Periodically my friends and I start hashing out epic analogies. These bull sessions last days or even weeks and are played out over e-mail. Yesterday my friend Jimmy asked the question “What if the NBA was the island from Lost?” Here’s what we came up with:
Mark Cuban would be Benjamin Linus . . . whiny, calculating, undeserving of being the leader, but still retaining far too much power. Popular opinion weighs that he will be the architect of his own demise, but there are a few fans who would love nothing more than to see him succeed in his evil plans.
Manu Ginobli would be Sayid . . . why is this guy not one of the most popular characters? Between the long hair and minority status, this is an easy match up. Both can kill you in a variety of ways, both flail wildly when struck, and both always seem to be physically hurt yet their play remains maddeningly unaffected by their injuries. Beware the team that boasts either of these men as an asset.
Kobe Bryant is Sawyer . . . you know he’s a bad guy, you know he’s only out for himself, but you fool yourself into thinking that he has grown as a person. While he is a one-of-a-kind player by himself, put him in a team context and he will tear it apart from the inside. Not saying you can’t win championships with him, but you can never have stability.
Shaq is Hurley . . . fat, goofy, always saying stupid things, paranoid, has a love/hate relationship with Sawyer/Kobe. You don’t think that Hurley can contribute, but when the shit hits the fan, Hurley hits you with a van, reminding you that a team with Hurley sucks on defense, but you still can’t stop him in the paint.
Allen Iverson is Kate . . . tiny, in the way, thinks he’s more important than he is, late in his career he is put on teams with superstars, but like Lenny from Of Mice and Men, Iverson always finds a way to kill the thing he loves the most. Kate always tries to take over, and when she does, people die.
Peja Stojakovic is Jin . . . You forget about him until you have to deal with him. He may not speak English very well, but when you need a dagger three as the clock strikes down, accept no substitutes. Much like Peja in the Playoffs, Jin has been known to choke when it matters most. For example – being caught in the tanker explosion, shooting dynamite that was 50 feet away, and missing 3 in a row.
LeBron is Jack . . . Everyone looks to him for leadership, and he seems to deliver, but where is the championship? You know he has the tools, but he just can’t seem to make it work.
D-Wade is Locke . . . knock him down, and he will just get back up again. D-wade will constantly surprise you with his ability even though we all know of what he seems to be capable. Whether it’s being shot by Ben, strangled by Ben, paralyzed by the man from Tallahassee, shoulder problems, knee problems, you name it, he can overcome it to win gold or bring home a title
Gregg Popovich is Charles Widmore. Cold, calculating, intelligent, grey haired, willing to sacrifice his morals to win, willing to kill Ben’s Daughter to get what he wants. He’s been to the top, and is now experiencing a slump, but don’t count him out of the game.
Len Bias is Carl (Ben’s Daughter’s crappy boyfriend) . . . We met him a long time ago, and he was a total badass – running in and out of the woods, being bold, but in the end, he died because he was young and foolish. Enough time has passed that the casual fan has no recollection of him.
Micheal Jordan is Jacob . . . Ever present, still the face of the island, but we know that there must be a regime change if things are going to move progress. The question is whether the new boss will be Jack or Locke.
Dirk Nowitzki is Desmond Hume . . . You want him to be more than he is, but let’s face it, you’re never going all the way with that guy. He is very happy, and very good putting certain people (Ben Linus, Charles Widmore, Faraday’s mother) in their places, but he could never take on all-comers. His team of Penny, Charlie and his son Charlie are solid, but not great. In the end, he can’t finish.
Grant Hill is Mr. Echo. The moment he first appeared, you knew that guy was going to be the best. He was everyone’s favorite character. Then he got injured/ killed by the smoke monster. We’re lucky if we get a cameo appearance in a flashback now.
Jerry Sloan is Richard Alpert. It seems like whenever you look back in the island’s history, one thing remains the same: Jerry Sloan is Utah’s head basketball coach. Also, his team plays freaking dirty. Always stealing kids, tranqing you when you walk through the forest, and complaining about every foul they obviously committed.
Baron Davis is Rose. Had a career resurgence when he was traded to the Warriors and was cured of cancer. Then he went somewhere else (Clippers) and no one ever heard from him again. Seriously where the hell is Rose?
The Charlotte Bobcats are The Others. A shadowy, mysterious team that no one really thinks about. When you see your team is playing them you think, oh, the Bobcats, big deal. But then its a tough game. They came out of nowhere. Also, they take orders from Jacob (Jordan), who is there but not really engaged.
Chris Anderson is Michael. Busted for drugs and shooting Libby and Ana Lucia, subsequently left the island. However, guilt drove him to comeback, and now he’s totally redeemed himself by helping the Nuggets advance to the conference finals and freezing the bomb’s battery with liquid nitrogen.
Carmelo Anthony is Charlie. Before he came to the island, Charlie found fame as songwriter for Drive Shaft. Before he came to the island, Carmelo found fame as frosh phenom of the Syracuse Orange. One of the most popular characters despite his drug problem.
Pistol Pete Maravich is Daniel Faraday. A genius ahead of his time, both came into the league with high hopes of revolutionizing the game. They did, but both of their careers were extinguished in the 70s, all too young. Both of their demises were parental in nature. Pistol Pete couldn’t live with the aura of perfection his father had built, Faraday’s mom shot him. But oh that long hair, so dreamy.
Kevin Durant is Walt. This kid and his amazing powers are going to change everything. But you forget about him because he plays in Oklahoma/ lives in New York with this grandma.