The Avengers: Infinity War trailer dropped on Wednesday, November 29, and has already received upward of 77 million views. The film is one of the most highly anticipated in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe and to celebrate, Hoop Central casts some of the most popular NBA players with their Avenger counterparts .
LeBron James as Captain America
LeBron James and Captain America both have immense physical gifts, but the similarities don’t end there. Before turning into a fugitive in Captain America: Civil War, Steve Rogers was unarguably the leader of the team, coordinating their strategies and remaining poised during high-pressure situations.
This season, LeBron has once again been the leader and primary ball-handler for the Cavaliers, while also increasing his clutch shooting. The four-time NBA MVP has led the league in both clutch points and clutch field goal percentage. Against the Memphis Grizzlies yesterday, LeBron scored the last 13 points for the Cavs to guarantee a win.
Russell Westbrook as Iron Man
The similarities between Russell Westbrook and Tony Stark seem endless.
Stark is a billionaire philanthropists, while Westbrook signed the largest contract in NBA history this offseason(five-years and 205 million) and donates his extravagant outfits to Goodwill after he has worn them once.
Stark is a genius and Westbrook had a 3.9 GPA at Leuzinger High School and was accepted to Stanford on a partial academic scholarship, but instead attended UCLA to play basketball.
Lastly, Stark and Westbrook are both prone to disputes with others. Iron Man has fought against Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, and others within the MCU on separate occasions. Westbrook, who has no friends on the basketball court, has argued with referees, interviewers, fans, and former teammates like Kevin Durant.
Stephen Curry as Hawkeye
Steph Curry and Hawkeye are both marksmen with unlimited range and insane accuracy. Hawkeye is a member of the exclusive Avengers, while Curry is in the elite 50-40-90 club. Furthermore, Curry can hit from half-court, and has regularly incorporated trick shots into his pre-game warm-up.
Recently, the two-time MVP moved into the eighth spot on the all-time 3-point field goal makes list, but has only played in half as many games(595) as anyone else in the top ten. Both are also known for their quick releases, as Curry has a release time of 0.4 seconds on his jump shot.
Giannis Antetokounmpo as the Incredible Hulk
On November 25, Giannis Antetokounmpo looked greener than ever when his frustration boiled over in a 121-108 loss to the Utah Jazz. He smashed a chair and had a heated exchange with assistant coach Sean Sweeney, but like Dr. Bruce Banner, Giannis usually keeps his cool.
Like the Hulk, Giannis has an extreme build, amazing leaping ability, and has smashed through every team this year, averaging 29.4 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 4.5 APG, and 1.8 BPG. As this Bucks squad looks for a deep playoff run that goes beyond the first round, they might need the Greek Freak to play angry come the postseason.
Kawhi Leonard as the Black Panther
After Tim Duncan retired, Kawhi Leonard stepped up as the best player for the Spurs on both sides of the ball. Last season, he led them to the Western Conference Finals before getting injured. (*Spoiler ahead*)In Captain America: Civil War, T’Challa had just lost his father, and will be faced with the important task of being a admirable ruler and protector of Wakanda.
The Black Panther is known for his strength, durability, and unparalleled acrobatic ability. He is also recognized for his bravery and loyalty.
Leonard, a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, does not back down to any challenges either. Regularly defending the opposing team’s best player, Leonard relies on his fine reflexes, monster strength, and athleticism.
James Harden as Thor
There aren’t as many reasons to compare James Harden and Thor other than the fact that Harden has been electrifying this season. Harden gained some muscle during the off-season and it’s paid off. The Beard has averaged a league leading 31.5 PPG and 9.8 APG and leads the MVP race
Both Thor and Harden are relatively easy going dudes who rock facial hair and have thrived throughout their recent super team-ups. (*Spoiler ahead*)In Thor: Ragnorak, the God of Thunder teamed up with the Hulk to form the Revengers and overcome Hela, the Goddess of Death.
Harden has teamed up with future Hall-of-Famer Chris Paul III, and the two have found success. The Houston Rockets are currently atop the Western Conference standings and pose the greatest threat to the Golden State Warriors.
By: Adam Tayabali