When your features stud emails you at 1 a.m. saying he's got a great idea, you say yes no matter what. I do not watch Mad Men, have no understanding, and don't know if any other readers do, but Chris Wilson write about it whenever he wants. - djturtleface
We are officially in the depths of the NBA offseason. Summer League is over, training camp hasn't started, and literally nothing of any interest is happening around the Memphis Grizzlies -- sorry Acie Law, no offence.
Since there's nothing else to talk about, I've decided to have a bit of fun with this week's column, and compare your favorite Grizzlies to yr favorite character's on AMC's hit drama Mad Men. I'm currently catching up on the acclaimed series that is in the middle of it's 4th season, and some of the similarities are downright scary. Without further ado, here we go:
Rudy Gay is Don Draper:
Don Draper is the centerpiece of Mad Men, and extremely talented yet extremely flawed ad man who just recently got his name put on the building. Sound familiar?
With Draper's promotion to partner and becoming a principal in a new firm and Rudy Gay getting an $82 million contract, both men now have a great deal to live up to. Both men got their promotions based on potential for greatness after having shown flashes in the past, but still primarily on potential, not actual success. Both also have a lot of people depending upon them to succeed despite significant limitations, and haven't managed to convince everyone that they are 100% reliable.
Plus I've heard Draper takes plays off on defense too.
Zach Randolph is Roger Sterling:
Zbo and Roger Sterling are both the old men of the office- they've been through the wars and emerged on the other side; sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. Both also have a very good track record when on the clock, and a spotty one when not at work. Roger Sterling has a weakness for women and alcohol- Zach Randolph has also has a weakness for um, let's call it being with the wrong people in the wrong place at the wrong time.
As we've learned on both the show and the hardwood, neither the Grizzlies nor Sterling Cooper functions well without their respective "old men" of the office. A lot rests on their shoulders, and they are a crucial linchpin of the next season.
O.J. Mayo is Joan Holloway:
Joan Holloway is a major character on Mad Men with a degree of power namely derived from her certain, ahem, attributes but no real ability to shape the direction of the firm. Mayo is a major piece of the Grizzlies with a flashy jumpshot and a ton of talent, but because of powers greater than himself (ed. note: this means Rudy's insatiable desire to shoot bad jumpers) is limited in what he can do to contribute to the team.
They both are also particularly well dressed. As seen both here and here. Holloway and Mayo both have a good deal of flashiness that attract a number of fans and guarantee that they will remain popular and stay that way, especially with certain segments of their respective fan bases.
However, Joan isn't settled with her role and wants more, much like OJAM dying to prove he can play point guard. Both they also have a lot of work to do (ed. note: such as waiting for the feminist revolution and positional revolution, respectively) on their weaknesses in order to get to the next level in the eyes of their employers.
Mike Conley is Pete Campbell:
Pete Campbell is the young guy in the office who nobody really likes. He has flashes of talent in bringing on the occasional big account, but he's basically only around since he enjoys protected status because of who his family is -- he basically can't be fired.
Mike Conley is the young guy on the team who nobody really likes. He has flashes of brilliance (ed. note: are you drunk right now Chris?) and shows potential on occasion, but he also enjoys protected status because of Lionel Hollins' man crush -- he is basically catered to and won't be replaced.
Don't play this video if you're under 13. Otherwise, feel free to fall out of your chair.
Both men seem to put on an excellent public face: rarely complaining at the office, and seemingly getting decent, if uninspired, work done. Both also seem to have the proper tools to be much, much better at their job than they are, and disappoint more often than not. They also both drive me absolutely crazy.
Marc Gasol is Peggy Olson:
Peggy Olson was the homely looking secretary who, when given the opportunity, excelled at her job and went above and beyond the call of duty. She can be overshadowed by the more attractive women in the office, but she always has her game face on and truly cares about her work and the fortunes of her firm and her boss.
Marc Gasol was the grizzly-looking younger brother of the more famous and well-known Pau Gasol. An afterthought in a trade for his brother, Marc Gasol was given an opportunity, shed some pounds, and developed into what I believe is the most important player on the Grizzlies.
They both have some skeletons in their closet as well -- Peggy slipped up and became pregnant, while Marc Gasol had to work through a reputation of being out of shape and lazy, stemming from his high school days.
Both Peggy Olson and Marc Gasol are absolutely essential to the smooth operation of their respective places of work. Once greatly underappreciated, they have shown that given an opportunity, they can be vastly successful.
Finally, Hasheem Thabeet is Freddy Rumsen:
Forgive me, the comparison as a bit harsh, but I feel apt.
Freddy Rumsen is a senior copywriter who has a severe drinking problem, but that little bugaboo was brushed aside by everyone else in the firm for his perceived talent.
Hasheem Thabeet is the number 2 pick from the 2009 Draft who's lack of actual basketball talent was brushed aside because of his height and ability to block shots.
Freddy Rumsen was forced to take a leave of absence after drunkenly peeing his pants and embarrassing himself in front of clients and the rest of the office.
Hasheem Thabeet was sent to the D-League when it was determined that he really isn't very good at basketball.
I could go on, but I'm not feeling especially mean today. The comparison is legit, I promise.
So there you have it -- the Grizzlies as Mad Men. Feel free to add your own in the comments, or talk about how Don Draper cheating on his wife is akin to Rudy Gay only averaging 5 rebounds a game. Really, go crazy.