Movie spoilers below.
Player: John Henson
Character: John Brown (Inspector Gadget)
Movie: Inspector Gadget
Quote: “I’d shake your hand, but you might lose an eye.”
I gotta start off with John Henson’s pseudo-nickname.
All that needs to be known about Inspector Gadget (Matthew Broderick) lies within his name – he is half man, half gadget. His hat has propellers, his legs sprout springs, and his arms expand to non-human lengths. It’s these last two that should sound familiar to John Henson spectators and admirers.
John Henson’s lanky limbs allow him to be a shot-blocking beast (just ask Matt Barnes). At UNC, Henson won the ACC Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2011 (his sophomore season). From there, J-Hook manufactured a name for himself as a powerful defensive presence in the NBA. Opponents warily enter the paint against Henson; they know who lies lurking, with his springy legs and extensive arms, ready to swat their shots back to sender. If Henson received consistent minutes, there is little doubt in my mind that he would sit atop the NBA blocks per game leaderboard. John Henson, like John Brown, uses his one-of-a-kind physical tools to literally reach new heights. There’s a reason people call this man Inspector Gadget. John Henson is the Milwaukee Bucks version of Inspector Gadget.
Quote: “We can stay up late, swapping manly stories, and in the morning, I’m making waffles!”
Is there a better comparison out there? I think not. Donkey’s goofy, smiley personality is a mirror reflection of the Bucks’ goofy, smiley John Henson.
In Shrek, Donkey (Eddie Murphy) is the comedic relief sidekick to the more serious Shrek (Mike Myers). Donkey is chatty, perpetually happy, and comically overdramatic on the duo’s quest to save Princess Fiona. Swap Shrek with Giannis and Princess Fiona with an NBA title, and you have Henson.
My favorite GIF of all time perfectly captures this. Let me set the stage for you. Jason Kidd returns to Brooklyn for the first time since his rumored “power move.” The Bucks have had a surprisingly successful season while the Nets have disappointed… to say the least. After a fiercely competitive battle, the game is tied in OT with time winding down. The shot clock is off as the Nets look to win it on the game’s supposed last possession. Joe Johnson borders the three point line, spots a cutting Brook Lopez, and makes the potential game-winning pass—but not before Brandon Knight swiftly intercepts the ball. Knight is ahead of friends and foes alike, and with one second left on the game clock… Knight misses the open layup! Chaos on the Milwaukee Bucks bench ensues:
Aw man, that clip will never get old. I mean, just watch Henson; that’s the type of shit Donkey would pull after a Shrek misstep. Importantly though, Henson still sees the hilariousness of it all. The GIF cuts it off, but after his amazing towel throw, Henson gazes off into the distance with his iconic sly goofy smile. Still not convinced of the comparison? Enter video evidence number two (pay close attention at 0:10 – 0:13):
Alright, Giannis may be a little too overzealous with that “mean mug” (more on that HERE), but again, Henson is cracking up at what should be an “OH DAMN” moment (just look at Dudley’s reaction).
Don’t change a bit, J-Hook. John Henson is the Milwaukee Bucks version of Donkey.
Character: Ned Ryerson
Movie: Groundhog Day
Quote: “Ned… Ryerson. ‘Needlenose Ned’? ‘Ned the Head’? C’mon, buddy.”
*Phil punches Ned in the face*
For those who don’t remember, Ned Ryerson (Stephen Tobolowsky) is the old classmate of Phil Connors (Bill Murray). Each and every morning, Phil runs into Ned. Ned then attempts to rekindle Connors’s memory of their school partnership while also trying to sell him life insurance. The endless loop Phil is stuck in allows this “unexpected meeting” to occur time and time again. In other words, Phil expects this encounter every morning, while Ned still follows through with the same naïve energy.
“Where’s the connection to Henson here?”, you may ask. Well, just like how Ned fires up the same conversation day after repeated day, Henson uses the same offensive moves move game after game – the lefty hook. Seriously, I don’t remember the last game where J-Hook got the ball in the post and didn’t put up his patented shot. Does one exist? I’ve probably only seen his righty counter enough times to count on my fingers. Surely, his offensive scouting report consists of nothing more than “force him to take any other shot beside the lefty hook.”
Just like Connors, the Bucks fans all know what Ned is up to after experiencing it time and time again. And Ned, just like Henson, doesn’t know or doesn’t care. Keep doing you Henson, as long as that lefty hook keeps dropping, keep doing you. John Henson is the Milwaukee Bucks version of Ned Ryerson.
Don’t forget to tell us (@CreamCityCtral) or me (@MatthewContaldi) if you agree, disagree, or have any better fitting movie characters for John Henson in mind!