A group of men, all from different backgrounds, personalities, and talents, coming together as one to take down all who come in their way of achieving their goals. These men may or may not like each other, but for this common goal they put aside their differences to face their competition as a unit, for the glory of their homes. As you may guess from the title, I’m talking about the US Men’s Olympic Basketball team, but doesn’t that sound like the Avengers? Sure they don’t have super powers, but compared to us, their basketball talents are a special gift that we do not, possibly can not, possess. The Avengers defend the Earth, these athletes defend the pride of the US. Is it possible that I’m just so obsessed with the Avengers that I was bored enough to come up with this? Sure, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that there are a few similarities between our US starting lineup and the Avengers team. In celebration of the NBA Playoffs, the upcoming Olympics and the release of the Avengers movie, I bring you your 2012 Men’s Olympic Basketball Team/Avengers:
Iron Man = Kobe Bryant
Tony Stark is a snarky genius billionaire playboy philanthropist who uses a suit of armor to combat his foes. Kobe Bryant is a snarky intelligent millionaire basketball player. They don’t take shit from anyone, they make their own rules and they live their lives however they please. Tony built a device to keep himself alive and does battle in a suit of armor. Kobe’s body has been repaired and reconstructed so many times, it’s pretty much become a suit of armor, as no matter how hard he gets hit he finds a way to repair himself and get back to playing. Kobe gives zero fucks about what you (or his teammates) think or say, and Tony has never been much of a team player himself. Both Tony and Kobe are the “Golden Boys” of their teams, the veterans, and whether you like them or not, they will demand and receive their respect. Their arsenal of moves is somewhat unmatched and while they each have their own personal issues, they never let it affect how they perform. Media conference? You can always expect a sly remark from Tony and Kobe alike. There can only be one Iron Man, and there can only be one Kobe Bean Bryant.
Captain America = Chris Paul/Kevin Durant
The leader of the team, the guy you can always count on to put you in the right direction and put the team on his back when needed. Tends to shy away from the spotlight, and his only goal is to perform to the best of his ability and guide his squad to victory. It would be hard for you to find anyone who dislikes him, because it seems like he can do no wrong in the eyes of the people. Need a last minute savior? Durantula will make the shot. Need an assist? CP3 will dish you one. Need a hand? Cap will do better and toss you his shield. The short (CP3) scrawny (Durant) guy who people overlooked at first, but when he got his big chance he rose above and beyond what people expected. He may never call himself the leader, but everyone else will. He isn’t the strongest physically, but he has the strongest will and the strongest sense of what is right. The Avengers, nor the US men’s team, would look as good or as strong without either of these stars.
Thor = LeBron James/Russell Westbrook
Now I’m not completely sure if Westbrook will be on the team, but due to the Derrick Rose injury *cue the tears of Bulls fans everywhere*, I think he has a good chance of making it. Thor is the God of Thunder and self-proclaimed King of Asgard. In an earlier point of his life he lacked humility, believing all to be beneath him and he always thought himself to be the destined king long before the opportunity arose. LeBron James is the self proclaimed King as well. A midst all of his talent, his finesse, and his ability to flat out overpower anyone, he has not completely won the rights to be labeled as such. LeBron has talents with a basketball that people can only dream of having, just as Thor’s skills with his hammer are unmatched. Although LeBron used to be very immature, he has grown up into the slightly humbler person, much like Thor. Westbrook,on the other hand, has more of the younger version of Thor in him. Westbrook has a flashy sense of arrogance to his game, playing as if he is the King of his court, the ruler of the Oklahoma City Thunder (God of Thunder = ruler of Thunder, tell me you made that connection). As a lot of analysts have said, Westbrook has some growing up to do, which is similar to Thor is his younger days.
The Incredible Hulk = Dwyane Wade/Blake Griffin
Now this is probably the most difficult (and far fetched) comparison to make. The Hulk is a beast. He walks a path of destruction, taking out anything in his way, sometimes with disregard for safety of his allies. This is where the comparison with Blake lies. Blake is also a beast. He may not look as jacked as some of the other players on the team, but what Blake does to his opposition in the paint is a marvel (pun intended). Hulk smash, Blake smash. Now for Wade, this is more so the Bruce Banner/Hulk metamorphosis. Wade is an intelligent player. He can pick apart defenses and make the players around him look stupid, but when Wade gets angry, he goes off. The mild mannered Wade becomes a cold killer on the court and when that happens it’s usually a wrap for whoever is in his way.
Hawkeye = Chris Bosh/Tyson Chandler
Not sure if Chandler is on the Olympic team, but he better be. Bosh and Chandler play the pivotal Hawkeye role of the team. Hawkeye is the silent Avenger. He doesn’t speak much and he stays out of the spotlight, but everyone who works with him knows that the unit wouldn’t be as strong without him. Hawkeye’s pin point accuracy allows him to always hit his target and can always be relied on to play his specific role in the group. Bosh and Chandler play their respective roles superbly. Bosh will get you 18 & 7 any given night as a role player, and everyone knows how great of a player he was as the first option. He’ll hit the mid range jumper you need him to hit and never do anything to negatively affect the team chemistry. Chandler plays his role as defensive anchor to the T, being the main reason the Mavericks won the championship last year, and without him the Knicks probably wouldn’t be in the playoffs. Bosh & Chandler don’t get as much credit as they deserve, playing the roles of quiet killer, the Hawkeye.
Nick Fury = Coach K
Who else would it be? Coach Krzyzewski makes the key decisions on who will be in the team and everyone knows what he expects. Like Nick Fury, he doesn’t play around and tells it like it is. He demands greatness from everyone on the team and will not tolerate those who aren’t there for the right reasons. Nick Fury jumps in the action whenever he can, and you can be damn sure if Coach K could play in the game along with his team he would.
I know this was a long article and there could be much more said about each of these comparison, but after reading this I find it hard to believe that you couldn’t at least agree with some of my notions. If you agree with what I’ve said, or think I’ve placed someone in the wrong role, feel free to drop a comment. The Avengers have assembled and shattered box office records and may continue to do so as summer blockbuster season goes on, now let’s hope team USA can shatter the competition as well.