On November 17, 2017, The Justice League movie will be released here in the US. April 25, 2018, we get the next installment of the Avengers with Avengers: Infinity War. While some people are sick of the superhero movie craze, most people are looking forward to these movies. They will make millions and millions of dollars and be incredibly successful. These movies take individual superheroes and team them up to make superteams that can defeat incredible odds.
We live in an era that not only features a lot of superhero and superteam movies, but an era of superteams on the NBA floor. Stars and superstars around the league are banding with each other in hopes of winning the NBA title, rather than staying on separate teams trying to win by themselves. With the new NBA collective bargaining agreement and the new TV deals, NBA teams have more money than ever to lure star free agents to their side.
The last three NBA seasons have featured the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA finals. These two teams draw a lot of similarities to both the Avengers of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MC) and the Justice League of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). Golden State is more Marvel, while Cleveland is more DC. Let’s look at each team and see how they stack up to their fictional counterparts.
Cleveland is lead by the best player on the planet, LeBron James. While there are others that are amazing basketball players, nobody on this planet (or any other planet for that matter) is better than LeBron. That makes LeBron similar to the greatest, strongest, most powerful character in all superhero-dom, Superman. Yes, Superman in the DCEU is currently dead thanks to a Kryptonite spear through his chest at the hands of Doomsday. But let’s be honest, he won’t be dead for long, much like LeBron after this last NBA Finals run. He lost to the Warriors in 5 games but he has rebuilt his team and is ready for another run at glory.
Batman is the grizzled vet of the Justice League. Enter Dwyane Wade. Dwayne has seen a thing or two during his 15 years in the NBA. He was the face of the franchise in Miami, winning a title with Shaq before “The Decision” and teaming up with LeBron James and Chris Bosh. They won two more titles together. He is a leader and knows his place on the team.
Kevin Love is Aquaman, severely underrated. When I think of Aquaman, I think of this scene from Family Guy.
That’s not really fair to a guy that commands over 70% of Earth’s surface, has superhuman strength and reflexes, and nearly impenetrable skin. Aquaman is getting a makeover for the DCEU and he looks awesome; thank you Jason Momoa. Kevin Love, while taking a lot of criticism, has played pretty well in Cleveland. He can rebound, shoot from outside, and do the little things that teams need to win.
Isaiah Thomas is the Flash. He’s a quick, little guy that packs a wallop. Derrick Rose is Cyborg. He has been rebuilt multiple times so he’s part man, part machine. Jae Crowder is Wonder Woman. He is known for his defense but he can bring it on offense too. Wonder Woman does everything and does it well. Overall, this is a team that is amazing from top to bottom.
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors are like the Avengers. They are the more fun-loving and carefree group. They are lead by Steph Curry. I really wanted to go with Hawkeye since Hawkeye doesn’t miss a shot with his bow and arrows. But really he is Captain America. Captain America is the leader of the Avengers squad. He is the glue that holds them together or the crowbar that tears them apart (as we saw in Captain America: Civil War). They both can do everything and anything but they remain true to themselves and their ideals at all times.
Since Steph isn’t Hawkeye the other Splash Brother, Klay Thompson, is. He’s a deadly shot from anywhere on the court. Hawkeye has all sorts of specialized arrows that do crazy things. Klay can create his own shot, catch and shoot, drive the lane and distribute with the best of them. He is a complete player and a great sidekick to Captain America a.k.a. Steph Curry.
Draymond Green is the Hulk. He’s not the most talented guy on the team but does a little bit of everything. Often he is the biggest guy on the court for the Warriors. You definitely don’t want to make him angry. You won’t like him when he’s angry. Green lets his passion get the better of him sometimes and goes off. Much like the Hulk does with his anger. Green often channels his anger into playing even more intensely than he already does. When he’s in the zone, he is tough to beat. Plus, there is the obvious comparison between the two. The Hulk is green and Draymond is Green. C’mon, it’s too easy.
Kevin Durant is Thor. He's the closer, the one that comes in to finish the job. He is lights out from anywhere on the court. When he goes off, it’s like a bolt of lightning that explodes in the arena. Sometimes he may be a little brash, a little impulsive. Remember his recent twitter mishap? But at the end of the day, he is one of the most valuable members of the team and can lead anyone to victory.
Lastly, Steve Kerr is Nick Fury. They both pull the strings and are masters at getting superstars to play together for the benefit of the team. They are both vets that worked their way up to the top of their profession. Nick was the top agent for S.H.I.E.L.D. before he became the director. Kerr was draining threes and winning titles alongside Michael Jordan and Tim Duncan, learning Zen and coaching from Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich, preparing himself to be the best coach in the league.
There are many other teams that have tried to get onto the superteam bandwagon. The Oklahoma City Thunder brought in both Paul George and Carmelo Anthony to go along with Mr. Triple Double, Russell Westbrook, and Steven Adams. The Celtics brought in Gordon Hayward from Utah, Kyrie Irving from Cleveland to go along with Al Horford and a plethora of young, budding talent and draft picks. The Minnesota Timberwolves brought in Jimmy Butler to lead a young core of Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Houston kept James Harden and brought in Chris Paul to help carry the heavy load.
While these teams are great, they still aren’t on the level of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. Between these two teams, who is better? 8 of the last 9 NBA MVPs are on these two teams. (The lone exception is Russell Westbrook last season.) All we have to do is look to their movie counterparts. Right now, the DCEU is good and getting better but the MCU is dominant and really can do no wrong.