Reasonable arguments can be made by reasonable people that my two favorite things in the whole universe are basketball and the movies collected from the fast furious franchise. This may seem strange to you. It may sound unhealthy. I can understand that. I can even accept it. But, like, Ludacris and Tyrese went to space in a NoS-powered Pontiac, you know? I am helpless in the face of this kind of cinematic spectacle. I feel good about it.
And so what I’m going to do here, for a number of really good reasons that I don’t have to explain to any of you, is rank most of the main characters in the franchise based on their level of basketball, I think they are or could be. That’s all. Nothing else happens here. Please re-read this paragraph to be sure you know what you are getting into.
A few preliminary notes:
26. Queenie Shaw
I think it’s really cool that these silly car racing movies have just been added and add the panic of Dame Helen Mirren something like 15 to 20 years after the first one started and I think that’s extremely cool that they let her drive a car in F9 after she shamed them in the press while promoting Fate of the furious.
But unfortunately for Mirren, Fast 8 won’t put her behind the wheel. “I wanted to drive, but unfortunately I don’t,” she shrugs. “Maybe it will come in the future, in Fast and Furious 12.” She pauses. “I’m probably one of the few people on set who knows how to drive a shift car. I doubt the Rock knows that,” she jokes. “But I do. I know how to double walkout.
That said, I don’t see any situation where a character played by Helen Mirren is good at basketball. I say this with nothing but admiration and respect. Also, I kind of wanted to write about her first. So here we are.
25. Mia Toretto
Hmm. No. I can not see him.
24. Owen Shaw
23. Deckard Shaw
It could be unfair. The Shaw brothers are criminal masterminds and appear to be reasonably athletic. At the very least, one would assume that they would know how to cheat to succeed on a basketball court. But my ranking reflects three important factors:
- I feel like they would have grown up playing football
- I can’t for the life of me imagine Jason Statham shooting a basketball
- It’s kinda funny for me to put ’em under, like, Roman
So it’s settled.
It’s the guys played by Tego Calderon and Don Omar who show up and bicker and fight like kids. I love them a lot. Part of me wants them to have their own spin-off TV series. Maybe an anime. I would watch it while eating cereal.
They are not good at basketball.
20. Sean Boswell
19. Elena Neves
Sean (the main character of Tokyo Drift who was added to the main cast for F9) and Elena (the cop from Fast Five who popped up here and there, sometimes with more blonde hair) both look like limited players to me. For example, I suspect Sean can shoot but has no lateral quickness and can’t play defense. Elena, on the other hand, strikes me as a scrappy defender with limited attacking play.
If you could combine them, you would have a solid player. Which is a fair note to make because we absolutely can’t rule out that these movies feature some kind of science machine that smashes characters together to create super-powered eight-limbed crime fighters. You know I’m right.
18. Romain Pearce
A basketball game on an outdoor court. Roman talks about waste. So much waste. He popped in 20 minutes ago and keeps reminding people. But then someone makes a move and comes flying into the lane. And Roman doesn’t see it. And just as Roman turns BLAMMO around, he gets drenched in something vicious. Then he moaned a lot. And go home.
It happens every time.
17. Giselle Yachar
Ranked ahead of Roman for three important reasons:
- I believe in Gal Gadot
- I could see her as some kind of stretch-four doing threes and blocking shots
- I believe, based on nothing but vibes, she could perform a decent Eurostep
Let’s move on.
16. Dominique Toretto
15. Luke Hobbs
Am I putting these two together just to use this image? Maybe. Do I think it’s extremely funny to put The Rock in the same place in front of Vin Diesel? I do. Would I pay something like $100 for a video of the two of them playing a one-on-one game in an otherwise empty gymnasium? Yes. I will go higher if necessary.
Dominic Toretto was the hardest ranking on the board for me. From afar. On the one hand, I don’t believe Vin Diesel can play basketball, not at all, not even a little. On the other hand, I know for sure that if a basketball scene is written in one of these movies, he will, in defiance of all logic and common sense, rain down threes on his opponents and maybe catch an alley-oop and dunk it with such force that it breaks the panel. Even if the panel is metal.
Vin Diesel is a fascinating man.
