Merry Christmas! It’s Christmas day and we’re celebrating in true MMH fashion; with the definitive Christmas movie character starting five. Good luck beating this team, but don’t worry, everyone’s going home with gifts.

It’s Christmas! A new season of hoops has started! The smell of fresh-baked-COVID-19 vaccines are in the air! And what better way to celebrate than by mashing two of our topics things together and picking the All-Time Christmas Movie Character Starting 5?

The rules are simple: five positions, five characters from Christmas films—(going rogue on the site) including Die Hard— selected based on the way their abilities, personality, and physicality project towards hoops-based success, both individually, and as a collective. So without further ado:

Guard: Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin), Home Alone [1990]

Undersized? Sure. But Kevin’s intelligence, tenacity, charisma, and strategic genius far outstrip any physical limitations. Running the point, Kevin projects to be a two-way dynamo and high-ceiling player-coach, capable of reading and countering opposing team’s game-plans with a brutal precision that belies his childlike innocence; Kevin is a gamer who enjoys meticulously breaking down his opponents until they’re shoeless and hairless and begging for the final buzzer to release them from his torment. I’m hard-pressed to think of a better leader for our X-mas squad.

Guard: Lucille “Lucy” van Pelt (Tracy Stratford), A Charlie Brown Christmas [1965]

Every team needs an enforcer; a player who steps on the court prepared to inflict physical and psychological violence upon their opponents. Lucy is a graduate of the Patrick Beverley School of Basketball, a ruthless competitor whose combination of quick reflexes and brutal capacity for trash talk will have her snatching hope away from her opponents like a football from a depressed child with a prematurely receding hairline. Some say the best way to play the game is to play clean, but Lucy knows the best way is to win, and won’t mind getting her hands dirty to do so.

Wing: The Grinch (Boris Karloff), How the Grinch Stole Christmas! [1966]

With a prospect this high-profile, it’s easy to become preoccupied by the overabundance of scouting intel and miss the key information staring you in the face. So while other GMs may waiver on his draft stock because of exaggerated concerns about a heart that’s two-sizes-too-small and pending legal actions over his involvement with a recent string of burglaries, we here at MM&H know that what matters most are the Grinch’s unique physical and mental gifts. His uncanny combination of stealth, strength, and agility, coupled with a stocky build, which projects him to be a capable defender at multiple positions. The Christmas villain has a deceptive nature that will serve him well as he shakes defenders on and off-ball; and best of all, a ruthless, competitive spirit that is sure to power our team towards success, no matter the cost. Not to mention his walk-on music is absolute fire.

Wing: Al Powell (Reginald VelJohnson), Die Hard [1988]

In [almost] the immortal words of the Twitter-verse, “haters gonna say it [should be John McClane]”; but haters aren’t thinking about analytics. So while McClane and his Kobe-esque iso-ball mentality may be the predictable pick from this very-much-so-a-Christmas-movie, I’m looking for something more specific: a quick release, pinpoint accuracy, and someone who doesn’t need to dominate the ball, but has a willingness to take the big shot when it counts. And who fits that mold better than the Klay Thomspon of Die Hard himself, Officer Al Powell. Without Al’s dead-eye targeting and quick trigger finger, there is no Christmas for the McClanes to celebrate together (and certainly no Die Hard 2-through-17). And while the film’s glorification of a police officer’s triumphant return to firearm use bears a substantial amount of interrogation, on the court, Al’s decidedly non-lethal flamethrower from the corner will create endless space for Kevin to direct traffic in the pick and roll, and put our squad in a perfect position to dominate.

Big: Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon), The Nightmare Before Christmas [1993]

At a certain point, it’s all about the wingspan. So we’ll be rounding out our Christmas Crew with The Pumpkin King (high-key frontrunner for Best Nickname In The League), a natural-born hooper with the physique of Manute Bol and the dexterity of a more dexterous Manute Bol. Jack is the perfect modern big, capable of protecting the rim when needed, locking up the perimeter, and perpetually clogging passing lanes, all from the same spot on the floor. Offensively Jack is the ideal P&R partner for Kevin, but given his physical gifts, he projects to develop into a capable popping shooter in no time. Some say he’ll need to add muscle to bang in the post against the Embiid’s of the world; I say talk to Oogie Boogie once he finishes boiling in the cauldron Jack dumped his bugs in.

Got an XMas lineup of your own that you think matches up with the 2020 MM&H roster? Hit us with it @musicmovieshoop on the twitters, and have a happy, healthy holiday season all around!

 

 

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