Making Star Wars/NBA Player Comparisons
May 4th is National Star Wars Day (may the fourth be with you), which means absolutely nothing to some sports fans. Star Wars and the NBA have no association, nor do the films have any sports in them (Han Solo playing driveway-pickup against Chewbacca would be awesome, though).
But, if you’re like me, you appreciate both the Star Wars universe and the NBA, even if it’s a separated love. Well, I’m breaking that norm by replacing Star Wars characters with NBA players from today’s league.
A long time ago, in a league far, far away…
STAR WARS Episode 0: NBA Edition
It is a period of civil discomfort. What began as a tranquil stalemate has grown into what feels like a panicking lock-down. Civilians and leaders alike remain dormant, but grow restless to restart the Galactic Basketball Association.
In an attempt to keep the peace, rebel spies at CrownHoops managed to steal secret plans to the ultimate weapon: A crossover post; A written article so daring, its power could destroy an entire planet.
Pursued by the Empire’s sinister plagiarism agents, our brave writer keeps his work original; His piece replaces Star Wars characters with the best matching NBA players today. Our writer frantically types his thoughts, hoping to save everyone and restore peace-of-mind within the galaxy…
Darth Vader ~ LeBron James
Anakin Skywalker had limitless potential from the time he was as a child. He was called “The Chosen One”, destined to be the greatest Jedi of all. Unfortunately, Anakin joined the dark side as Darth Vader, where his power only grew. However, years later, he left the dark side once and for all… Okay, now go replace “Anakin Skywalker” with “LeBron James”, “Jedi” with “basketball player”, and “the dark side” with “Miami”. Both ways read flawlessly – LeBron had sky-high expectations in high school, he joined his hometown team, “betrayed” them, and, in the end, came back. The mind-blowing parallels between Anakin and LeBron make this a no-brainer. LeBron even has a “Chosen 1” tattoo on his back.
Luke Skywalker ~ Stephen Curry
After Darth Vader broke off from the dark side, Luke became one of the most powerful Jedi knights the galaxy had ever seen. So, what happened after LeBron left Miami? Stephen Curry took the league by storm, winning two MVPs and three rings. Luke represents the main protagonist of the original Star Wars trilogy. Over the last decade, the same can be said for Steph Curry in basketball.
Princess Leia ~ Seth Curry
We couldn’t resist. There’s only so many pairs of brothers within the current NBA (apologies to the Morris twins), including the Curry’s. Seth Curry is a solid Leia to Steph’s Luke, considering he takes much less of the spotlight than Steph. Leia was never our main hero, but certainly proved to be a hero all the same. Seth isn’t a starter, but plays meaningful minutes off the bench and can splash a three whenever needed.
Han Solo ~ James Harden
Among Star Wars fans, Han Solo is probably the most beloved character of all. This is far from true in regards to James Harden and NBA fans, but don’t forget: Han Solo is a universally disliked figure within the Star Wars universe. Typically in financial debt to more than one person at any given moment, Solo’s made a living off talking his way out of death. We see this in his very first appearance, when he shoots Greedo with a hidden blaster under the table. Solo’s a sharpshooter, but he gets away with the occasional “cheap shot”. Harden’s also undoubtedly a shooting threat, and is known for scoring many “charity points” from the free-throw line. Perhaps these two are one and the same?
Chewbacca ~ Steven Adams
Comparing a basketball player to a wookie really only has two requirements: They need to be tall, and have lots of hair. Oklahoma City Thunder big man Steven Adams checks both those boxes with ease. On top of that, Adams even mirrors Chewbacca’s kind heart under all the fur.
R2-D2 ~ Chris Paul
What R2-D2 lacks in size, he makes up for in spunk & usefulness. Chris Paul is barely 6’0″, but has been a ten-time All-Star nonetheless. R2 has served and proved helpful to many masters, just like CP3. Paul has been on four different teams, all of which he’s helped bring to the playoffs. When times got dark, Luke and many others relied on R2-D2, which is a feeling Chris Paul is more than familiar with.
C3PO ~ Lou Williams
Looking at the past five Star Wars characters we referenced, you could say that they build the “starting lineup” for Episodes IV through VI. Every team runs deeper than five men though, and great teams rely on a great sixth man. In Star Wars, C3PO was that sixth man. In the NBA, there’s no doubt that the comparison here belongs to three-time Sixth Man of the Year, Lou Williams. Williams is the all-time leading scorer in bench points – almost as cool a feat as C3PO’s fluency in 6,000,000 languages.
Obi-Wan Kenobi ~ Kobe Bryant
With nothing but respect for the late Mamba, “Kobe-Wan Kenobi” made too much sense to not include. Obi-Wan was one of cinema’s greatest mentors, training both Anakin and Luke Skywalker. In both his career and retirement, Kobe Bryant mentored players in a way that no one could ever replicate. Bryant may not have shared Obi-Wan’s calm demeanor during games, but they both pushed others to get better with love and respect.
