A couple of weeks ago, our guy Josh Kern came to me with an idea to assign Game of Thrones characters to each of the Toronto Raptors. It was the type of idea we’d done before — both for Star Wars and the X-Men — but I’m not as well-versed in HBO’s hit show so I was a bit cool towards the idea. I regret this now because, well, it would have been fun to see Josh try to do it (and because of my craven SEO instincts).
In any case, now it’s Friday, on the eve of the tense second round of the NBA playoffs, so let’s cut loose.
In that spirit, and since everyone is in the process of trying to see, why not find appropriate comparisons for the Raptors as Avengers? I happened to see Avengers: Endgame earlier this week — with some thoughts on it here (spoiler alert: it’s not bad) — and it set my mind turning. Also, again, it’s Friday, and we need to relax.
So who are the Raptors as the Avengers? Please assemble, and follow me.
Kyle Lowry - Ironman
These two lead by way of unceasing activity, and with just enough of an endlessly quipping, cranky asshole-vibe to be both endearing and annoying. They’re also both super smart, and have more weapons than you’d think at first glance.
Danny Green - Black Widow
The quintessential supporting character. Not quite able to deal the big punishing blows by themselves (unless Green starts hitting every 3 or Black Widow gets to fight a bunch of regular mercenary dudes), but capable and useful and nice to have around.
Kawhi Leonard - Dr. Strange
Aloof, weird, all-powerful — but also mysterious. Each and every time Dr. Strange is on-hand can feel both comforting and disconcerting for his squad. Ditto for Kawhi. We’re also never sure if either of them will stick around, or jump through a portal to another dimension.
Pascal Siakam - Spider-Man
Young and energetic, with an impossible skill-set he seems to be discovering in real time. I’m talking about Siakam, of course; but if Spider-Man could hoop (can Spider-Man hoop?) one would assume he’d model his game after Spicy P.
Marc Gasol - Hulk
Lovably large, a tad oafish, but underneath: a massive heart and an even larger brain.
Serge Ibaka - Thor
This, to me, is the most perfect comp. Both of these men fancy themselves as gods, and both carry themselves with the extreme confidence inherent to that belief. And not for nothing, both Serge and Chris Hemsworth are the most handsome guys around.
Fred VanVleet - Hawkeye
A confident if perhaps overwhelmed sharpshooter — though neither would ever admit it — both the Raptors and the Avengers are glad to have this time around for the stretch drive.
OG Anunoby - Black Panther
Aside from their shared African ancestry, both figures exude a competence that is hidden until the exact moment it is needed. Also, both only speak when they really have to.
Norman Powell - Scarlet Witch
Both contain extremely high levels of chaos energy that aren’t exactly possible to explain. I still don’t quite know what the Scarlet Witch is fully capable of and guess what: the same goes for Norm!
Jodie Meeks - Ant-Man
Little guy, likes to zip around and take shots at people/the basketball hoop. It fits!
Patrick McCaw - Nebula
Both worked with and for the enemy (e.g. Thanos and the Warriors) and both bring a certain off-kilter energy to whatever they’re involved in. Can we totally trust Nebula? How about McCaw? Think about it.
Jeremy Lin - War Machine
You thought I was going to say Wong didn’t you. Come on! Lin is definitely a stand-in for War Machine; both he and James Rhodes have seen some things in their service time, and both are walking a tad wounded today.
Eric Moreland - Bucky Barnes
Went away, came back, is kind of scary but can also be a good guy. Both may still contain a lot of rage (though Moreland may wear more of it on his sleeve).
Chris Boucher - Groot
Both have long limbs, are almost clueless in their recklessness, and are lovable figures. Neither are exactly someone to rely on, but it’s cool they’re both around.
Malcolm Miller - Okoye
Just a reliable, good soldier with a dry sense of humour.
Nick Nurse - Captain America
Both are inspirational figures for their squads and big believers in a relaxed but fearsome can-do spirit. Nurse doesn’t have Cap’s jawline, but he’s got a bit of that corn-fed 40’s American shine to him, right? And if you flipped the speeches each has delivered recently, they wouldn’t sound entirely out of place. (Though I’m positive Nurse can’t take a Thanos-sized punch.)
And there you have it. We did it again. The Raptors as the Avengers. Enjoy your Friday, and enjoy the movie if that is indeed what you’re into.