The oppressive pessimism and embarrassing L’s are finally in the rearview mir— wait, hold on one second. I’m getting word that the Bucks just dropped down to the tenth pick in the 2016-2017 NBA Draft after losing a mini three-way lottery between the also 33-49 Nuggets and Kings. Well, that’s a shame, but it could always be wor— huh, what’s that? Reports are coming in that the Bucks came into training camp drastically out of shape and ill prepared for the intensity. Apparently, the Bucks’ offseason is picking up right where their 33-49 record left off. Damn.
For your own sanity, take a much-needed break from the gloominess of Bucks fandom and follow me into the fourth installment of “Milwaukee Bucks Players as Movie Characters” (check out my previous three articles here, here, and here). As always, this series features one Bucks player and subsequent film characters said Bucks player reminds me of. This week, Greg Monroe, the supposed biggest name free agent pickup in Milwaukee Bucks franchise history, is my target. Whether you think he’s a colossal bust or a consistently dominant force under the hoop, try to put your opinions aside, lighten up, and enjoy.
Movie spoilers below.
Character: Mr. Orange
Joe Cabot: This man [Mr. Orange] set us up.
Mr. Orange: Joe, I don’t have the slightest f***ing idea what you’re talking about.
Important note: I do not hate Greg Monroe. The following comparison is merely just a common perspective (from you, the Bucks fans) that I’m attempting to capture.
Mr. Orange, the undercover cop who foils the crew’s heist, represents the Milwaukee fan-base’s all too prevalent dark perspective of Monroe. Joe Cabot, the ringleader of the criminal group and organizer of the robbery, hires the allegedly battle-tested and trustable Mr. Orange. Similarly, John Hammond, J-Kidd, and the owners give their free agent pitch to the ex-Pistons reliable offensive-minded center, Greg Monroe. And, unlike anything Milwaukee has ever seen, he decides to team up with our small town Young Bucks. Things are going according, and even better, than planned.
But surprise surprise, this is still the Milwaukee Bucks we’re talking about. As soon as the Greg Monroe is Gonna Lead the Bucks to at Least the Sixth Seed Era begins, it ends. As Reservoir Dogs reveals shortly into the film, Mr. Orange is in fact engaging in a covert operation to out the criminals and their mastermind Joe Cabot. Not surprisingly, the heist fails, leading to the death of almost every important character. Essentially, Mr. Orange is the reason for the group’s drastic demise.
Well, I imagine you can see where I’m going with this. Greg Monroe, the supposed key piece to whatever crazy puzzle the Bucks built in the 2014-2015 season, killed their playoff chances. Offensively, Monroe is a footwork mastermind, outworking defenders with old school post moves uncharacteristic of today’s chuck and heave game. But on the defensive side, the pivotal factor to last season’s success, Monroe lets his team down. The obvious upgrade from the heavy-footed and aging Zaza Pachulia suddenly morphed into a shocking regression – an expensive mistake. Whether clogging the lane for a shooter needy team (to say the absolute least) or rotating late in an aggressive defensive scheme, Monroe turned out to be the exact opposite of what the Bucks needed.
With all that being said, Monroe is not the sole reason for the Bucks’ staggering downfall after their unanticipated successful 2014-2015 campaign, but his role is largely evident. Both seemingly seamless fits for their teams, Mr. Orange and Monroe were expected to raise the heist and Milwaukee Bucks (respectively) to unprecedented levels. Sadly, it turns out that a Moose doesn’t play well in a herd of Deer. Greg Monroe is the Milwaukee Bucks version of Mr. Orange.
If you’re already tired of my judgmental garbage, I urge you to continue to the next comparison.
Movie: Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Townspeople: Burn her, burn her!
Sir Bedevere the Wise: How do you know she is a witch?
Townspeople: She looks like one!
Familiarize yourself with the “witch” in this hilarious clip:
Poor, poor witch. In this classic scene, a feisty medieval community pins an unlucky townswoman as an evil, diabolic witch for no apparent reason. It’s clear that the people have literally zero evidence to claim that this woman is operating under any form of witchery. However, that doesn’t stop them from dressing her up in stereotypical witch attire and carrying her to Sir Bedevere the Wise in an inexplicable rage. It seems as if the townspeople are just eager for any sort of excitement, and sadly (but comically), the “witch” takes the fall.
Poor, poor Monroe. Is it clear to you yet? We, the skittish and edgy Bucks fans, are the angry, illogical townspeople. Sure, a few high-tech stats and some common logic clearly suggest that Monroe houses numerous deficiencies. But jeez, this man is not the single harbinger of loses. Scan through Bucks Twitter for a quick minute and you’ll realize that Monroe takes on a gravely disproportionate amount of blame. The arguments are almost as crazy as that one dude telling Sir Bedevere the Wise that the witch, “turned [him] into a newt.” To simply put it, it’s easy to become enthusiastic over critical, unempirical exclamations (enter political joke here). The Bucks fans, including myself, have to stop being so freaking excitable.
To summarize, Monroe is as easy a scapegoat for blame as the “witch.” When your arrival to a team is surrounded with insurmountable optimism, a performance relapse will likely draw the eyes of careless critics merely trying to connect the dots. To reiterate, there are definitely some obvious flaws in Monroe’s game. But again, give this man a goddamn break. Greg Monroe is the Milwaukee Bucks version of the “witch.”
Character: Walter Sobchak
Movie: The Big Lebowski
Quote: “Am I the only one around here who gives a shit about the rules!”
Let me start by saying that this comparison is totally unnecessary, especially after covering the good and bad Monroe perspectives. Nonetheless, Walter Sobchak, the fiery Vietnam vet, matches Moose’s annoying level of anger.
A quick character synopsis of Walter is needed. He’s a fierce competitor who becomes intensely emotionally when anything does not go his way. He points a loaded gun at a bowler for a minor infraction, bites a man’s ear off in a fight, and screams whenever someone disagrees with him. Now, picture yourself watching a Bucks game. Monroe has the ball in his hands under the basket and puts up a semi-contested shot – what happens next?
Seriously, though, was there ever a game where you couldn’t hear this now patented shout? I mean, it’s not as frustrating as Pau Gasol’s bickering or the look Steph Curry can give to an official to summon a foul, but it’s still pretty annoying. Taxes, death, and Monroe’s “AND ONE.”
That’s really all I have to say about that. Maybe this comparison is a little bit of a stretch, but let me remind you that this article is just a distraction from Bucks reality, so I say whatever. If Larry Sanders were still playing basketball, he’d surely take Monroe’s place as Walter. Nevertheless, Greg Monroe is the Milwaukee Bucks version of Walter Sobchak.
Don’t forget to tell us (@CreamCityCtral) or me (@MatthewContaldi) if you agree, disagree, or have any better fitting movie characters for Greg Monroe in mind!