Yoda ~ Gregg Popovich
Yoda has been a Jedi knight for 800 years, little of which is shown on-screen in combat. From Episode I all the way to Episode VIII, Yoda’s wisdom is unparalleled. Similarly, Gregg Popovich and his keen coaching made the San Antonio Spurs one of the best teams this century. Pop kept the Spurs relevant, with the organization’s postseason streak now at 22 seasons. Coach Popovich will retire as one of the greatest coaches ever, just as Yoda was one of the greatest Jedi ever.
Emperor Palpatine ~ Kevin Durant
Once a villain, always a villain, unfortunately. The league-wide disdain fans hold for Kevin Durant hasn’t yet ceased, making KD the only choice for the saga’s most evil character. No, Durant is not evil (nor can he shoot electricity from his hands), but the comparison sticks.
Darth Maul ~ Kawhi Leonard
Quiet, cold, and calculated… that could be referencing either the Jedi Knight or the Clippers forward. Darth Maul was one of cinema’s most sinister-looking villains in all the best ways possible. He and Kawhi Leonard are men of few words, letting their talent do the talking. Maul’s double-bladed lightsaber can even represent Kawhi’s elite abilities on both defense and offense.
General Greivous ~ Giannis Antetokounmpo
Few teams have figured out how to keep Giannis Antetokounmpo from scoring. His unstoppable nature makes it seem like he was built in a lab with the purpose of dominating basketball. General Greivous is a cyborg built in (you guessed it) a lab. Not only insanely powerful, but he’s also coordinated enough to wield four lightsabers at once. Giannis has the strength and speed to barrel to the hoop, plus the soft touch at the rim.
Boba Fett ~ Damian Lillard
Who’s the most bad*** bounty hunter in the galaxy? That would be Boba Fett, who won over every fan’s heart with a sharp helmet, a jetpack, and a rocket launcher. There are countless NBA players who displayed that clutch, cool-customer quality at one point or another, but none more than Damian Lillard. Dame has ended not one, but two playoff series on buzzer-beater three-pointers from nearly halfcourt. Simply put, when it’s Dame-Time, Lillard becomes the league’s most feared bounty hunter
Rey ~ Luka Doncic
Luka Doncic is on his way to becoming the next face of the NBA. At the age of 21, he’s already broken several records and only gets better as more time passes. Similarly, Rey was the protagonist for the latest Star Wars trilogy. Rey learned the ways of the Jedi at a rapid pace, growing in skill exponentially between movies. In his sophomore season, Luka has improved every aspect of his game. Both Rey and Luka are young leaders who take on (or are ready to take on) the next chapter in their worlds.
Finn ~ Trae Young
In episode seven, the idea of Finn having Jedi powers gets touched upon. Rey winds up being the Jedi instead, but Finn makes for a convincing Jedi Knight before the dramatic reveal. Trae Young shares a similar relationship to Luka Doncic; Luka won Rookie of the Year over Trae, and is a better player all around. Still, Trae Young is a deadly shooter from deep (just like Finn), and is far from out of the race against Luka for “better player”.
Kylo Ren ~ Russell Westbrook
In Episode VIII, Luke Skywalker says that Ben Solo, A.K.A. Kylo Ren’s raw potential exceeded that of any Jedi he’d ever seen; Russell Westbrook has more raw athleticism than most other players, with a reputation as the fastest and most explosive player in the league. After joining the dark side, Kylo Ren imitates Anakin in hopes of being “the next Vader”. This proves unsuccessful and leads to several angry outbursts and downright tantrums. Westbrook tried leading the Oklahoma City Thunder on his own, but similarly came up short. Russ isn’t a stranger to tantrums either, leading the league in technical fouls for back-to-back seasons.
Poe Dameron ~ Kyrie Irving
Poe Dameron is the best pilot in the Resistance, which he proves on multiple occasions. If flying a ship gets one from point A to point B, then ball-handlers are the pilots of the NBA. Poe is the best pilot in the galaxy and Kyrie Irving has handles atop the league. Furthermore, in Episode VIII, we see Poe struggle in a leadership role, failing to trust his allies and almost costing them everything. Remind you of a certain someone who played in Boston recently?
BB-8 ~ Kemba Walker
Finally, we end on Poe’s loyal droid, BB-8. BB-8 is definitely the funniest droid we’ve gotten in any of the nine Star Wars movies. Given how happy the rolling machine always seems to be, nice guy Kemba Walker felt appropriate. Walker is one of the most optimistic players in the league, rarely playing without a smile. He’s been ejected just once in his nine-year career. On top of that, Kemba wears number eight for the Boston Celtics, perfecting the comparison to BB-8.
What do you think? Could there be better Star Wars matches with NBA players than these ones? What about other characters, like Lando Calrissian, Count Dooku, or Jar Jar Binks? Let us know!