Have you heard? Kobe said he wanted to be traded. Most bloggers are reflecting on the situation or talking trade rumors. We’ve been there and done that. While it’s fun, this has gotten very old quite quickly. But, instead of bringing you the same coverage as nearly the entire sports media, Pyle of List stays one step ahead.
By now I’m sure you’ve heard this situation described as a Soap Opera. Between Kobe’s pre-teen mood swings, Jerry Buss’ DUI with an unidentified 23 year old and the surprise endorsement from Shaq, you could’ve easily added some cloudy camera work, put this on TV in the middle of the day, called it “As Kobe Turns” and nobody would’ve known the difference. But why stop at cheesy daytime television. This story has feature film written all over it.
Instead of waiting for the big shots in Hollywood ivory towers to get this project off the ground, we took it upon ourselves to start the process. Besides, I’m sure they’re busy remaking Jaws or something anyway. Here are our choices to star in feature films “Kill Buss Vol. I and II.”
“Looked dead, didn’t I? But I wasn’t. But it wasn’t from lack of trying, I can tell you that. Actually, Buss’s last trades put me into a coma of confusion – a coma I was to lie in for three years. When I realized how I’d been screwed by management, I went on what the movie advertisements refer to as a ‘roaring rampage of revenge.’ I roared. And I rampaged. I got bloody satisfaction. I’ve thrown a hell of a lot of people under the bus to get to this point, but I have only one more to go. The last one. The one I’m going to kill right now. The only one left. And when I get what I want, I am gonna Kill Buss.”
Kobe Bryant played by Omar Epps
Beyond the fact that no sports movie with an adult, black male protagonist can be made without Omar Epps’ involvement, he actually makes a lot of sense as Kobe. Not only can he play a little ball, he’s mastered the snarky and superior character on TV’s “House” as Dr. Foreman which fits Kobe well. Bryant’s whole life post high school seems to be plotted to perfection. I can’t remember a genuine moment on or off the floor since the first NBA title. I think Epps is up for the challenge.
Phil Jackson played by Billy Bob Thornton
There may be men that look more like Phil Jackson, but none would be able to capture the Zen Master’s energy and overall vibe quite like BBT. Thornton is a versatile and capable actor taking on another one of the patented authority figure roles at which he excels. Whether it’s directed at players, reporters or referees, crucial to the Jackson character is his condescending smirk which Billy Bob would absolutely nail.
Dr. Jerry Buss played by Jerry Stiller
Considering the men are nearly identical twins, this is a no-brainer. This could be a capstone role for Stiller that would show audiences something they may not have seen from him before. We’re used to Stiller as a loudmouth father from New York. We’ve even seen him do a fashionisto patriarch. Dr. Buss makes most of his moves from behind the Staples Center curtains. He will exude austere authority, with a touch of old man goofiness.
Mitch Kupchak played by John Malkovich
There is no doubt in my mind that this role has “Best Supporting Actor” written all over it. The tortured GM trying to stay loyal to his franchise and keep his temperamental star happy with his mentor lurking in the shadows to replace him. We watch as an entire city turns against him as he falls from grace and hits rock bottom as he is put in an impossible situation. Malkovich would eat this role alive, even as random people enter and exit his mind on a 15 minute basis.
Jerry West played by Randy Quaid
The Logo has a big decision to make. On the one hand he has “his Lakers” and their superstar player to consider. On the other, his embattled mentee that he wants to believe in. I envision Quaid playing West with a rocks glass of Wild Turkey in his hand whenever the camera is upon him. This internal battle is too much for West to handle, and he turns to the bottle. In Independence Day, we saw Mr. Quaid play a man broken and beaten, with no one to believe in him. In that same movie he became a badass with a heart of gold when the fate of the world was on the line, just like West will when the fate of the Laker-world is on the line.
Vanessa Bryant played by Eva Longoria
Both women are gorgeous, obviously. But this match goes beyond that. Eva, being the significant other of an NBA player already, will understand the nuanced emotions that Mrs. Bryant goes through on a daily basis (minus one alleged rape trial). It will be a more serious role than she has ever done before, because well…what has she done besides Desperate Housewives and that really awful movie with Keifer Sutherland? If she wants to show Hollywood she has real acting chops, this would be the prime situation for her. And perhaps, the director will have to do a lingerie scene for her to help her feel in her element.
Jeannie Buss played by Marg Helgenberger
This is where our story pulls much of it’s soap opera-feel from. Jeannie is the daughter of Jerry Buss and the girlfriend of Phil Jackson. I feel a steamy scene between Billy Bob and Marg happening during the break of a meeting between team management to discuss the future of the franchise, at which point Thornton’s character will say, “Jeannie, you’re MY future.” Helgenberger will play this role the way she has most of her career, good enough to work but not good enough to stand out.
Jerry Buss’ mysterious 23 year old passenger played by Dakota Fanning
All we know about this girl is that she is 23 years old, and that she was with Jerry Buss when he was pulled over for a DUI earlier this week. Just wait, she will play a prominent role before all the dust has settled. Mr. Buss is 74 years old…this will be a creepy role no doubt, but Dakota has been there before with Bob DeNiro in Hide and Seek. Besides, she’s got better acting credits than most 23 year olds in the business.