May the Fourth be with you.
If you haven’t noticed the countless Twitter posts or reminders on SportsCenter, today is May 4th. A day where Star Wars nerds far and wide join together to pay homage to one of the greatest movie series in history. I grew up on Star Wars. Kick-ass light saber fights coupled with blaster pistols and huge explosions captivated me. However, after the Revenge of the Sith came out in 2005, my passion waned. Time went on and Star Wars seemed like a thing of the past. That is, until The Force Awakens was released. I was skeptical entering the theatre, unaware of what to expect. Upon seeing storm troopers, talk of The Resistance (seemingly resembling The Rebellion), and the legendary combination of Han Solo and Chewbacca, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning. The movie was entertaining, nostalgic, and action packed. I could write a dissertation on Star Wars, but instead I leave it at I’m very excited for the next installment in the series and get into NBA playoff team’s Star Wars comparisons.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Darth Vader
There are very few certainties when dealing with the playoffs, but one of them is that whatever team LeBron James plays for will be the most hated. LeBron’s quest to bring a championship to Cleveland seems eerily similar to Darth Vader trying to take control of the galaxy. No one is rooting for them except those on their team. If only LeBron could learn to use his powers for good and not evil.
Atlanta Hawks: C3PO
The Hawks are a team made up of team players and guys who understand their role. Their top scorers change night in and night out. I don’t think you’ll find a better example of a team player than C3PO.This robot would do anything for Luke, Han, and Leia. Need someone to communicate with the wookies? No problem, C3PO has got you covered. His desire to do anything for the greater good of the team epitomizes the Hawk’s selfless play style.
Miami Heat: Obi Wan Kenobi
The Heat are a team that may have seen their best days behind them. They are not the same team that went to four straight NBA finals and find themselves not getting any younger. Wade and Bosh are entering their mid-30s and Dragic turns 30 within the next couple days. Obi Wan Kenobi was dominant during the Clone Wars, wreaking havoc amongst droids. Fast-forward about 30 years and Darth Vader carves him up like a Thanksgiving turkey.
Toronto Raptors: Rey
The Toronto Raptors barely survived a seven game series with the Pacers to win their first playoff series in over a decade. They are a team with a lot of talent, but little playoff experience. That is why I’m comparing the Toronto Raptors to the beautiful Rey from The Force Awakens. Spending a majority of her life as a scavenger, Rey emerges as key piece to fighting the First Order. Yeah Reys got the talent, but she lacks experience; experience that hopefully the one and only Luke Skywalker can give her. As for the Raptors, although I don’t believe they will win the title this year, they are gaining valuable experience that will aid them in their playoff runs in the coming years.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Han Solo
OKC is a boom or bust team. They either play at a high level or don’t show up. One game the Spurs embarrass them with a 30 point win, next game they beat the Spurs on their home court. It’s somewhat of a mystery which Thunder team we will see on a nightly basis, but bottom line is when they are performing; they are performing at a high level. Just look at our old friend Han Solo, one day he’s being chased by bounty hunters he screwed on a deal, the next he’s sending laser beams through storm troopers with his blaster. Don’t sleep on the Thunder, because what Han Solo can do behind the wheel of the Millennium Falcon, they can do offensively.
San Antonio Spurs: Yoda
Yeah, I had to do it. It was the only comparison that felt right to me. Old, young, or exiled to Dagobah for decades, it doesn’t matter. The Spurs continually find themselves playing for a championship. We have yet to see the decline that has been expected with their aging core of Parker, Duncan, and Ginobili. These three embody the power and strength that is packing into the small, old, and deceiving body of Yoda. I can’t wait for the day we see Tim Duncan walk onto the court with a cane and then throw down a thunderous slam-dunk.
Portland Trail Blazers: Anakin Skywalker
Portland is led by rising stars C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard. If these two are just beginning to enter their peak, then they have a long prosperous career ahead of them. One that should include deep playoff runs. Anakin Skywalker was just entering his peak during the Clone Wars and look at his performance. Rip City has a lot of success in their future; let’s just hope it doesn’t involve creating a weapon powerful enough to destroy planets.
Golden State Warriors: Luke Skywalker
Which team could better embody the Jedi that is Luke Skywalker? The Warriors put together a record breaking season and were highlighted by the prolific play of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. Fact is you can never count the Warriors out. Down five with 40 seconds left, they find a way to splash a couple three pointers and pull out the W. Have we not seen this with Luke Skywalker? He loses his hand, is thrown into a garbage compactor, and is left for dead on Hoth, yet he always finds a way to get himself and those around him out of trouble. The Warriors display such talent that even LeBron has to acknowledge, “the force is strong with this one”.