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What If the Seinfeld Cast Was a Pickup Basketball Team?

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In loving memory of Jerry Stiller.

Okay, so the quarantine is still going on and we’ve got a whole lot of nothing to talk about, so why not have some fun and generate something that maybe no one has thought about?

The cast of Seinfeld is an iconic bunch. There’s Kramer, the totally neurotic wildcard; Jerry, the stoic, but petty, jokester; Elaine, who is very well put together, and possibly the only one with a real job; and then there’s George. George is like the friend you had in middle school, whom you love, but never seems to be making any sense and, at the same time, has always had some sort of lucrative job. If George was in New England, he would be selling used cars or something.

So, I thought to myself, what if we took this bunch and moved them onto the basketball court? What would that look like? First things first, we need a point guard. This one is obvious. It’s Jerry. Jerry is decently athletic and his personality makes it to where he can be the main focus or the one to set everyone else up, he’s perfect. Jerry distributes the ball, plays decent defense and gets everyone involved. The show is called Seinfeld for a reason, Jerry can run the show, he may complain a lot, but he can run the show.

Next we need a shooter, right? The shooter is someone that can put the finishing touches on a game, but doesn’t have to be the center of attention. Elaine fits this perfectly. Elaine could either come in and save the whole episode, or be the icing on the cake. She was a terrible dancer with no rhythm, I could see that lack of rhythm being an off balance jumper that just straight up falls. She would be a Marco Belinelli or, on her best days, a Robert Horry or Steve Kerr type. Seinfeld doesn’t totally work without Elaine just like the Lakers, Spurs, and Bulls don’t totally work without Horry or Kerr.

Ok so what’s next? Rebounds and defense. Kramer is easily the Dennis Rodman type in the group. I’m honestly surprised he didn’t have an earring in the show. Kramer was tall with long arms, he would be good at boxing out and grabbing the ball off the boards. In addition to that, he’s a trash talker, the perfect guy you want to lead your squad on the defensive side of the ball. Would his trash talk make any sense? Of course not, but it would be just off the wall enough to really mess with the offense and get in their heads. Combine all this with his athletic shape and ability to run the other team ragged with his insanity, he’s perfect at the big man spot.

And then there’s George… George is like the guy that shows up to the park in a Lonzo Ball Lakers jersey, even though he plays for New Orleans now. He’s got nice shoes but they’re too big, a headband on, and a bizarre shooting form; but this player always seems to surprise you. He somehow gets the ball and throws one up from long range and it just sinks. He’s able to set the right pick at the right time, even though the whole game he’s been kind of a mess. That’s George, he is always messing his entire life up but somehow gets lucky at the right moments. Like when he made a killing on a stock even though it was tanking. Or when he got NBC to pick up his idea about a show that was literally about nothing. That’s just George.

Just one problem with this team, there’s only 4 players. We need a full five to make a run. So who in the Seinfeld universe do we pick up off the sidelines? This is a tough one. Newman? No. Puddy? Maybe. I personally think the best option here is Frank Costanza. Yup, George’s dad. Now hear me out. Have you ever played pickup and thought “this one’s gonna be easy, this guys like 90.” And then he proceeds to just get buckets. That’s what I picture with Frank Costanza, he’s an old timer with some sick old man game. He would miss his first shot, scream “SERENITY NOW” and then proceed to roast fools on the court. Ironically, he would be the “it” factor, the player that sets your team over the edge. He would be annoying and slow, but his game would, somehow, speak for itself.

Seinfeld and pick-up hoops don’t seem to go together, but hey, it’s an interesting combination. Each character has their own unique style and those styles translate to basketball. After all, it’s a pandemic. Why not think about how a 90s sitcom would perform on the basketball court?

Photo: (George Lang – Associated Press)

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