Editor’s Note: While we wait for real basketball to come back, we’re going to be doing some recaps of basketball games the Lakers played in movies or TV shows. All quotes/anecdotes are fake unless otherwise specified.
The entire Lakers team took a brave stand against the mysterious illness claiming the talents of NBA players around the continent on Sunday when they refused to take the court for their game against the San Antonio Spurs until being allowed to don gas masks and prepare in the hallway of the Great Western Forum.
With five minutes to go until the game began, head coach Del Harris stormed back towards the locker room to figure out why his team hadn’t taken the floor yet. He found them all, still fully dressed in street attire, standing outside.
“You gotta get dressed! I mean we’ve got a game in five minutes, we’re talking about a huge fine here!” Harris said, exasperated.
But his team was not going to listen without some modifications to the plan.
“No way coach, we can’t go in the locker room,” Vlade Divac exclaimed, and teammates Cedric Ceballos and Anthony "Pig" Miller were there to back him up.
“After what happened to (Charles) Barkley and (Patrick) Ewing, there’s gotta be germs in there or something,” Ceballos said.
Harris tried to assure his team that the incident they were referencing — in which the two stars mysteriously started playing so horribly that they were sent away from their teams after replays showed them coming into contact with mysterious shimmering goo on the court — had happened in New York, “3,000 miles away,” but Rooks wasn’t having it.
“Bacteria like that can travel faster than the speed of light,” Miller said before Divac added that the situation “could be invasion of body snatchers.”
A clearly flummoxed Harris finally relented, and told his players they could dress in the hallway. They all immediately put on gas masks as well, which they then took the floor in just in time to avoid a forfeit against the Spurs. But with the way the game went, they might as well have just marked this one as a loss at the beginning.
Spurs guard Avery Johnson quickly realized that the Lakers’ peripheral vision and energy level were affected by the gas masks they were wearing, and called for screen after screen that the players just couldn’t adjust to before knifing into the lane to rack up 45 points and 12 assists in the game. The competitive portion of the evening was over by midway through the second quarter, as the Spurs rolled to a 111-67 win, the worst home loss in Lakers history.
And as sour of a taste as that defeat will leave, it may be the Lakers’ last one for a while. Federal agents quickly moved in to shut down the Forum in the aftermath of the game, and the NBA commissioner told reporters outside that there would be “no more basketball this season” until the health and safety of the players in the league could be guaranteed.
Within minutes, protesters had gathered, claiming that everyone was “overreacting” to the mysterious disease and that the NBA and other businesses needed to re-open to save the economy.
These events are actually from the Michael Jordan starring “Space Jam” — you can watch the scene here — with the game and other events extrapolated from how that scene played out.
For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.