The basketball and comedy worlds will collide when a Layups2Standup comedy show arrives at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 11, at Cain’s Ballroom.
Russell Westbrook is expected to be a part of the show, which will be hosted by comedian and longtime friend Demetrius “Juice” Deason. Ron Taylor, Yasamin Bayatfar, Alexis Miranda, Velly Vel and Lance Woods are listed as performers.
The event will benefit Tyler Lockett’s Light It Up Foundation. Lockett is a Seattle Seahawks receiver from Tulsa. For tickets and information, go online to cainsballroom.com.
In advance of the basketball-meets-comedy show, here are five folks from the hoops world who have contributed to humor.
Anyone who allows himself to be marketed as the Round Mound of Rebound has to have a sense of humor.
Barkley is great on television because he says what he thinks, repercussions or not. He was a go-to interview subject when he was a player, and now, he’s a go-to guy for studio analysis. For a laugh, seek out the YouTube video when he pranked Manute Bol.
Blake Grif f in
In 2013, Joel Warner and Peter McGraw teamed for a Grantland story that delved into the topic of who might be the funniest NBA player. They enlisted the help of “Chappelle’s Show” co-creator Neal Brennan and “Last Comic Standing” winner Alonzo Bodden. The discussion boiled down to Charles Barkley and Blake Griffin. Brennan cited Griffin’s Kia commercials, Twitter feed and interviews.
Said Brennan: “No. 1 is Blake. Barkley is just a blunt truth-spouter. (Blake’s) sense of humor is more evolved.”
Dawkins, an NBA center in the 1970s and 1980s, was a character who embraced fun.
He claimed he grew up on the planet Lovetron, where he was the only male, and he said he commuted to 76ers games in a spaceship he kept in his garage. On Lovetron, he was known as Chocolate Thunder, but he also gave himself many other nicknames, including Funk Surgeon and Zandokan the Mad Dunker.
Mad dunker? Dawkins gained fame for shattering glass backboards with dunks. He named his dunks. Among names were In Your Face Disgrace, Cover Your Damn Head, Left-handed Spine-Chiller Supreme, Hammer of Thor and Bubblicious. One of the backboard-shattering dunks was given a lengthy name: Chocolate Thunder Flyin, Robinzine Cryin, Teeth Shakin, Glass Breakin, Rump Roastin, Bun Toastin, Wham, Bam, Glass Breaker, I Am Jam.
Dawkins, who eventually joined the Harlem Globetrotters, died in 2015. If he played in this era, he would be the player everyone followed on social media.
Jabbar was a serious cat during his playing days, but, as an actor, he contributed to one of the funniest movies of all time. He played himself — or was that Roger Murdock? — in “Airplane!”
A kid who visited the cockpit recognized Kareem/Roger and shared his father’s criticisms of the player. “Roger” turned into Kareem and said this: “Listen kid, I’ve been hearing that crap ever since I was at UCLA. I’m out there busting my buns every night. Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes.”
Irwin Fletcher ( f ictional character)
The Showtime-era Lakers of the 1980s were blessed with an abundance of talent. Jabbar. Magic Johnson. James Worthy. Irwin Fletcher?
Broadcaster Chick Hearn asked Jabbar about Fletcher in a 1985 interview.
“What can I say about Fletch? He has been fantastic,” Jabbar said.
“It’s great working with him. I don’t know where we would be without him.”
As video highlights played for viewers, Hearn said Fletch truly defines grace under pressure.
“This gritty kid from the street of Harlem really creates excitement,” Hearn said. “Four million dollars a year? That’s true. But he earns every nickel of it.”
But Fletch never made an All-Star team. That’s because he appeared only in a dream sequence in the Chevy Chase movie “Fletch.”
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