When Michael Jordan was showing off his plethora of out-of-this-world abilities, you couldn’t help but wonder if he was super-human. And as crazy as it might sound, players in the NBA today are much more athletic, faster and stronger than they were back in the MJ days.
Comparing a lot of these players to the X-Men — the most skilled superheroes in the comic book world and subject of the upcoming X-Men: First Class project — isn’t as farfetched as it might sound. If the NBA was a comic book, here’s a list of players (and one coach) with superhero abilities:
Dwyane Wade is Angel
Not many can hang with Angel’s speed, agility, and ability to take flight. The same goes for D-Wade. Already dubbed “Flash” due to his quickness on the court, Wade can swoop in for an acrobatic layup or take flight on a dunk on anybody. Angel has the ability to lead the X-Men to victory alone; the same can be said for Wade as he took the Heat to the playoffs two straight seasons on his back. Not that he has to do that anymore, though…
Phil Jackson is Professor X
No coach plays more mind games than the Zen Master. They both have a great power to influence the mind and improve their pupils. Jackson knows how to develop young players and coach huge stars like Mike, Kobe and Shaq. Professor X is the head of mutants, and helps them understand their powers and how to utilize them in the right ways to help the team.
Steve Nash is Cyclops
Cyclops has the uncanny ability to project optic blasts from his eyes, heatless blasts of concussive force which he is able to control with incredible and deadly accuracy. The same goes for Nash. His vision is legendary on the court, which allows him to make some of the hardest passes look easy.
Carmelo Anthony is Iceman
You can see it in his stroll, the way ‘Melo confidently struts down the court after icing another huge play. A sly grin, a shoulder shrug, or a mean-mug, Anthony is Smooth 101. His game is so smooth that some may say that he is lazy, but that’s not the case. Similar to Iceman, ‘Melo’s game just makes it look easy but when you’re cold as ice, you never get shook.
Kobe Bryant is Wolverine
Attitude: check. Fighting through injuries: check. Killer mentality: check. When it comes to being an animal, no one does it better than Kobe. Just like Wolverine, Kobe brings that assassin’s mentality and will fight through any injury. They also share the same attitude: Wolverine will destroy anything in his path to get what he wants. Same goes for Kobe. If you tick him off, he’ll just drop 50 on you. And as the superstar of the X-Men franchise, Wolverine has to be aligned with a similar superstar like Kobe.
Derrick Rose is Nightcrawler
Rose isn’t able to teleport, it just seems that way. He’s so blindingly quick that he leaves opponents guessing his exact whereabouts. Nightcrawler is the most athletic of the X-Men, and Rose is arguably the most athletic player in the League. When Nightcrawler teleports he leaves a puff of smoke; I’ve seen Rose on the court and I think I’ve seen smoke coming from the bottom of his adidas.
Dwight Howard is Beast
Although Howard isn’t furry like the Beast, at least his uniform is blue. When it comes to athletic big men, there’s no competition with Howard, and the same goes for Beast. Blessed with pure strength and intelligence, Beast is one of the best weapons the X-Men have. Once Dwight refines his offensive game, he’ll truly become the best weapon in the NBA.
Shaquille O’Neal is Colossus
Shaq is the “Man of Steel,” while Colossus can turn his entire body into steel. Colossus possesses superhuman strength along with stamina. While Shaq isn’t at the age where his stamina will last, he still has great strength and is the most dominant big man in the history of the NBA.
J.R. Smith is Gambit
Gambit brings explosiveness to the X-Men. He’s capable of turning anything he touches into a kinetic energy, which in turn causes an explosion. Gambit’s also been known not to listen to instructions during combat. What other player in the NBA is capable of providing explosiveness off the bench and massive firepower, while occasionally upsetting his coach with his antics? Smith is looked at as an enigma for the Nuggets, and the same can be said for Gambit with the X-Men.
Nate Robinson is Jubilee
Jubilee is another one of the X-Men’s energy players off the bench. Her ability to create fireworks with her hands and cause explosions is enough to compare her to Nate Robinson. The three-time NBA dunk champion is a spark plug; he’s also one of the few players in the League that’s capable of scoring 40 points on any given night. Both are overlooked and they back it up with a can-do attitude and toughness.
Kevin Durant is Rogue
Rogue has the ability to absorb energy from anyone she comes in contact with and duplicate his or her powers. The same can be said about Kevin Durant since many are starting to compare his abilities to Michael Jordan, or even greater. Durant is young and powerful, like Rogue, and he’s already one of the NBA’s top players even though the 21-year-old is still essentially learning the pro game.
LeBron James is Storm
Storm is able to change the wind and rain by increasing or decreasing its intensity to the point of creating snowstorms, lightning and tornadoes. LeBron has controlled the elements around him ever since he stepped foot into the League, on and off the court. He’s able to create offense and lead his team to victories while putting on a lightning and thunder show with dunks that shake the arena.
Who did we miss? Tell us in the comments and we’ll post the responses in a follow-up post.