The Houston Rockets and... The Big Lebowski

It apparently is movie-reference/theme day here at the Dream Shake.  Which works just fine for me.  We've previously done comparisons to Family Guy, Married... with Children, 1980s movies, the Princess Bride, the Ocean's 11 series and others...

now it's time to compare your Houston Rockets to:

The Big Lebowski

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The heart and soul of the movie is Jeffrey Lebowski.  But don't call him that.  Call him simply - "the Dude."  The Dude has all sorts of hidden talents.  Yet the Dude is nothing short of a huge slacker.  He's uneducated and unemployed.  He gets beat up on numerous occasions.  He smokes out often.  That is, whenever he's not imbibing in a white russian or two.  The Dude's only real passion is bowling... and even that can be ignored in favor of a bubble bath and some CCR.  And for some reason, people always seem to be trying to kill him. 

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Which sounds a lot to me like one Tracy McGrady.  McGrady isn't ever going to be seen as the ambitious sort.  He didn't go to college either.  He's got all sorts of talents that he rarely uses (drive the ball to the basket, dammit!).  He's always getting beat up or injured.  I wouldn't blame Tracy if he smoked out or drank white russians all the time.  Further, Tracy's true passion probably isn't basketball... he's always talked about how he liked baseball more.  As for bubble baths and CCR?  Well, I can't vouch for that.  But I wouldn't be surprised.  ... and guys like me are perpetually killing T-Mac in blogs.

Walter Sobchak

The crazy guy who carries a gun and basically tries to intimidate everyone around him.  Walter is borderline crazy.  Everything has something to do with Vietnam.  Or war.  Anyone who tries to mess with him enters a world of pain.  And yes, he very much gives a shit about the rules.  Especially in games that may determine who enters the next round robin in the bowling league.  He's also not wrong, dude, but this tends to f--k things up because of his overaggresiveness.  Oh, and he can get you a toe.  No problem.

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I think you know where I am going with this.  Of course this reminds us all of Ron Artest.  He's Crazy Pills after all.  While Artest didn't serve in Vietnam, something tells me this would have made it easier to explain the Malice at the Palace.  He simply had a flashback, dude.  Also, anyone who f--ks with RonRon enters a world of pain.  Artest cares deeply about the rules, especially if you threaten his street cred or his chance to get to the next round of the playoffs.  He's also not wrong.  Not even when he's supposed to be apologizing on Good Morning America (he was bereaved, dammit!).  I also think Artest could procure me a toe if need be.  I don't wanna know how, but I'm sure he could...

Theodore Donald (Donny) Kerabatsos

Donny was a gentle soul.  Except that he was perpetually out of his element.  Because of this, he didn't really participate in Walter and the Dude's plan to get money from the Big Lebowski.  This was a good thing.  Tragically, Donny died of a heart attack the moment the situation got stressful with a bunch of nihilists.

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In comparison, Luther Head seems to be a gentle soul.  He's perpetually out of his element in that he can't seem to do anything right on the basketball court.  He can't dribble, pass or shoot.  His defense is suspect.  Which is why no one lets him play anymore.  This is a good thing.  Tragically, any time Luther Head enters the game against a tough opponent, or God forbid the playoffs against Utah, he bascially dies right there on the court.  And with the salary cap situation, the Rockets cannot locate a proper team (receptacle) for which to dump him.

Bunny Lebowski

Bunny is the person that sets everything in motion.  Kind of like a point guard.  Except that she's completely unreliable and prone to disappearing.  She'll also blow you for a thousand dollars.  Further, the actress that portrayed her, Tara Reid, was at one time seen to be the next big thing... all sorts of promise and hope.  Unfulfilled.  Now she's just a train wreck.

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Of course, this can only be Rafer Alston.  Rafer's supposed to set everything in motion.  And he's kinda like a point guard.  Except that he's wholly unreliable and prone to getting distracted by trash talking his opponents.  He'll also suck for a few million dollars a year.  And the actor playing him, Skip to My Lou, was once seen as the next big thing on the And-1 circuit.  Sadly that promise was never fulfilled.  Now he's just a drunk-driving train wreck.

Brandt

Brandt is the loyal servant to Mr. Lebowski.  He's truly a team player.  Someone who can relate to both Mr. Lebowski... and also the Dude.  He fails to keep Bunny in line, but no one can really keep her in line.  Nonetheless, he gets ignored a lot and basically gets run over or disrespected by both the Dude and Mr. Lebowski.

