Eddie. What a fitting name for a walk-on hero in basketball. Much like the make-believe coach in the movie that owns his last name, Jarell Eddie came into the NBA spotlight unprecedented and unexpected, yet bizarrely successful.
The plot line for each story – Whoopi’s fiction versus Jarell’s reality – differ in several regards, but the feel-good spirits they entail are merely the same. Not many had ever heard of this version of Eddie before Saturday. Okay who am I kidding, NO one had ever heard of this version of Eddie before Saturday. But by nightfall on December 26th, both the Prospect Park section of Brooklyn and various locations in the DC Metro area had minds ringing over this climatic story of a newly discovered D-Leaguer who finally reaped the success of a life-long dream to play in a meaningful professional basketball game.
In Whoopi’s version of the tale, a random Knicks fan wins a contest to be honorary coach of the team for a half but was inspiring enough to eventually be appointed as the team’s coach for the rest of the season. This in an attempt to fix a myriad of on-court and off-court problems. She unexpectedly did, and the Knicks would eventually start winning games and make the playoffs. (Yes, the idea of a fan becoming a playoff coach is comedy, but the Knicks actually making the playoffs is what makes it raunchy.)
The Wizards’ script has a similar concept. Jarell Eddie was a desperate measure by the team’s front office to fill a grave void in the offense due to the absences of Bradley Beal and Gary Neal. On Saturday night, Eddie became a random underachiever appointed as the team’s go-to scorer. This in an attempt to fix a myriad of offensive problems. He unexpectedly did, and the Wizards would eventually pull away from the Brooklyn Nets and win the game, their fourth straight.
SYNOPSIS: By 3rd quarter’s end, the only notable scenes of Eddie 2.0 was one missed shot and one rebound. Having gotten just 2 and a half minutes of burn, Eddie had yet to find the opportunity to showcase his little-known talent. But the plot would thicken when the Wizards were clinging onto a slim 2-point lead over the Brooklyn Nets at the start of the 4th quarter. That’s when Coach Wittman decided to go with Eddie as his 2-guard.
With the opportunity finally bestowed, Jarell Eddie showed no signs of shyness shooting the ball. He knew who his suppliers of shots were and thus, knew exactly where he needed to be on the floor. It was that easy for him.
And so was the beginning of the 4th quarter onslaught, led by Eddie. His first NBA shot came came by way of Ramon Sessions, who found Eddie curling around the defense for a quick catch-and-shoot 3. Three possessions later, Marcin Gortat dished him the ball for a corner 3. With the Wizards already pulling away midway through the 3rd, Eddie wasn’t finished. He hit two more 3’s in the span of 50 seconds. This triggered audible orgasms from Wizards play-by-play caller Steve Buckhantz on live television, while #WizardsNation gloated in elation.
The Hollywood version of Eddie certainly provided a happy ending for viewers, and Jarell made sure his version did too. The Wizards were barren to the bone, downtrodden by injuries. Jarell Eddie became their salvation.
More sequels to this flick are forthcoming, so stay tuned.