The Bro’s Bowl: Rick Fox v. Doug Christie
From popular movements for world peace, we move now to legendary violence and earth-shattering brawls of the titans! Well, a slapfight of the titans, anyways.
Rick Fox and Doug Christie. Not your father’s heavyweights, eh?
Throughout the peak of the Kings-Lakers rivalry of the early 2000s, these two were never more than the fourth option on their respective teams, but somehow their ongoing personal rivalry came to summarize much of the team-level conflict – they hated each other, weren’t going home without making that clear, and never really settled it definitively.
There isn’t enough video of the post-ejection fight in the Staples Center locker room tunnel to declare a winner, and more importantly, we at HT have adopted the philosophy of Metta World Peace, so we’re going to resort to calling this one by what’s measurable, judging the winner based not on violent capability, but rather on widely-respected qualities of well-rounded citizens of our fine country. Mr. Peace would be proud.
The end of an NBA career tends to bifurcate players into two groups: those who fatten slowly and leave their legacy at that, and those who have unfinished business, quite literally. Christie and Fox both landed in the latter, with money yet to be made via fame and fashion, and starting directly after The Punch, we evaluate their respective claims to shame.
First, the rules, as agreed upon by the judges:
- Best of five match, with categories to be decided at random.
- Substance bans will be enforced, with special attention paid to Axe sprays and hair gels.
- In the event of a tied match, Robert Horry will be the deciding factor.
- Appealing the judges’ decisions is not worth the time.
And so it begins…
Game 1: Web Savvy, Personal Branding, Including Spelling and Grammar
Flash enabled – point for both. Seamless integration of social media – Fox yes, Christie no. Date of copyright on website – 2009 for Christie, 2010 for Fox. Both lose points for failing to update.
Rick Fox earns a perfect score on spelling, showing no mistakes on his website, and only commonly accepted abbreviations on his Twitter feed. Doug Christie takes the opposite route, misspelling three, um, middle school words.
If said errors are the result of self-authorship, Christie receives compensation points for recession-era resourcefulness by doing his own work. If they are the result of hiring a low-quality ghost writer, Christie is at fault. Either way, he can’t beat perfect.
The judges award Rick Fox a solemn nod of acknowledgment, and Doug Christie a Ninth Edition Professional English-Bro Bro-English Translation Dictionary.
Thus does Rick Fox steal an early victory and a 1-0 series lead, as literally tens of fans cheer him on.
Game 2: The Movie Scene
Rick Fox has played decent roles in several movies, notably He Got Game and Blue Chips. He’s usually in the character of a basketball player, and why not? But he’s also pretty funny in a wide open role playing himself. Watch an example here:
Doug Christie counters with…nothing.
So it’s Rick Fox with a commanding 2-0 lead. Will Doug Christie even get on the board in this contest?
Game 3: Hustle, Work Ethic, Peskiness
Christie has a significant edge over Fox in points per game during their shared time in the league, but even rookie HT readers know that points aren’t everything. We care about getting on the ground and diving for loose balls, making a point that there’s a game beyond the game.
And Doug Christie still wins.
For seven consecutive seasons, beginning in 1996-97, Doug Christie was in the NBA’s top five in steals per game. For four consecutive seasons beginning in 2000-01, he was on the NBA’s first or second All-Defensive Team. Rick Fox had one season among the top five in steals, but has no other noteworth hustle stats, and even loses points for three straight seasons in the top ten in personal fouls.
Doug Christie fends off the sweep, tightening the series to 2-1, and the judges award a public viewing of a nasty fast break initiated by his steal:
Game 4: Indie Cred
Doug Christie was born underground, and you probably never heard about it. He was a Pepperdine Wave in college, drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics (vintage shirts now abound), and played for several of the NBA’s notable mini-market teams, including the Toronto Raptors and Sacramento Kings. His lone major media appearance was a BET reality show featuring his family life, hardly a mainstream outlet.
Rick Fox, on the other hand, appeared in nothing but big markets throughout his career. He played college ball as a Tar Heel, came into the NBA as a Celtic, and is largely remembered for spending the second half of his career with the Lakers. He manages to make this a close decision by having the real name Ulrich Alexander Fox and by missing his senior year of high school basketball due to ineligibility stemming from excessive playing time in the Bahamas, but it’s not quite enough to overcome his history as an obvious sellout.
The judges award Doug Christie non-prescription glasses and a vintage MacBook, and we move into the fifth and deciding game set to the theme song of NBA on NBC Sunday doubleheader.
GAME 5: BRO-OFF.
Bring out your headshots. First to make everyone cringe wins.
Good Lord, Rick Fox. This series was never even close.