The Bulls have run into a problem in their mission to dump Larry Hughes and his ginormous contract, the problem being: Nobody wants him. But, to me, that simply means John Paxson isn’t trying hard enough. That’s where I come in, because some times the best Trade Machine…is the human mind.
To: The Bueller family.
For: Ferris Bueller.
Why it works: The Bulls need a clutch player, someone who can make things happen in pressure situations, and Bueller is perfect. Look at everything he was able to accomplish in the six or seven hours he was supposed to be at school: Attend a Cubs game; visit the Sears Tower, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Board of Trade; take part in the Von Steuben Day Parade, even lip-syncing to “Danke Schoen” and The Beatles’ version of “Twist and Shout;” and pretend to be the Sausage King of Chicago to dine at an upscale restaurant on Rush Street. Anybody who’s spent any time in the Windy City knows that, for most people, those things could take days, even weeks to accomplish. Ferris did it in half a day. He’s also a larger-than-life personality that fans can rally behind. Plus, no scandal would ever stick to this guy: He was able to ditch classes and even destroy his best friend’s dad’s Ferrari yet came out smelling like a rose. I have no idea whether he can shoot a basketball, but that doesn’t seem to matter on this team. Just look at Joakim Noah.
What the Bueller family gets: I don’t care that she had a change of heart at the end of the movie and saved him from Dean Rooney, Ferris’ sister, Jeanie, hated her brother…mostly because his inexplicable popularity and unstoppable coolness made her feel badly about herself. That wouldn’t happen with Larry; if anything, his underachieving nature and lack of popularity would actually build her confidence. As for Mr. and Mrs. Bueller, they couldn’t tell the difference between their actual son and some cheesy sound effects. Chances are, they wouldn’t even notice the Ferris-for-Larry switch.
To: The cast of Heroes.
For: Hiro Nakamura.
Why it works: Hiro has the ability to bend space and time. Effectively, that allows him to both freeze time and travel through it. Imagine the possibilities. First, it would be pretty easy for Hiro to get to the hoop if everybody in the stadium was caught in a time warp. Second, a simple time rewind could be used to undo any mistake: Turnovers, bad shots, eating too much pizza before the game. If the Bulls collapsed in the fourth quarter, Hiro could simply zip back to the end of the third and let his team replay the final 12 minutes over and over until they got it right. And on a larger scale, maybe he could go back and help rewrite other past blunders, like signing Ben Wallace to that huge contract or trading LaMarcus Aldridge for Tyrus Thomas. Yeah, that first one would ensure that Larry was never a Bull in the first place (since he was acquired for Wallace) and thus cause some kind of schism in the time-space continuum, but whatever. Alternate realities can be fun.
What the Heroes get: The series’ arch supervillain is a guy named Sylar, who cuts open peoples’ brains and inspects them in order to learn their powers. Sylar has, thus far, proven to be unstoppable, but can you imagine what would happen if he dissected Big Shot Larry’s brain and poked around inside it? Not only would it scramble Sylar’s abilities — no doubt causing him to misfire on every finger laser or telekinetic blast — it would eliminate his capacity to even realize he couldn’t use his powers anymore. While he was thus crippled, the Heroes could put Sylar in a rocket ship and fire him into the sun or something.
To: The A-Team.
For: B.A. Baracus.
Why it works: Oh come on. It is literally impossible to imagine any way that adding Mr. T to the Bulls’ roster wouldn’t make the team about a thousand times better. Especially as B.A. Baracus. For starters, their pity-to-fool ratio would immediately jump off the charts. But there’s more. According to his Wikipedia page, B.A. is a mechanical genius who can “fix anything but dinner.” So I figure he could either repair the team’s offense — which consistently breaks down during the fourth quarter — or maybe build some kind of super vehicle that would save the day. (Let’s hear it for the deus ex machina!) The Wiki entry also notes that Baracus has a special fondness for children, occasionally working at a youth center teaching sports to kids…which would make him perfect for the NBA Cares program.
What the A-Team gets: According to the A-Team’s Wiki page: “The team’s opponents are rarely hurt, as bullets miss their targets and the enemies manage to evade or survive, unscathed, numerous explosions.” I figure that if the A-Team needs a guy who likes to shoot a lot but rarely (if ever) hits anything, Larry Hughes is perfect!
To: The Super Friends.
For: Apache Chief.
Why it works: The Bulls can’t protect the paint, and it’s a major problem. Forget Al Jefferson and his season-best 39 points. Guys like Anderson Varejao, Ben Wallace, Darko Milicic, Nick Collison and Zaza Pachulia have also torched Chicago for their season-high in scoring. Enough is enough. What better way to protect the paint than with a guy who can grow to any size by simply saying “Inyuk-chuk!” over and over. One time, Apache Chief grew large enough to battle a Space Colossus that plucked Earth from its orbit and placed it in a glass bottle. If Apache Chief can do that, he can probably contain the Zaza Pachulia’s of the NBA.
What the Super Friends get: During the late 1970s, Apache Chief was added to the Super Friends (along with Black Vulcan, Rima the Jungle Girl, El Dorado and Samurai) to give the team a more multi-cultural feel. And while the Super Friends’ Native American representation would drop to zero percent, adding Larry would double their African American membership. Plus, it would give Black Vulcan somebody to commiserate with over the questionable (and possibly racist) naming schemes employed at the Hall of Justice. I mean, what the heck is a “Black Vulcan” anyway? And I don’t think Samurai was actually a real samuri either. I’m just sayin’.