Ren and Stimpy.
In Eric Koreen’s great feature for The Athletic on Delon Wright, DeMar DeRozan tells a reporter that Wright and Fred VanVleet are like Ren and Stimpy. It’s been an ongoing ‘thing’ in the Raptors’ locker room, as the close-knit friendships are labelled and stamped with a pop-culture reference.
Just take into consideration the recent (successful) All-Star campaign for Raptors stars Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. Social media would have you believe that they are better together — in this case, social media is correct — by way of often-crude Photoshops.
Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in Step Brothers. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys. Images of Lowry and DeRozan in place of these actors made the rounds on the Internet, which got me thinking that there’s more here. What if I pair up the other iconic Raptors friendships?
And so I did.
Fred VanVleet and Norman Powell
On the floor, Powell plays a loose cannon game as the one with starting role experience. VanVleet assumes the role of a by-the-book cop with solid fundamentals and textbook defense (of the law). Seriously, this sounds like every buddy cop comedy ever.
So, let’s pick one.
I’ll go with another Will Ferrell movie here because I like the way this comparison works out in my head. It’s 2010’s The Other Guys, which also stars Mark Wahlberg.
VanVleet plays the Will Ferrell straight-man role, the forensic accountant, and Powell plays the Wahlberg character, the cop assigned to desk duty—I mean, bench duty—after shooting Derek Jeter (he’s too loose a cannon!). From there, typical buddy cop stuff still happens. It’s the setup that these two most align with that makes this a story: two oft-overlooked bench players coming out of the woodwork to solve a tough case. For the Raptors, the Cavs are the tough case.
Seeing VanVleet deliver the lion versus tuna monologue would be, oh, so, worth it.
Jakob Poeltl and Pascal Siakam
In finding the most apt comparison for these two, I ran into a bit of trouble. It’s such an easy, fun friendship—movies with these kinds of friendships have far too many bumps in the road for any comparison to be super fair.
So, I’m going to cheat.
These two could hustle people on the streetball courts of Los Angeles (Toronto, if there were enough) like Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes in White Men Can’t Jump—a classic film friendship that won Stanley Kubrick’s heart. [Editor’s note: holy shit, this is true?]
However, there’s an element in that friendship that seems meaner than what Poeltl and Siakam truly have.
For the sweetness factor, we turn to one of my favourites—I’ll really show my youth here: the Billy Crystal-John Goodman partnership—in voice only—of Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan in Monsters, Inc.
Just picture the two in this.
Bonus: DeRozan and Lowry as Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn in Swingers
I didn’t want to lean back to the main Raps friendship, but come on—they’re so money, baby. They’re so money.
Ultimately, there’s nothing quite like having such a likeable Raptors squad. It’s more fun than watching these movies (except maybe White Men Can’t Jump, which is just so much fun).
I think I’ll have to go watch these all again to be certain.
So what are your favourite Raptors-movie friendship comparisons? Sound off in the comments.