Welcome, old and new, to the second installment of “Bucks Players as Movie Characters.” In this series, each post highlights one Milwaukee Bucks player and a few film personalities said Bucks player reminds me of. Why am I doing this? It’s the best distraction from the Bucks-induced cynicism that I’m inevitably feeling around this time of the year, and I hope it helps you too. If you haven’t read the first article on O.J. Mayo, I highly recommend taking a look here.
Today’s post features one of the most lovable important tolerable controversial players on the Bucks roster, Michael Carter-Williams. Prepare yourselves; by nature of the player, this one becomes dark pretty quickly.
Movie spoilers below.
Movie Character: Sadness
Movie: Inside Out
Quote: “Just let me go! Riley’s better off without me”
Dark already, huh? Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Sadness and MCW are disturbingly similar on many levels. First and foremost, both make their respective groups unhappy. Sadness does this by either inappropriately handling Riley’s (her host child) brain’s control panel or manipulating her short- and long-term memory orbs. Essentially, touching anything remotely important causes nothing short of a disaster. In many ways, the same could be said of MCW. Whether recklessly over-dribbling, clumsily driving against a wall of defenders, or airmailing an ill-advised midrange jumper, MCW provokes the sadness of Bucks players and fans alike when he has any remnant of control.
What happens when you take away some of that undesirable MCW control? I have no idea and neither should you; we’ve never seen it happen. Number Five may be taking clues from Sadness, who similarly cannot have a minute pass without thinking “it’s probably my turn to do something.” Unless that “something” is getting others involved, then no MCW and Sadness, it is never the time to do something.
But wait, there’s hope. Just as Sadness is able to keep her melancholy touch (worst superpower ever) in check, so can MCW. An MCW willing to do less is certainly something that will help the Bucks going forward, especially considering the emergence of Triple-Double Machine Giannis and the continued growth of Jabari. Heck, maybe the Bucks will eventually find a way to use his strengths to lead the team to a few wins. I’m hopeful that MCW can continue to follow Sadness’s trajectory so that he too can be part of a happy ending. Michael Carter-Williams is the Milwaukee Bucks version of Sadness.
Movie: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
Quote: “60% of the time, it works every time”
Somehow, I managed to choose Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) as my token “good” MCW comparison. Getting right back at it, Fantana and MCW both embody wildly unchecked confidence. In Fantana’s mind, he can woo any girl he desires. However, evident through his haughty conversation with Veronica, everyone immediately realizes that this is not the case. Now, enter MCW. Picture the following scenario: it’s late in the shot clock and MCW has the ball in his hands with the likes of Giannis, Jabari, Middleton, and Monroe all open. What happens? Yes, you guessed it, the patented MCW drive and chuck. It’s one thing to be confident in your NBA skillset, but it’s a whole other thing to believe that you’re consistently the best option.
However, despite frequent bouts of overconfidence, much of Fantana and MCW’s self-sureness is justified and well deserved. Fantana is a skilled lead reporter for a famous San Diego news station. He is proven in his work. MCW is no less proven. Earning the Rookie of the Year Award, putting a team on his back for an entire season (thankfully for the 76ers, not the Bucks) and for an important playoff game (2014-2015 Bucks-Bulls Game 5), and leading a disheveled Bucks bench mob, MCW is no novice at his craft. He’s skilled, well intentioned, and good-natured. He should rightfully be confident in his abilities. Like Fantana, he just has to learn to not overstep his boundaries. Michael Carter-Williams is the Milwaukee Bucks version of Brian Fantana.
Movie: Cast Away
Quote: “Don’t worry Wilson, I’ll do all the paddling. You just hang on.”
Yes, I’m comparing MCW to a freaking volleyball. No, I don’t feel bad about it.
Both Wilson and MCW offer emotional support to their respective partners. Stranded on an unknown island in the middle of the Pacific, Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) finds a companion in someone’s lost volleyball. Similarly, our beloved Giannis Antetokounmpo has a well-documented buddy-buddy connection with MCW. The natures of these friendships are surprisingly similar.
Think about it, no one truly understands why each relationship exists. Why is Noland talking to a goddamn volleyball with a face on it, why is Giannis so friendly with someone that’s not part of the future? Sure, Wilson provides Chuck with some needed comfort and MCW provides Giannis with a dime or two a game, but when the metaphorical shit hits the fan and Chuck is dying from starvation and dehydration or Giannis needs the ball to shoot the go-ahead basket, neither will help.
Sadly, both friendships are fiercely one-sided. Wilson cannot assist his friend in finding food, shelter, or a way off the island. Wilson serves no practical purpose. MCW, on the other hand, well… serves no practical purpose for Giannis or the team. He’s a high usage mediocre non-shooter constantly shooting point guard on a team that needs a low usage great shooter constantly assisting point guard. MCW fits into Giannis and the Bucks’ future plans as well as a volleyball fits into Giannis and the Bucks’ future plans.
I should apologize; Wilson is an incredible and awe-inspiring character that single-handedly ruined the name Wilson for all Wilsons out there (“WIIIIIILSOOOOON!”). Wilson deserves better. Jokes aside, I’m not as pessimistic about MCW as this article makes me out to be. In fact, I look forward to seeing what he can do next year either as a sixth man or complementary guard alongside Point Giannis. Michael Carter-Williams is the Milwaukee Bucks version of Wilson.
Don’t forget to tell us (@CreamCityCtral) or me (@MatthewContaldi) if you agree, disagree, or have any better fitting movie characters for Michael Carter-Williams in mind!