13. Monica Fuentes
Let’s eliminate them quickly:
- Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) is a nerdy hacker who probably never played basketball but I rate her so high because I feel like she could pick it up fast
- Monica (Eva Mendes) definitely played point guard in high school and led her team to the second round of the state playoffs
- Twinkie (Bow Wow) probably shouldn’t be ranked this high, but I saw Like mike and it clouds my judgment so here we are
I kind of stand by all of that and none of that.
11. Letty Ortiz
Huge Draymond Green vibes from Letty. Like, she displays horrible stats. Averages 7 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists in every game, but his +/- is sort of a +34. Strong defense. Don’t take no shit from anyone. Can cheat a little when the ref isn’t watching. Makes everyone on the field better by a factor of three.
Just a winner.
10. Johnny Tran
Johnny Tran, the villain of the first movie about 20 years ago, really grew up watching counterfeit copies of VHS And 1 Mixtapes and spent hours practicing Hot Sauce moves in his driveway.
You will never convince me otherwise.
9. Hattie Shaw
8. Knowledge of Brixton
Two characters from Hobbs and Shaw. The two Brits. Both are ranked higher than you would expect, given my ranking of other Shaw family members and my stance that they probably grew up watching football instead of basketball. That said, I have them in my top ten for two reasons:
- Brixton (Idris Elba) was literally powered by some kind of glowing cyber stuff that made him kinda superhuman, and I bet he could do a lot of sick dunks
- I think it would be funny if Hattie (Vanessa Kirby) could just destroy her two basketball brothers
Not to be debated.
7. Han Lue
Han, dribbling up the key with one hand while holding a bag of Flamin Hot Cheetos in the other, does a little casual left-right pass out with his upper body to unbalance his defender, dribble twice to his right, then raises his left leg for a running right-handed float that glides across the basket so smoothly it barely moves the net.
He briefly admires her then puts another Cheeto in his mouth.
6. Jacob Toretto
Jakob Toretto is played by John Cena and is Dominic Toretto’s evil secret brother, which is great fun to type and tell people. I know this because I do it a lot. I like to imagine him playing basketball alone in his driveway in the late 90s, listening to Eminem and wearing nylon shorts so huge he can’t dribble between his legs without the ball getting stuck in the fabric .
DK, the villain of Tokyo Driftcan dunk, and nothing you say will change my position on that.
4. Mr Nobody
Mr. Nobody is played by Kurt Russell and is older than everyone on this list except the character Helen Mirren, who I ranked last. Still. We know so little about him. He’s mysterious and seems to be good at a lot of things and I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if he called everyone up in one day and just shot hoops while explaining a situation to them and made about 46 consecutive free throws during his speech.
A bit the opposite of this scene from Bad Boys.
Hmm. It’s almost like I did all of this just so I could post this scene here. Still. Almost like it was my favorite scene in any movie. Almost as if I occasionally mumbled, “You’re him, I don’t want to hear it, you’re him.” And you, you are you, you are you, but not in front of her. You’re him, you’re you” to no one while reheating leftovers in the microwave.
I wouldn’t even be a little surprised if the next movie in this deranged franchise opens with her spinning a basketball on her finger while hatching a new plan for world domination. Maybe do that thing where you move the spinning ball from finger to finger without interrupting its spin. Maybe with a giant aquarium full of sharks behind her.
I hope she has a Mohawk this time.
2. Tej Parker
What I believe:
- Tej (Ludacris) can do a lot of sick dribbling tricks
- Tej can bomb all three like crazy
- Tej is basically Steph Curry
Don’t take that from me.
1. Brian O’Conner
Brian O’Conner scored 2,000 points as a high school basketball player. Brian O’Conner was offered a number of Division I basketball scholarships. Brian O’Conner was about to accept one of them (I assume it was UCLA), but he then blew his knee while playing basketball on graduation night. Brian O’Conner was never the same athletically after that, at least not consistently. Brian O’Conner finally gave up on his basketball dreams and enrolled in the police academy and one thing led to another and now here we are.
But still today, many years later, if the weather is nice and the air pressure doesn’t make his knee a little sticky and tight, Brian O’Conner could drop 40 points in a recreational league game. without sweating.
I’m as sure of every statement in this section as I am that Ludacris and Tyrese went to space in a NoS-powered Pontiac.