Breaking Bad NBA Style
With the final episode of AMC's Breaking Bad upon us, we decided to break down the NBA Breaking Bad Style.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Who would you say is the Walter White of the NBA?
Jesse Pinkman : Rajon Rondo.
Both Pinkman and Rondo came into their professions naive. Pinkman was a low-level meth dealer who used chili powder as his signature ingredient in his meth and Rondo was the faster than lightning point guard out of Kentucky who's job was to distribute the ball to the original Big Three in Boston (Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett). Both also grew up and eventually became the masters of their own domains. Pinkman proved he could cook to purity levels just as impressive as Mr. White's when he was in Mexico and Rondo grew into a lethal triple-double threat for the Boston Celtics that handed the reigns over to the young gun sooner than they had planned.
Hank Schrader : Tyler Hansbrough
It's hard not to like both Hank Schrader and Tyler Hansbrough. They're both blue collar hardworking guys. Hank is the DEA agent that chases after Mr. White without knowing it for the better part of four seasons in Breaking Bad, while Tyler Hansbrough is the rebound grabbing, pick setting, diving on the ground journeyman of the NBA. Note, both characters also have trouble performing at their professions highest levels. Hansbrough's senior year at the University of North Carolina he was tied for second for Player of the Year, led the ACC in scoring with 21.1 PPG, and delivered 44-career double doubles (25 more than any active player). In college he was a force of nature. Unfortunately, his game didn't transfer to the NBA where he has a career 8.9 PPG. Schrader also hasn't done so well in the big leagues when he cracked-up after watching a number of his fellow DEA agents blown up in front of him after Tortuga's head was placed on a turtle along the Mexico border in season two.
Saul Goodman: Kevin Garnett.
Both are world class trash talkers. Saul talks his version of smack to the Albuquerque police, while Garnett lets his NBA opponents get the sharp end of his tongue. Most recently, Garnett's smack talking involved Carmelo Anthony's wife and a box of Honey Nut Cheerios. We covered this one in depth on 3 Point Play. Both are also fiercely loyal. Goodman is loyal to his clients (namely White and Pinkman) which almost seems out of place at times given his somewhat slimy lawyer demeanor and Garnett to his teammates. This was seen in Garnett's continued threats to retire if Boston traded him. Yes, he went eventually went to Brooklyn, but he will forever bledd Boston green and wanted nothing more to stay with his teammates. The severity of Ray Allen's betrayal in leaving the Boston Celtics for the Miami Heat is something the cut Garnett deeper than anyone.
Marie Schrader : Royce White.
The characteristic both Maria Schrader (Hank's wife) and Royce White have in common is both are absurdly annoying. Schrader is annoying with her shrill voice and hen-pecking personality, while Royce White accomplishes it with his inability to fly on airplanes, complain about everything, and become the ultimate NBA cliche. Did White really think the NBA was going to go back to the days of bus rides when he joined? Oh, the other thing these two share is criminal tendencies. Maria had to go to therapy after a little klepto habit first introduce us to her in season one. White's criminal record involves recent domestic violence problems, Mexican strippers, and a reported love of personal sex tapes.
Gustavo "Gus" Fring : Chris Paul.
Both of these men are cold, calm, and calculating. After Chris Paul got his trade to the Los Angeles sandbagged by David Stern CP3 didn't flinch. He headed to the Clippers and brought in a reign of dominance across town in LA. On the court CP3 is the unquestioned leader of his team capable of distributing the wealth or going for his when necessary. Gustavo is also above everything else calculating. He initially refused to work with Mr. White because he could tell Jesse was into drugs. Later, he proved his unflappability when partner is killed by Don Eladio Vuente.
Walter White : Kobe Bryant.
Who else could it be? Both men are unapologetically in the "empire" business. Given, Walter White creates a meth empire through murder and impossibly pure crystal meth, while Kobe Bryant creates his Los Angeles Laker empire with fade away jumpers, crossovers, and 3-pointers, but these are two men cut from the same cloth. They both have that killer instinct, the ability to put business and winning above all else, and are clutch when everything is on the line. They also both have problems with their wives. Kobe's on-again, off-again issues with Vanessa Bryant have been all over the internet for years. She even reported dated around when she was split from Kobe and we at HV put together a Top 10 list of who she might date. Mr. White's wife kicked him out of the house when she found out he was selling meth, cheated on him with Ted Beneke, and told Walter that she doesn't love him and is simply waiting for him to die from his Cancer. Ouch.
Photo Credit: AMC & WENN.