The fourth season of Game of Thrones premieres on HBO tonight and we couldn’t be more excited. Not only is it an addicting show, but the return of Daenerys, Tyrion and that despicable boy king we all love to hate also means we’re closing in on the best point of the NBA calendar. Yes, winter is coming but so are the NBA Playoffs.
With only a few weeks left in the regular season, everyone looking to climb to the NBA throne should take some solace in knowing that Red Weddings only happen in dank, dreary castle halls when the wine is flowing red and the musicians are playing. That doesn’t mean the characters of both the TV show and the book series can’t provide our favorite athletes with a little advice on how to conquer and win in this game of thrones.
Beware: SPOILERS below…
*** *** ***
“Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb, but they refuse. They cling to the realm, or the gods, or love. Illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.” – Petyr Baelish
While LeBron James and Kevin Durant soak up the spotlight, the Clippers continue their campaign behind leader Chris Paul. While recognized as a great mind of the realm, “Littlefinger” is also often overlooked. Ignore the prowess of a brilliant mind at your own peril. Paul uses deception and trickery just like Baelish to confuse his opponents. (Video below is NSFW.)
“And I have a tender spot in my heart for cripples and bastards and broken things.” – Tyrion Lannister
Despite Kobe Bryant missing essentially the entire season and being 35 years old, Kupchak re-signed the former star to a two-year, $48 million deal. The previous year, he signed a 37-year-old point guard with injury concerns for $30 million over three years. While Nash and Bryant are both Hall of Famers, their best days are behind them.
“Nothing burns like the cold.” – Gared, of the Night’s Watch
Picking the worst opportunity to cool off, the Pacers are a pretty sub-par 10-10 over their last 20 games and continue to struggle on offense. Not unlike the Night’s Watch, which begins to turn on itself in the dire cold of the North, the Pacers have begun taking shots at each other through the media, with Roy Hibbert recently calling out his “selfish” teammates. I fear the darkness will overtake Indiana if the former brothers can’t stand together once more.
“Every flight begins with a fall.” – The Crow from Bran’s dream.
Bran is often dismissed in comparison to his older and more accomplished siblings, yet there is something special about him. Sound familiar? Often in the shadow of Kevin Durant, Westbrook is destined for greatness. He has had struggled to stay healthy over the last season and a half but perhaps he had to fall down in order to get back up a stronger, more mature player. Westbrook is no stranger to recovery, or flight.
“I swear to you, sitting a throne is a thousand times harder than winning one.” – Robert Baratheon
After winning back-to-back titles, LeBron has begun to see just how difficult it is to stay at the top. There isn’t a single team in the NBA that doesn’t want to steal the Heat’s spot at the mountaintop. Despite leading his team to the best record in the East, most of the world has turned away from ‘Bron to crown Kevin Durant the next MVP. It wears on a man the constant covetous nature of his enemies–hopefully LeBron will bear the burden better than the late Baratheon.