loose dress-robe thing. And Ronnie Price can be his sidekick, even though the Albino doesn’t have a sidekick in the film. I just like having Ronnie P around.
(1) “My family was pretty poor…I had one pair of sports shoes for 2 years and had to sew it every week so it stayed in good shape.”
(2) “AK-47 blocks Shaq on back-to-back plays!” (youtube)
(3) “I would love things to work out where I finish my career here.”
(4) “[Millsap] is the only player in NCAA basketball history to lead the nation in rebounding for three consecutive years.”
(5) “The best guy to compare scars with: Brewer”
(6) “…your right arm, your shooting arm, has snapped in half because troublemakers super-slicked a waterslide.”
(7) “I know I’m a great player.”
(8) “Claiming that his $70,000-a-month tenant Prince undertook an extremely tacky makeover of his Los Angeles mansion, [Carlos Boozer] recently sued the mercurial singer over the purple-hued alterations.”
(9) “I don’t even have a computer. I don’t know how to turn one on.”
*Six of the pictures are from http://moviescreenshots.blogspot.com