Photo Credit: @NBACanada on Twitter
Get in, loser, we’re going to match personalities from the Toronto Raptors to characters featured in one of the most iconic films from the 2000s — Mean Girls.
While going 27-45 just two years after winning the franchise’s first NBA championship isn’t as fun as going to Taco Bell, we did get to learn a little more about the players driving this Raptors squad and the new additions acquired before the trade deadline.
From The Plastics to the art freaks, Toronto has no shortage of players who could have filled roles in an NBA version of this legendary teen comedy. That’s why I decided to use my Tuesday evening to re-watch the movie that made me realize I was the dumb jock in high school.
Who would claim the lead role of innocent Cady Heron? Who could take the place of Regina George and her “skank army?”
Let’s dig in.
Cady Heron: Gary Trent Jr.
To be clear, Gary Trent Jr. isn’t the typical naïve teenager, succumbing to every little bit of peer pressure that school bullies could throw at him.
But he is the new guy on the block with something to prove after Toronto traded Norman Powell for him before this year’s trade deadline.
Trent is also the type of player to fit into a locker room almost immediately and gel with the different personalities on a new roster. Although Cady wasn’t seen as a “normal” teenager when she arrived at North Shore High School, the audience could notice that she was able to fit in with the different types of groups she found — The Plastics, the art freaks and the mathletes.
I can’t say that Cady can match Trent’s swag factor, but as the token new guy, it wouldn’t be the worst casting for this role.
Regina George: Kyle Lowry
Regina George is seen as cruel but smart, manipulative but motivating, and crazy but charismatic.
Kyle Lowry is not, by any account, a Mean Girl or a Plastic but he does portray some of the leadership characteristics of a Regina. The difference is she displays these strengths to mask her nefarious intentions — Lowry just uses them to win basketball games.
Lowry is also seen as the leader of the Raptors’ version of a “big three” with Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam as his own “army of skanks.”
He’s basically the version of Regina the audience sees after she got hit by that bus and in the final scene when all the characters are finally nice to each other and a new generation of Plastics rise up.
Gretchen Wieners: Fred VanVleet
Wieners. Ha, comedy.
Anyway, because I already mentioned that VanVleet and Siakam are Lowry’s “army of skanks,” I think VanVleet would be best cast as Gretchen Wieners — the girl who knows everyone’s secrets. Because of how close “Steady Freddy” is with Lowry and the rest of the team, he probably knows a thing or two about each teammate that they’d rather keep quiet about.
Gretchen is Regina’s second-in-command; kind of like the Robin to her Batman. That relationship has been seen over the years with Lowry and VanVleet after DeMar DeRozan was dealt to the San Antonio Spurs, leaving KLOW to lead the team.
Not only that, but we also saw that both Gretchen — she told off Regina after wearing sweatpants on a Monday, breaking the plastics’ rule of only wearing sweatpants on Fridays — and VanVleet can lead their squad in the absence of their trusted leader.
Karen Smith: Pascal Siakam
Next to Damian, I thought Karen Smith was one of the funnier characters in the movie. From what I’ve seen on interviews and during games, I think Siakam is the most comical player on the Raptors.
He’s definitely not the oblivious, dumb blonde that Karen plays, but Siakam kind of seems like a guy who doesn’t always know what’s going on. Sportsnet interviewed a number of Raptors players in October 2017 and both VanVleet and Jakob Poeltl said Siakam is the worst trash talker on the team because he’ll talk a lot but no one will understand what he’s saying.
And as the third member of what I believe to be the Raptors’ big three, Spicy P fits into the third Plastics role.
Mrs. George: Nick Nurse
Coach Nurse isn’t like a regular mom, he’s a cool mom.
His hump day treat isn’t a cocktail but rather his guitar skills. No really, Nurse is a very talented musician. He even performed alongside the band, Arkells, at the Budweiser Stage in Toronto in 2019.
For Mrs. George, happy hour is from 4pm to 6pm. Nurse’s happy hour is whatever time it was during the Raptors’ NBA championship celebration in downtown Toronto.
Other than that, there aren’t really many similarities between the two. He’s obviously more of an authoritarian than the careless Mrs. George but he isn’t exactly Gregg Popovich since Lowry pretty much runs the team right now.
Damian: Aron Baynes
In one of the opening scenes of Mean Girls, Janis Ian, Damian’s best friend, tells Cady that Damian is “too gay to function.”
Well, Aron Baynes was too in the way to function this season.
His shooting was poor, his rebounding was unimpressive and he didn’t seem to fit in as the starting center that everyone thought he’d be last fall. Many Raptors including Lowry, VanVleet and Siakam had negative net ratings when Baynes was on the floor. When he was on the bench, those ratings flipped to the positive side.
Yes, I only compared Damian to Baynes to use the “function” line. The two don’t really have other similarities other than the fact that they’re both the largest people on their roster or cast.
Wrapping it up
There was no one I could find that could match with Janis Ian. Maybe Serge Ibaka? But he’s no longer on the team.
This list is very arguable and there are a few players who could replace the guys listed above. For example, Fred VanVleet could potentially play a few other roles such as Karen Smith and Janis Ian, opening up the door for other unnamed Raptors to fill roles. OG Anunoby’s reserved nature could also be a good fit as Cady.
The Mean Girls character list is probably not the closest thing to an NBA roster but I think we could make something more exciting than the Raptors 2020-21 season with this cast.