The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh

The Greatest Basketball Movie Ever!

Category: THE PLAYERS

BULLET BAINES

Bullet BainesBullet bullet bullet, oh lord have mercy you so fine, so fine. 52 oh number 52 52.

So screams Ola from the stands when she sees the one of a kind, Bullet Baines, who speaks volumes with his hands.

The team’s point guard, the floor general, who loves to play, and his fellow teammates. He doesn’t get angry often, but when Moses pleads with him to rise to the challenge watch out!

Bullet is perfectly played by Malek Abdul-Mansour.

SETSHOT BUFORD

Setshot BufordPlayed by the talented actor Jack Kehoe, Setshot Buford is the guy who represents us regular guys. All the ones playing for fun in the gym, who live, eat and breathe basketball, too slow or too short to make it in the bigs.

Setshot is a trick shot artist, specializing in the super-long distance shot. Tough, loyal, he’ll take a pounding for the team. He’s also the league’s best free throw shooter in my opinion. He’s all business on the court.

Learn more about Jack Kehoe on Wikipedia by CLICKING HERE!

MALIK JAMAL TRUTH

the-truth1One of my favorite actors of all time played the part of Malik Jamal Truth and that’s the truth! Julius Carry, who passed away way too young, did a great job playing the angriest man on the team and was perfect in the role. Butting heads at first with the Reverend, he eventually embraced the team and it’s concept of unity.

Julius Carry also played one of my favorite movie characters of all time, in the movie the last Dragon. The Shogun of Harlem, the baddest mofo no doubt around this town, ShoNuff. And that’s Mr. Nuff to you. Every time i watch either movie, I miss him all over again.

Rest in Peace Mr. Nuff

More on Julius on Wikipedia by CLICKING HERE

DRIFTWOOD

driftwoodExcept for Moses Guthrie, Driftwood was the only other player that seemed to be close to stardom in “the league” at one point. A high draft pick, he choose being drafted by the military as opposed to “the league” because, and I quote, “those guys were animals”.

Played by Peter Isacksen, Driftwood may have had a couple of screws loose but he was integral to the Pisces.

Learn more about Peter Isacksen on Wikipedia by CLICKING HERE!

THE RAE TWINS

rae-twinsIdentical twins Daryl and Dwayne Mooney play identical twins Kenny and Benny Rae respectively.

On the surface, just a funny gag. Two players on the court that you can’t tell apart. But is there more to this? Is their synchronized twin thinking, symbolic of the team being in sync?

Or is it a commentary on racism and how “they all look alike” come to life, where in this case they do? Like everything, there is more to the Fish That Saved Pittsburgh than people realize, on purpose or otherwise.

WINSTON RUNNING HAWK

indian-screamingWinston Running Hawk, played by Branscombe Richmond, is the attacker of the team and the one who leads the charge! They don’t come more vocal than the chief and don’t be fooled by his exterior.

There is no teammate more loyal or has your back more than Winston.

REVERAND GRADY JACKSON

reverend-grady-jacksonThe reverend is the heart and soul of the Pisces and his is played by the Clown Prince of basketball, the amazing Meadowlark Lemon. When the reverend hears about the open tryouts, he hears a calling to go join the team. Supported by the sisters of the church, he plays the high post with style.

I had the great fortune to meet and have dinner with Meadowlark a few years ago in Vegas. They tell you to never meet your idols and most of the time, they’re right. But he was such a great and decent guy, he failed to disappoint. It was also great to hear that the The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh is one of HIS all time favorite movies too. I hope he likes the site.

Learn more about Meadowlark Lemon on Wikipedia by CLICKING HERE!

JACKHAMMER WASHINGTON

jackhammer-washingtonI’m going to let Jackhammer Washington, played wonderfully by Jessie Lawrence Ferguson, say it for me.

“If you were wise bubble eyes, you’d cop your jive attitude to the side. Because Jackhammer Washington will put you to the test, and show which dude can wrap the best…ha ha.. Wrapping and slapping that’s my claim to fame, plus I got a mean b-ball game. And from the corner, it’s a goner”.

MOSES GUTHRIE

moses-guthrieMoses Guthrie is the star of the team yet when the movie starts, both him and the Pythons (name changes to Pisces for obvious reason) have seen better days. For some reason, he just can’t get it together and he’s very down when the movie starts. Until Astrology comes into the picture and he performs better than ever.

Played by my all-time favorite player ever, the incredible Dr. J himself Julius Erving. If you haven’t seen him during the classic ABA days, you really didn’t see him. As a long time ABA NY Nets fans, I saw him several times and he was unreal. Michael Jordan may have been a better all around player but no one, I mean NO ONE, performed in the air like the Doctor in his prime. The NBA continues to highlight his incredible reverse layup, AGAINST KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR, and that was when he had old knees. They should have seen him when he was younger! But you can have a small taste when you watch him as Moses Guthrie.

On a side note, I have two basketball regrets:

  • The REAL Nets with Doc never got a chance to play together in the NBA, due to their greed and hatred of the ABA.
  • That Maurice Cheeks didn’t pass the ball to Doc in the closing seconds of game 4 when the Sixers finally won the championship. It would have been an image for the ages.

Learn more about the Doctor on Wikipedia by CLICKING HERE!

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The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh Is a Warner Bros Production.