90’s sitcoms are taken pretty seriously here at theScore office. So when an e-mail was sent out a few weeks ago to rank the best basketball players in a 90’s sitcom, the exchanges got pretty heated.
Here’s how it worked: employees were sent an e-mail with a list of high school ballers from 90’s shows, and had to rank the 10 best. We then gathered the scores of everyone, and made this top 10 list.
Also, we got some expert analysis from our NBA writer and consummate professional, Joseph Casciaro.
I’m not even sure how Teddy Broadis (Hang Time) made this list. How did Teddy Broadis convince anyone at Deering that he was a basketball player? He was constantly eating, in terrible shape, smoked a ton, yet stayed on the basketball team. Let’s take a look at Teddy on the fast break:
Zack Morris (Saved by the Bell) was living the dream in high school: Kapowski on his arm, a cell phone in the early 90’s and hair product for days. But when it came to basketball, Preppy wasn’t the best. Especially when he got injured before stepping foot on the court. I should say though, nice flop in this video. NBA worthy.
Marcus Henderson (Smart Guy) quietly enters this list in the 8th seed. Henderson is a forward at Piedmont High School, and never had a proper surrounding cast on the court.
Henderson was offered a full basketball scholarship, as well as a cell phone and a car (NCAA regulations, lol) - until he realized he was being mistaken for another high school student with the same name from Washington State, and not Washington, D.C.
Casciaro on Henderson: Not much to see here. Henderson's highlight reel appears to be a ton of easy layups and open shots, and he'll surely be negatively affected by a poisonous team environment that celebrates losing.
When it came to the Bayside Tigers basketball team, A.C. Slater (Saved by the Bell) was all by himself on the court. Though Zack was supposedly the team captain, Albert Clifford was the one shooting in the gym.
Slater had the all-around athleticism, from being a pro on the school wrestling team, even getting a full wrestling scholarship from the University of Iowa. These skills transcended onto the basketball court.
Not only did he excel at basketball on foot, but check out the greatest tip off in wheelchair basketball history:
Michael Manning (Hang Time) showed up to Deering High at the start of Season 3, after Amy Wright and Josh Sanders leave.
Team favorite Julie Connor expected to be named team captain, but Manning puts an end to that nonsense and the entire team chooses Michael over her, after like a day of meeting him.
But could you blame them after seeing this rad dunk?
Casciaro on Manning: He has a scout's mentality. He studies game film and footage of one time opponents at summer camp for crying out loud! Combine that knowledge of player tendencies with obvious freak athleticism of his own, and it was obvious immediately that Deering had found another star.
You’re laughing right now at Urkel (Family Matters) in the 5 spot, so I’m just gonna leave this here:
Casciaro on Urkel: He clearly has the ability to score in bunches off the bench, and I'll ignore the fact that his transition defense is compromised by excessively celebrating almost every basket he scores and the fact that his sloppy, high dribbling style will be exposed at the next level. It looks like the undersized guard is going to bring his team back from the dead and he'll probably be the story of the year, but we've seen this unlikely underdog phenomenon before. Eventually Carmelo Anthony comes back, your star fades out, 'Melo finds a way to get you out of town and before you know it, you're backing up Patrick Beverley in Houston.
Eddie Winslow (Family Matters) was the star player for Vanderbilt High School in the early seasons of Family Matters, and had dreams of playing college ball and making it to the pros. ln Season 4, a former college basketball player comes to town and shoots down Eddie's dreams of making it pro, so he ends up becoming a police officer.
Shame, because this alley-oop with Urkel on the point was stellar:
Casciaro on Connor: Her trash talking could definitely use some work, but her offensive game is already there. Gotta love seeing a guard taking a bigger defender into the post and then somehow taking them to school. If you watch this opening clip closely enough in slow motion, you should be able to find the exact moment cowardly Jason loses his jockstrap on the quick Connors move.
Mr. Cooper (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper) is going to have an asterisk beside his name because the show never showed the coach playing basketball in his college days. Except for one scene that I can remember (sorry for the bad quality):
But the facts remain: Mark Cooper was the only player on this list to make it to the NBA. It was a short career for the Golden State Warriors, then Cooper got cut, ran out of money, and then became a substitute teacher at his alma mater, Oakbridge High School.
Casciaro on Smith: Will obviously has the talent, but his basketball IQ worries me at the next level. I mean, he chucked a halfcourt three immediately off the game's opening tip and takes a few many chances on the perimeter. I also wonder about how much skill development he's getting from the coaching staff at Bel-Air, who seem to have implemented an offensive playbook with the worst spacing I've ever seen on a basketball court.
Don't even try and defend this.
If you disagree with the rankings, well, take it out on these people, they voted. (But seriously, thanks to my fellow employees for helping out with these rankings):
- Joseph Casciario (NBA Feature Writer)
- Devang Desai (Soccer Editor)
- Blake Murphy (NBA Writer)
- Alison Ing (Digital Project Manager)
- Drew Fairservice (MLB Feature Writer)
- Archi Zuber (MLB Writer)
- Adam Sarson (Operations Supervisor)
- Taylor Coulis (Account Executive)
- Joe Ross (VP of Content)
- Toby Fowlow (Social Manager)
- Kyle Smith (Content Team)
- Andrew McKay (Q&A Analyst)