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Which reminds me of Luis Scola.  He's extremely loyal (stayed in Europe far longer than he should have... even though the Spurs kept asking him to play in the NBA).  He's also a great team player.  He never complains about minutes, shots, opportunities or anything.  He tries to keep Rafer in line.  Alas, no one can do that. 

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Also, Scola gets ignored a lot.  Even when he has a good game, Coach Sleepy forgets to put him back in the game.  And then Scola gets disrespected by the referees.  Constantly.

The Stranger

The Stranger is basically the narrator of our story.  He doesn't take part in any of the action, he just relays to the rest of us the context of the story.  He's an older fellow, and quite wise.  The Stranger has a very distinctive voice.  He's also amused by the Dude and likes his style, even if he doesn't like the cussing so much.  He's comforted by the fact that there will be little Dudes running around in the future.

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Who else but Dikembe Mutombo?  Dikembe doesn't take part in any of the action, but I'd most certainly listen to any narration he'd like to provide.  He has a good presence in the locker room.  He's the oldest player in the NBA, and in his many years he's become quite wise (he originally came to the states to be a doctor!).  Dikembe has an extremely distinctive voice.  Even if it sounds kinda like the Cookie Monster.  He's amused by Tracy McGrady at times, even if he doesn't like McGrady's attitude so much.  Though he's probably comforted by the fact that there will be lots of li'l McGrady types populating the NBA for years to come.

The Jesus

The Jesus is the creepy guy in the bowling league.  He's also a convicted pedophile.  Eight year olds, dude.  Eight year olds.  You don't f--k with the Jesus.

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Joey Dorsey, by way of comparison, is the creepy dude on the bench.  Now in the D-League.  He's also quite fond of strip clubs.  Eighteen year olds, dude.  You also don't f--k with Joey Dorsey.

Jackie Treehorn

Jackie Treehorn is a wealthy but mysterious man.  A man who is also into shady things.  Like pornography.  He treats objects like women, man.

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I can't help but think this might also be Brent Barry's style.  He's a wealthy and mysterious dude.  He's also the kind of guy who wouldn't surprise me if he were into Internet pornography (link is safe for work...).  He treats the basketball and the rim like women, man.  With a soft touch.

The Rug

It gets pissed on.  It also really ties the room together.

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Kinda like Coach Sleepy.  We piss on Rick Adelman here all the time.  But he does kinda tie the whole team together.

The Nihilists

They are minor characters, yet important to the plot and the result.  They believe in nothing.  They also are confused about who the Dude is.  They think he's really important.  In their prior lives they were in a German pop music group.  They kill Donny inadvertently.  One of the nihilists in real life is Flea.  Who is quite short.

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Carl Landry, Chuck Hayes and Aaron Brooks.  These guys are bench players, but they have an important role.  They also don't appear to believe in anything right now.  They are confused about who Tracy McGrady is.  They keep defering to him like he's the best and most important player on the team.  Which he is not.  I can only hope that one day Chuck Hayes or Carl Landry inadvertently kill Rafer.  Aaron Brooks is merely killing his playing time.  Aaron Brooks is also quite short.

Maude Lebowski

Maude is secretly the brains behind the entire operation.  Even though she's a woman.  Maude is quite possibly the most important character, yet can be the subject of unnecessary ridicule.  She is mysterious and strong-willed.  She knows a very good (and thorough) doctor.  Maude is the Dude's ladyfriend.

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In a surprise twist... it's Yao Ming.  Yao is the brains behind the entire on-court operation.  Even though he's been accused of being "soft" like a woman.  (If anything Yao has a soft touch and small hands... just like a woman.)  Yao is the most important player on the roster, even though for some reason he is the subject of unnecessary ridicule.  His being from China makes him mysterious, yet Yao is also strong willed on the court.  After he broke his foot last February, he must have found a very good (and thorough) doctor to get him playing at full speed by the Olympics last year.  Yao is Tracy's good friend...

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What?  Did you think we were just going to say Yao was "the Chinaman"?  Dude, that's not the preferred nomenclature!

The Big Lebowski

He's the man with all the money.  He really loves his Little Lebowski Urban Achievers, even though he's not really in control of that organization.  The real Jeffrey Lebowski is kind of a curmudgeon.

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Who else but Les Alexander?  He's the man with the money.  He's the owner.  He also really loves his Rockets roster (which to date is more like the Little Lebowski UnderAchievers, but...).  He's also not really in control of the roster.  That would be Daryl Morey.  Alexander is somewhat of a curmudgeon... he's only seen at games and special events.

... and there you have it.  The Houston Rockets and The Big Lebowski!
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