It’s the dream of every young basketball player to someday end up in the bright lights of the Broadway stage. No, not Madison Square Garden. We’re talking Broadway, down the street from “Spider Man” and another “Godspell” revival.
Well, that’s where Chris Mullin has ended up, anyway.
The native New Yorker and Hall of Famer is working with the cast of one Broadway show, reports the New York Times.
At a pivotal moment in “Lysistrata Jones,” a musical comedy about basketball and sex that is coming to Broadway next month, the title character has to make a layup on the stage-turned-court. Patti Murin, the 5-foot-4 actress playing Lysistrata, made 34 of 39 shots during an Off Broadway production last spring — a solid showing for a hoops newbie who didn’t know a layup from a free throw before being cast….
Which is why Ms. Murin was eyeing the net on an Upper East Side court on Tuesday as a coach towered over her, sharing tips. That the coach was Chris Mullin, the retired N.B.A. All-Star and the product of Brooklyn playgrounds, only added to the pressure.
In the ancient Greek classic “Lysistrata,” the women of Greek soldiers withhold sex from their partners to force a truce in the Peloponnesian war. In “Lysistrata Jones,” cheerleaders and girlfriends withhold sex from a basketball team until they win a game. Insert your own “someone should have tried that with the Timberwolves” joke here.
The actors are in a five-day camp with Mullin to learn some hoops skills — dribbling, footwork, making a layup — but also to get the idea of some swagger. This is New York, where playground swagger is as much a part of the game as the backboard. The audience will recognize if it’s faked.
The next logical step for Mullin from here is choreography of a Broadway revival of “Anything Goes.”
Markieff Morris made a lot of noise this summer about being unhappy in Phoenix and wanting out, after the Suns traded his twin brother Marcus to the Pistons as part of a salary dump. He openly demanded a trade, and said on the record several times that his long-term future is not with the team. He’s changed his tune since training camp started, once he realized he has no choice but to play for the Suns unless they decide to trade him. But according to the Detroit Free Press‘ Vincent Ellis, there is interest from the one team he would be guaranteed to want to play for:
Markieff’s unhappiness with the Suns started when they traded his brother, so he would obviously jump at the chance to reunite with Marcus. And they don’t have much in the way of power forward depth beyond the other Morris twin and Ersan Ilyasova, so it would be a good fit from a basketball standpoint. But with the brothers’ felony assault charges pending, reuniting them on the same roster might not be the best idea, and it also opens up the possibility of having to trade one of them in the future and the other one being unhappy. So far, the Suns have shown no inclination to trade Markieff, but if that changes, the Pistons are an interesting destination to keep an eye on.
Gregg Popovich’s habit of resting key players at times has become the norm around the league as more and more studies have shown it helps players perform at higher levels plus helps reduce injury risk. Still, Popovich is the poster child.
New Spur LaMarcus Aldridge wasn’t used to this but got introduced to it in a very Popovich way, reports Jeff McDonald at the Express-News.
LaMarcus Aldridge missed his first workout of training camp today with leg tightness. Or rather, the Spurs — being the Spurs — held him out for precautionary reasons.
“We sat him out,” coach Gregg Popovich said. “He didn’t want to do it. I said, ‘Welcome to the Spurs. Go sit.’”
He might as well have added “get used to this.” Aldridge is going to get some rest this season. Not as many as Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker, but he’s going to get some nights off.
Remember, Aldridge is a guy who played through a torn ligament in his thumb last season because he thought the Blazers could make noise in the playoffs (and they might have had Wesley Matthews not gotten hurt). He’s not a guy used to being told to sit and rest.
It’s his “Welcome to the Spurs” moment.