Today, the spotlight is on the most impactful, controversial, and well-known Bucks persona… Steve Novak. Alright, fine, he’s none of those things, but that’s what’ll make the ensuing comparisons so intriguing. So many movie characters capture Giannis’s unparalleled greatness, Juice’s borderline wisdom, and MCW’s divisiveness, but who can boast about similarities to plain old Steve Novak? Let’s find out.
Movie spoilers below.
Character: Dr. Sean Maguire
Movie: Good Will Hunting
Quote: “I teach this shit, I didn’t say I know how to do it.”
I may be overstepping the imaginary line with this enormous compliment, but I believe Steve Novak houses the capability to live up to Dr. Sean Maguire’s (Robin Williams) character.
Sean is a low-key and down-to-Earth type of guy. While his past colleagues are off bragging about their academic accomplishments and engaging in prestigious occupations, Sean is content working as a psychology professor for a lowly community college. Further, Sean understands his limits as Will’s (Matt Damon) last-chance therapist. Despite continually respecting these boundaries, Sean also has a keen awareness of when some prodding is needed. Ultimately, Sean is able to heal Will by helping him accept the inevitability of the future. In the process, Sean heals himself of similar woes.
Similar to Dr. Sean Maguire, Steve Novak comes off as an altruistic individual (it must be his Wisconsin background – more on his homecoming later). Being the team’s token forty-year-old— how long has Steve Novak been 33?! What is this absurdity? Seriously, look at any recent Steve Novak photo and tell me this man isn’t a few years away from receiving senior citizen discounts. There is absolutely no way he’s the same age as Melo, Lebron, and Bosh. Well damn, where was I.
Getting back at it, Novak is entering the part of his career where knowledge and leadership are becoming more important than on-court skills. Hopefully, like Sean did for Will, Novak will be able to open the floodgates to the oft-discussed “future” success for the Bucks younglings. Sure, that’s a tall order for a quickly depreciating soon-to-be free agent who’s only played in four Bucks games this season, but if Jared Dudley and Zaza Pachulia were able to do it, why can’t Novak? Novak undoubtedly has the potential to live up to Sean’s mentoring abilities; I’m a believer in the Novakaine. Steve Novak is the Milwaukee Bucks version of Dr. Sean Maguire.
Character: Woody Grant
Quote: “I didn’t know what the hell you were doing.”
I apologize Steve Novak, this one is a tad more depressing.
In the highly acclaimed but relatively unknown Nebraska, Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) is a well-intentioned rapidly aging father and husband who suffers from the early stages of Alzheimer’s (quick, avoid this gloomy comparison by checking out Greg Monroe’s movie comparisons HERE). Fair disclaimer: I chose Woody when I thought Novak was on his NBA career deathbed. Nonetheless, the concept remains the same. Like Woody, Novak currently seems unable to offer anything (besides washed-up three-point-shooting) to those around him. Instead, like an apologetic but everlasting leech, he may be sucking the life from his teammates when he’s on the court. Hopefully Novak’s previous acquaintance with Coach Kidd on the 2012-2013 Knicks will not positively and unfairly influence his playtime.
Furthermore, David Grant (Will Forte), Woody’s son, is forced to look after Woody as he becomes encapsulated with a farfetched million dollar lottery-like scheme. Woody aimlessly walks on highways in attempt to reach the institution where he can cash in his make-believe golden ticket. It has become David’s daily job to find, retrieve, and ensure Woody’s safety.
If Novak were to also get sidetracked with personal gain, it may be the Bucks core’s unneeded responsibility to set him straight. I think we can all agree that Giannis, Jabari, and Middleton need a distraction free season to find chemistry and reach unexplored new heights. It’s truly hard to imagine Novak purposely following Woody’s patterns, but we Bucks fans have seen weirder things (GiannisGate, Larry Sanders retiring, essentially all trades). It may be past It is definitely past Novak’s time to win a ring with his own basketball skills (if any). If he doesn’t see this, the Bucks may struggle to stay afloat in the newly competitive Eastern Conference. Steve Novak is the Milwaukee Bucks version of Woody Grant.
Movie: The Wizard of Oz
Quote: “There’s no place like home!”
If the Dr. Sean Maguire comparison was a stretch, this comparison is ripping out the limb.
Everyone knows the story of Dorothy (Judy Garland) in The Wizard of Oz: She arrives in the Land of Oz after a tornado knocks her unconscious. She befriends Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion on her journey. Finally, after meeting the Wizard of Oz, fighting the Wicked Witch of the East, and following Glinda the Good Witch of the North’s instructions, Dorothy is able to go back to her Kansas home.
Novak’s Bucks’ story involves a similar, albeit much less dramatic and pompous, homecoming. Novak was a basketball star at Brown Deer High School in Wisconsin before becoming a formidable player at Marquette University. In 2006, Novak was drafted to the Houston Rockets. From there, he’s been on seven different NBA teams in his surprisingly not-too-long NBA tenure. Going from being a household name on the Linsanity Era Knicks to a nonfactor receiving measly minutes for the Thunder, it’s safe to say Novak is no stranger to the ups and downs of any adventure. Similar to Dorothy, Novak had to power through the shit in between to finally get the chance to go home. Unlike Dorothy, Novak, who’s unsigned for the 2016-2017 NBA season, may soon find himself on another NBA quest. As for now, the hometown hero is where he belongs. Steve Novak is the Milwaukee Bucks version of Dorothy Gale.
Don’t forget to tell us (@CreamCityCtral) or me (@MatthewContaldi) if you agree, disagree, or have any better fitting movie characters for Steve Novak in mind!