Let’s get weird: Imagining NBA duos as tag teams

Let’s get weird: Imagining NBA duos as tag teams

Here are the re-imagined NBA pairings as classic WWE tag teams as they get ready to rumble for the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

as wide open as it has been since LeBron James took his talents to South Beach.’ data-reactid=”25″>No such team exists in the NBA heading into the season, and the league is therefore as wide open as it has been since LeBron James took his talents to South Beach.

Instead of Big Threes, the NBA is now defined by star pairings.

With so many changes taking place across the league, let’s kick off the 2019-20 NBA season by re-imagining new (and old) pairings as classic WWE tag teams as they get ready to rumble for the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

Yahoo Sports’ WWE x NBA tag teams

First, a few ground rules. Above all, we’re not doing pure rankings here. Our team brainstormed to match the duos with their WWE counterparts in a way that made sense from a wrestling point of view, not from a talent perspective.

Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, Rudy Gobert and Mike Conley, John Wall and Bradley Beal, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton.’ data-reactid=”31″>Some quick honorable mentions: LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan, Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, Rudy Gobert and Mike Conley, John Wall and Bradley Beal, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton.

And now, without any further ado, we’ll ring the damn bell.

(Yahoo Sports illustration)

Los Angeles Clippers: Kawhi Leonard and Paul George as the New Age Outlaws’ data-reactid=”81″>Los Angeles Clippers: Kawhi Leonard and Paul George as the New Age Outlaws

“Oh, you didn’t know?”

their dignity as well. Just about the only thing of value they didn’t give up was Kyle Kuzma.’ data-reactid=”121″>Similar to the Clippers, the Lakers sacrificed nearly everything to get Davis: their draft picks, their young players, their team chemistry last season. Some would say their dignity as well. Just about the only thing of value they didn’t give up was Kyle Kuzma.

And if it means James’ career will do the proverbial sit-up in the middle of the ring, it was worth it.

a shot for the ages last season. It didn’t do them much good against the Warriors, but the Blazers can at least enter a wide open West next season with the hope that continuity can be rewarded, though Nurkic returning at full strength from a broken leg would also help immensely.’ data-reactid=”181″>That resulted in 53 wins, a Western Conference finals berth and a shot for the ages last season. It didn’t do them much good against the Warriors, but the Blazers can at least enter a wide open West next season with the hope that continuity can be rewarded, though Nurkic returning at full strength from a broken leg would also help immensely.

(Yahoo Sports illustration)

per ESPN’s Zach Lowe.’ data-reactid=”206″>Curry and Green have been playing together since 2012, and, clearly, it’s a pairing that has worked. When it comes to scoring margin for a team when a player is on and off the floor, the two best seasons in the NBA’s database, which goes back to 2007, were Curry and Green during the Warriors’ 73-win season in 2015-16, per ESPN’s Zach Lowe.

Sure, Curry had some rough performances in the playoffs last year, and Green’s offense has fallen off a bit. However, Curry is still overwhelmingly the greatest shooter in NBA history, and Green is the defensive leader and facilitator that helped the Warriors stay on top of the West for half a decade.

The Warriors’ dynasty has undergone a major renovation this offseason, but its two most integral pillars are still intact.

(Yahoo Sports illustration)

Dallas Mavericks: Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis as Edge and Christian

Edge and Christian started out as kayfabe brothers and members of “The Brood” stable before branching out on their own as one of the most decorated tag teams in WWE history.

Dallas was aggressive in acquiring both Doncic and Porzingis last year and should hope that the change of scenery is just what Porzingis needs to help the pairing become one of the most fearsome and dynamic duos in the NBA.

The Mavericks traded up to third overall to grab Doncic when the Sacramento Kings passed on the EuroLeague MVP, then watched him blossom into a do-everything franchise centerpiece.

Then the Mavs sent out Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews and two first-rounders to New York when the Knicks’ relationship with Porzingis soured. In our WWE analogy, this makes the Knicks the infamous Gangrel.

