Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Comparing NBA Stars and Superheroes

Every time you turn on the TV and see Dwight Howard of the Magic, someone starts calling him Superman. Yes, I saw the "dunk" he had in the dunk contest he won last year with the cape and the cute little outfit and all. But I wouldn't equate Dwight Howard with Superman. Dwight Howard has all sorts of holes in his game: Superman was pretty much indestructible. Dwight Howard was more like He-Man-really strong, buff as hell, agile, but not that awesome. And if Dwight Howard is He-Man, does that make Jameer Nelson Battle Cat? Hmmm, I feel a random list of comparisons of NBA players and Superheroes coming on......

The Incredible Hulk-Shaquille O'neal
The physical comparisons are obvious here. On the court, Shaq is all brute force, strength, and punishment for the opposition. In his prime, he was not only the strongest player ever, but was supremely agile and nimble for his size. But, off the court, he is mild mannered and gentle, not unlike the alter-ego of The Incredible Hulk, Bruce Banner. Sure, Shaq may have asked Kobe to tell him how his ass tastes (I'm guessing salty and foul), but that was all in good fun. Who hasn't asked a loved one to tell them how their ass tastes? Lord knows I have. Shaq regularly volunteers his time to charity and good causes, such as becoming a Deputy Sherrif. But don't make Shaq angry. You wouldn't like him when he's angry.

Batman-Kevin Garnett
The basis for comparing Batman and KG are 2. Anger and Intensity. Have you ever watched KG out on the court? No one brings the intensity more than him. KG trash talks himself more than any other player in the league trash talks anyone else. Batman doesn't talk trash, per se, but he is an intense dude. He is cordial enough as Bruce Wayne, but as Batman he is a total bad-ass. Batman has a rage and an anger behind what he does that is imitated by KG on the court. The on-court microphones pick up KG saying the F word more than the rest of the players in the league combined. (But not more than Jerry Sloan.) Like Bruce Wayne, KG seems like a nice guy most of the time, but when it's time to put on the uniform, it's all crazy-ass business.

Spider Man-Dwayne Wade
Who doesn't love Spidey? He may not be the biggest or strongest superhero, but he gets the job done with tenacity, mad agility, and brains. The same can be said for Dwayne Wade. He isn't the biggest guard, but he is the perfect blend of speed, power and athleticism. He is extremely intense, and that intensity makes up for a suspect jump shot. Wade just keeps bringing it at you like you are Mr. Sandman or Dr. Octopus. Fall Seven times, get up eight. (whatever the hell that means.)

Wolverine-Kobe Bryant
As a child, my favorite superhero, by far, was Wolverine. Wolverine is the ultimate bad-ass. He is extremely strong and tenacious, and every time he gets knocked down, he gets right up and comes back for more. He has a mean streak that is legendary among superheroes. Kobe is no different. He's the second best blend of size,power, speed, and athleticism in the NBA (to LeBron James, with D-Wade a close 3rd),and he just goes and goes and goes all night long. Hell, anyone who scored 81 points in a game can be trusted to be a cold blooded assassin. Kobe is kind of an outsider and is known to have a legendary temper, like Wolverine. Kobe, by escaping all of the negativity that has come his way, has proven that he, like Wolverine, is basically indestructible.

Superman-LeBron James
Now we've gotten to the true Superman of the NBA, LeBron James. James is clearly the best player in the league, and does things that no other player has ever done. He was the best player ever for his age at 18,19,20,21,22, and 23. He is the best 4th quarter player in the league and has been for years, as evidenced by actual statistics, not just some rambling asses on the TV calling Kobe Bryant "the best closer in the game." (better shooting, passing, rebounding, +/- , lower turnovers, more blocks and steals, but hey, what do stats show?) Now, when you look at Superman, you see a near perfect specimen. Big, strong, basically invincible. Except for Kryptonite. Well, outside shooting is LeBron James' Kryptonite. Oh well, LeBron might be even better than Superman someday, as he can always improve his outside shooting, Superman could never get over Kryptonite.

Optimus Prime-Tim Duncan
I'm going to swipe this directly from Wikipedia to describe Optimus Prime:
Optimus Prime is depicted as a heroic, brave and compassionate character who puts all his talent to use to improve the world around him. Optimus has a strong sense of justice and righteousness, and has dedicated himself to the protection of all life, particularly the inhabitants of Earth; he will battle his foes with unyielding resolve to uphold this belief.
Doesn't that basically describe Tim Duncan? He is heroic, brave and seemingly as righteous as they come. His fundamentals are just and although they do not literally protect Earth, they protect the foundations of the game from devolving into street ball. Sure, there was that one time when he said the NBA dress code was "basically retarded," but who cares? I'm sure he's shown tons of compassion to "retards" everywhere.

Now, no list of NBA Superheroes would be complete without mentioning the worst "superhero" of all time, and his NBA comparison, so here goes:

Robin-Brian Scalabrine
Does Robin actually have any super powers? Not that I know of. His only real skill is that of being an albatross hung around the neck of Batman. Dude is always causing Batman loads of problems. Same with Scal. He is such a joke of an NBA player that now, every time he gets the ball the fans, in mockery, start cheering for him to shoot. He has actually become a caricature of himself, which is saying something as he was already basically just a caricature of a big red-headed quasi-NBA player.

Please feel free to add your own in the comment section.


mookie said...

Is Stephon Marbury the Joker?

Great post... I love this topic!

Football Fanatics said...

Great topic, though I would have liked to see more. Where's Ironman, Ghost Rider and the Silver Surfer?

Jim said...

Derek Fisher could be compared to the Ant-Man who is from the League of Secondary Marvel Heroes. Like the Ant-Man, Fisher is a little guy with massive biceps who's role is more as a second tier player than a front line kick-ass kind of guy.

By the way, Ant rhymes with can't, which kind of rhymes with cancer, which is probably what the Ant-man will die of some day due to his prolonged exposure to shrinking gas, and it is what Derek Fisher used (his kid's cancer) to get out of his contract with the Jazz.

Joel said...

Great article. All of your choices were good, but Tim Duncan as Optimus Prime is just fantastic.

Che said...

Hey Boyd,

Remember that time Wolverine totally raped Jubilee in a Colorado hotel room, and then got away with it due to Jubilee's trampy credentials? In-des-tructable! At least he made up for it by buying Jean Grey a huge rock and getting a ridiculous tattoo on his arm. Zoom-zoom-zoom-zoom!

ethanator1088 said...

Robin-Brian = Scalabrine. That was nice touch.

Anonymous said...

Lebron James as superman?? only Michael Jordan should be mentioned as him,not LeCrab. Oh n by the way anyone who's ever watched more than a quarter of basketball would say that Kobe is much better in the fourth.. and just better period.