In many ways, the NBA is like the WWE, and not just because Draymond Green is the ultimate heel.
The WWE has been entertaining fans for almost the same amount of time as the NBA and the NBA is probably the most entertainment-sided sport out there. Yes, the NFL probably has the most commercials and the Super Bowl halftime show, but the NBA has rap. Seriously, the growth of rap is most likely the No. 1 genre of today’s culture and the rise of the NBA is no coincidence.
It doesn’t hurt that basketball is the most player-centric game in U.S. primetime. People are known by one name or their nicknames, they have backstories and beefs with other players. They can control the fate of their team unlike anyone, even more than a quarterback can, and old players are constantly being shown on television with the young guys. Don’t tell me, ‘But Jordan, the NFL constantly has former players as commentators calling game.’ Yes, they do, as does the MLB (NHL, I’m sorry but I’m not including you, at least you still have Lake Placid and also the movie Goon, which is great. If you haven’t seen it, go see it. Jay Baruchel is annoying in it, but Liev Schreiber is a god.)
Anyway, the NBA has former players show up at random, unexpected times. The storylines spun in the NBA are almost WWE-esque with so much drama centered off the court. And don’t tell me Charles Barkley and Jerry Lawler wouldn’t be friends. Like I said in my introductory column, I need to get back into WWE as most of my knowledge is from the Attitude Era and I need to learn more about the PG-13 epoch. Is Damien Sandow still a thing? Just kidding.
For this first article, as a warmup of what will hopefully be more WWE/NBA crossovers to come, I will pick WWE intros that I think certain NBA stars would use if it was a thing in the NBA. An intro video or song means everything, like Darth Vader’s theme or even using “Insane in the Membrane” for Danny McBride in This is the End. A bad song, and you will end up looking like a fool such as Donald Trump trying to use “We are the Champions” at the RNC. Come on, man! Trump, you know you’re more of a Big Sean type of guy, stay away from Freddie Mercury, dude. Vanilla Ice already did enough to him.
So, onto the list. I’ll keep it at six players right now, and if this blows up, which will surprise me, then I’ll do more. I hope you enjoy.
Steph Curry and Klay Thompson- Hardy Boyz
This pairing just seems too good to be true. I mean, this is probably the best tag team in the NBA, with one of the best tag teams in the WWE’s theme. Steph and Klay were basically nobodies like the Hardys, and after a brief pairing with Gangrel, (David Lee is Gangrel in this story) they became superstars. And like the Hardy Boyz, with their flair for ladders, the Splash Brothers went about gathering championships in an unprecedented manner: a ton of three-pointers.
Just look at this video.
Full disclosure, it’s two minutes long, but the real intro is only about 50 seconds. Whoever uploaded it just looped it.
After watching, can you see it, though? That thumping sound, it’s the heart rate of any NBA player who has to guard either Splash Bro. Then, once you think you got them cornered, they jump off a damn turnbuckle and beat you by 40. Also, hailing from North Carolina? And Steph’s form North Carolina? Hmm, coincidence? (fast forward to 1:40) I think not.
The Hardys reigned for a short time until Lita came along and ruined everything. Lita in this case being the unforgivable Kevin Durant. Who knows if the Splash Bros. will be able to keep their chemistry up or will the addition of another person mess up their flow and bring upon their inevitable downfall.
Carmelo Anthony- The Miz
I struggled with this one on multiple levels. Like, is Carmelo really a star or an overrated piece of hot garbage? I go to the latter but that’s my opinion, so I will include him on this list just to be civil.
I won’t go easy on him, though. The song choice for him was either the one I picked or Kurt Angle’s. Only because Angle was overrated as well and only cared about the Olympics. But the patriot in me had to let Carmelo and Angle off the hook for that. Instead, ‘Melo’s selfishness is on trial and who is the most narcissistic wrestler? The Miz. (I know you’re probably thinking: But Jordan, this Miz isn’t from the attitude era. How do you know him? Because he’s everywhere. And like Melo, the Miz isn’t in the ring/court, he’s out canoodling with the celebs.)
For the Miz, that’s just a character, though. Someone wrote him to be like that. Carmelo is a douche just by himself. Look at this video.
This is so Carmelo, it’s not even funny. When people hear him say, “I came to play,” they roll their eyes in disgust and just watch him go 5-for-35. Even his own teammates don’t want to play with him. Amar’e Stoudemire had to take baths in wine, convert to Islam and play the old man card just to get away.
Melo, keep loving yourself because you’re the only one who will.
LeBron James- The Rock
I know, how unoriginal. At least I didn’t pick John Cena.
This is a fitting song, though, especially for the astute veteran LeBron, not the hot-headed punk he used to be. This post-Miami LeBron, like the post-Nation of Domination Dwayne Johnson, has climbed the mountaintop and gotten the hate from doing so. Now he has crossed the line from heel, to a face, and possibly the biggest face of all time.
LeBron is the most electrifying man in sports entertainment. The Rock has conceded it to him, as well as the lordship of the People’s Champion. Before LeBron beat the Warriors singlehandedly, the biggest moment in the past half-century in Cleveland was when the Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin beat the Brothers of Destruction in Kane and The Undertaker on Monday Night Raw in 2001.
This video was playing in Andre Iguodala’s mind after LeBron’s block in Game 7 and probably will for the rest of his life.
In fact, you could say LeBron layeth the smacketh down on that ball. If only he could pull off the eyebrow arch, also like The Rock, just wait for a few years when LeBron shaves his head.
James Harden- Eddie Guerrero
I almost picked the Road Dogg for Mr. Defensive Player of the Year here, but I decided to go with this one. Also,the Road Dogg sounds more fitting for Harden’s old teammate Dwight Howard.
This song’s feeling perfectly encapsulates Harden, a sort of one-man show who believes in himself fully, but when he loses, the blame is always on someone else’s shoulders. Harden is just here to drain buckets and get ladies. Defense, though? Never heard of it.
This song, more than any other except for possibly the last one on my list, is one I think the player should actually come out to in real life. I mean, when the NBA season tips off, put these videos on the board.
After you’ve seen it, tell me you don’t envision James Harden walking onto the court of the Toyota Center with it playing at full blast. It’s destiny.
Russell Westbrook- Stone Cold Steve Austin
This has made sense for a while, and after Durant’s departure, Westbrook is in full Austin 3:16 mode (Not you Kevin Love.)
First, watch the video and then we will discuss.
Now, let this sink in. Westbrook will be like this for 82 games and possibly the playoffs. No one is here to hold him back. Did you hear the glass breaking at the beginning? That was Russ tomahawking a backboard into oblivion while watching Draymond Green cower in fear as shards of glass fly all around him.
With Russ teaming up with the NBA equivalent of Mick Foley (Steven Adams), no one stands a chance. The only one to stop Russ will be himself. Like Stone Cold relied on beer too much, Russ relies on his athleticism, and like a 30 pack of Coors in Steve Austin’s hands, Russ’s athleticism won’t last long.
Until that moment comes, though, just witness the destruction Westbrook will reign on the NBA. Even his personal Vince McMahon (Berry Tramel) won’t be able to stop him.
Until next time, it’s been fun.