The Philadelphia 76ers organized a team building and conditioning workout at the famed Front Street Boxing Gym last week.
You fans of the Rocky franchise and the most recent installment, Creed, may remember the location from its appearance in the 2015 film starring Sly Stallone and Michael B. Jordan as the son of Apollo Creed.
With the Sixers sharing a number of photos and videos from the workout, it got me wondering: which 76ers player would make the best villain in a sequel?
To me, there are two serious contenders for the title.
Joel Embiid and T.J. McConnell for a variety of reasons.
Height: 7-foot-7 (in the film, maybe not exactly the same in real life but VERY close)
Weight: 255 lbs
Muscles: A lot
Embiid is built like Ivan Drago and clearly has the physique to be a punishing fighter. The man is flat-out intimidating. Plus he's from Cameroon and has that sweet accent, so you could use that in some sort of storyline where he's fighting for his continent's pride or something.
"We all from Africa," he frequently says throughout the film. And given the tense political climate in the film with much of the world despising America's leadership, JoJo represents the rare talent and personality that can bring the world together again. We could all afford to do some "changing."
Embiid is the clear favorite as a movie villain who appears sans a shirt and pummels another guy. I'd also shell out $10 to see Embiid in a dance scene at Johnny Brenda's any day of the week. But...
Never count out the scrappy underdog. That's what the theme of Rocky is all about anyway, right?
Weight: 200 lbs
Muscles: Not as much
Enter T.J. McConnell. Nobody ever gave him a chance but here he is, making it in the League/film by being the most blue-collar fighter we've seen since Rocky Balboa himself. Maybe you could come up with some storyline where McConnell is the son Paulie Pennino never knew he had but he somehow convinces Rocky to train him. Then you have the unlikely storyline of Apollo's son vs. Pennino's son fighting for Rocky's love and affection? Plus, he's got incredibly small hands which makes catching chickens very difficult. And maybe he has a secret weapon in a Croatian best friend who you don't see for the first half of the movie because he's overseas and can't get the right visa or something and people start to question whether TJ's Croatian friend even exists. But, much to the chagrin of sports talk radio in Philly, this guy ends up coming over and brings some secret magical fighting technique and some bad facial hair trimmers that really help him against the steely Creed.
I don't know. There's a reason I'm a blogger and not a movie writer.
Check out this sweet clip the Sixers shared from the session though: