My first two loves in childhood were basketball and wrestling. While my interest in both have fluctuated over the years, both play a large role in my life these days. It’s quite frankly the only reason I still own a television.
Happy NBA opening night!!!
These are indeed my rankings of how the NBA teams will finish in the standings with a wrestling twist as many of us center in the venn diagram of hoops and pro wrestling love. You can check out last week’s Eastern Conference edition here.
1. San Antonio Spurs are The Undertaker
Old and awesome. That’s the motto they follow. I would say the NBA equivalent of the Undertaker’s undefeated Wrestlemania streak is the Spurs current streak of winning 50+ games for the past 14 seasons. You see the critics doubt them every year.
In Undertaker’s case, it’s shots at his age, weight, in ring shape and questioning his ability but he has by far the best match on every Wrestlemania. Age is always the doubt with the Spurs but Tim Duncan having an Undertaker WM performance all season last year showed just how great he still is. San Antonio will put most of their West counterparts in a casket this year.
The Spurs also have used Undertaker’s theme song for the introductions of their opponents with the emphasis that they are dead men walking.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder are Randy Orton
I’m a huge Kevin Durant fan so it pains me to say this. The Thunder’s rise to the top tier of the NBA was similar to Randy Orton’s ascension to being the youngest World Champ in WWE history. Everyone loved them because they showed potential with a ceiling we very rarely see in their respective fields.
The plight of Randy Orton started after everyone began to view him with a higher expectation he was never able to truly fulfill. Soon after he started to face injuries (Russell Westbrook), attitude problems (Russell Westbrook) and just flat out not being better than the counterpart face of the brand.
Last week, we touched on the Cena to LeBron comparison and it’s true here again. Orton had no chance at surpassing Cena and it’s looking like a very difficult task for Kevin Durant to get his ring in the near future with LeBron dominating the league. I have hope for him and expect him to eventually win it all but in the short term, he’s the Orton to Cena’s LBJ.
3. LA Clippers are The Rockers
Taking it old school for this one. Chris Paul is one of the three best players in the NBA and a sure fire Hall of Famer. His main partner to lead the Clippers, Blake Griffin? Not so much. He’s the Marty Jannetty of this team.
I don’t think he’s a great or dynamic player and will always fall short of expectations needed to be to take this team to the title picture. The Clippers will make for a great team but I can’t see them making the finals unless Griffin really proves me wrong and throws me through a glass window.
4. Houston Rockets are Antonio Cesaro
The Rockets are one of the most exciting teams to watch because they have a very talented roster of various skill sets, they are new to the scene and it’s fun to see how far they go. Their ceiling is high and the mystery of seeing if they can reach it is its own storyline for NBA fans. These are the same traits that has Antonio Cesaro currently being one of the most must see wrestlers on WWE right now. Zeb Colter plays the Dwight Howard here with the over the top heel persona.
5. Golden State Warriors are Sin Cara
High octane offense and providing awe-inspiring excitement are what Sin Cara/Mistico was to bring to the table. There was large hype surrounding him when he debuted in WWE before injuries and his unorthodox style got the better of him. I hope I’m wrong as I love Stephen Curry but injuries have nagged him throughout his career and for the Warriors to win, it would have to be in a way it’s never been done before. The hype is a little high considering they were a 6 seed last year and faced an injured Denver team to advance a round. There’s also the blue and yellow color scheme connection.
6. Memphis Grizzlies are Mark Henry
They will wreck your shit. The last wrestler I’d want to fight in a dark alley is Mark Henry. Sames for the Memphis Grizzlies and Zach Randolph. In general, the Grizzlies are a throw back team that wins by beating you up.
7. New Orleans Pelicans are Fandango
The weird name is the first thing most notice about each but it uniquely fits them perfectly. Fandango’s an unproven but very talented wrestler who I see doing big things in a few years. Anthony Davis and the Pelicans could be a top West team in a few years. If Ryan Anderson can bust out some sick dance moves whenever he hits a three, he will be the official Summer Rae of New Orleans.
8. LA Lakers are Triple H
They don’t get buried, brother. They do the burying! I don’t know how I can argue they are better than the other West teams in this range especially with Bryant out. Logic is not on my side. But logic wasn’t on the side of Triple H defeating Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania. They find a way. Kobe may break out a sledgehammer when facing Dwight Howard for the first time in Houston. If only Phil Jackson was back, we would have worked in the boss’s daughter tie in. Damn you, D’Antoni.
Now for the non-playoff teams…
These are also in order.
9. Denver Nuggets are Alberto Del Rio
When previewing the West playoff picture, you forget just how much regular season success has Denver accomplished recently and you sort of write them off for whichever of the next few teams you consider a more sexy option. Story of Del Rio’s current position with fans in WWE.
10. Minnesota Timberwolves are R-Truth
I like Kevin Love but this team is just there. I can’t see them being that good or that bad. Just a middle of the road team. That’s “what’s up.”
11. Dallas Mavericks are AJ Styles
This was originally meant to be WWE wrestlers only but I felt the comparison was too spot on to pass up. AJ Styles is still as great as ever. I watched TNA Bound For Glory again the other night before making this comparison but the only thing on that card that delivered was AJ’s performance. Much like Dirk Nowitzki is still a GREAT player but he’s all alone. Playing with a rag tag group of guys like Monta Ellis, Samuel Dalembert and old age Vince Carter, it feels like he’s wasting the last years of his prime carrying a dying team on his back and unfortunately that’s what AJ Styles has been paralleling lately.
12. Portland Trailblazers are Air Boom
This is more of a guess than anything. I loved the Air Boom tag team of Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston and thought they had the potential to be one of the best teams of our generation. While I don’t feel that strongly about the Blazers, they SHOULD be a playoff team. There’s so much talent on that roster. For fluke things like suspensions, injuries and fate, Air Boom ended abruptly. I expect the Blazers to fall short again starting off slow before trading away a key piece or two from their roster and disbanding this core too soon. (Aldridge to Cleveland would be my prediction.)
13. Sacramento Kings are The Wyatt Family
It says more about DeMarcus Cousins and Bray Wyatt than anything. Sometimes I view Cousins as a dynamic player that can be something special. Sometimes he looks like a flat out scrub. Watching the Wyatt Family provides the same confusion. There’s reason for optimism then there’s some matches where you wonder how they made it to the roster. This season for Cousins and this next feud with Bryan/Punk for the Wyatt Family will tell us everything we need to know.
14. Phoenix Suns are 3 Man Band
They will be absolute jobbers but fun to watch.
15. Utah Jazz are The Great Khali
Built around tall stiffs.