Porzingis still hasn’t taken the floor in a Mavericks uniform, but he and Doncic present a tantalizing pick-and-pop duo. The Mavericks might not be a playoff team, but they’ve already done well to secure a pair of stars to build around.

With Porzingis 24 years old and Doncic only 20, this duo could have a similar career trajectory to the WWE stars.

(Yahoo Sports illustration)

Philadelphia 76ers: Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons as the nWo

This list wouldn’t be complete without including Scott Hall and Kevin Nash.

Similar to how Hall and Nash helped sparked the “Monday Night Wars” with their defection to WCW, Embiid and Simmons are the two integral pieces to the Sixers’ infamous “Process” and the New World Order of tanking in the NBA.

While Hall and Nash experienced success early in their careers, it wasn’t until they came together officially as The Outsiders that they were launched into superstardom.

Yes, yes, right now, Simmons can’t hit a jump shot. He posted 10 points or less in five games during the playoffs. Free throws and turnovers remain an issue. Those problems don’t change the fact that he has the clearest path to superstardom in the league if he can add even a reliable pull-up jumper, and that he’s one of the league’s top point guards regardless, thanks to the rebounding and defense his size affords him.

Combine that with Embiid, who is probably the only player in the league who has a legitimate argument against Nikola Jokic as the league’s top center, and you have the foundation for the Sixers’ plan next season of outsizing opponents at every position and smothering them on defense.

Fit remains a question due to the paint-heaviness of both players’ games on offense, but you aren’t going to find a better pair of players 25 or under in the league. And while we’re talking about pairings, it’s worth noting that Al Horford and Tobias Harris aren’t too shabby either.

who will miss the start of the season, is entering the league with a level of hype we haven’t seen since LeBron James made the jump from high school in 2003. The high-flying Duke star has been captivating audiences since he was in high school and now is the most electrifying rookie in the NBA.’ data-reactid=”286″>Williamson, who will miss the start of the season, is entering the league with a level of hype we haven’t seen since LeBron James made the jump from high school in 2003. The high-flying Duke star has been captivating audiences since he was in high school and now is the most electrifying rookie in the NBA.

See what we did there?

Before he became one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson billed himself as the most electrifying man in sports entertainment. Nearly everything The Rock did during his time in WWE was a huge hit, thanks to his unparalleled skills on the microphone and his strong in-ring work. Zion’s dunking ability is how he made his name and it will likely always be the strongest part of his game, but he’s shown that he can be a matchup nightmare at several different positions on the floor.

Ball was cast out of Los Angeles just two years after being the No. 2 overall pick for the Lakers and is likely to be a bench player for the Pelicans to start the season. Mick Foley (appearing on this list twice) was arguably never a bigger star than he was when he was paired with the charismatic Johnson.

It remains to be seen how New Orleans’ young roster will mesh together, but if Williamson can help unlock the potential of Ball, these two can be the NBA’s most exciting — and unlikely — star pairing.

(Yahoo Sports illustration)

Denver Nuggets: Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray as the Dudley Boyz

With the exception of a certain portion of diehard wrestling fans in the 1990s, Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley’s appearance in the then-WWF came out of nowhere. The ECW stars quickly made a name for themselves and won over crowds due to their innovative offense and signature use of tables during their matches.

Like the Dudleys, the Nuggets rose to have the second-best record in the West last year to the surprise of the casual NBA fan, driven mainly by the emergence of Jokic as the most awkwardly lethal big man in the league.

Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving as the Harlem Heat’ data-reactid=”337″>Brooklyn Nets: Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving as the Harlem Heat

In another somewhat geographical fit, we’re casting Durant and Irving as Booker T and Stevie Ray from the 10-time tag-team champion Harlem Heat.

For all of those New Yorkers who are ready to complain about how Brooklyn is in an entirely different borough, neither of the actual members of the Harlem Heat were born anywhere near New York City. Also, if we’re being completely honest, the city’s allegiances lie in the Barclays Center now, not Madison Square Garden.

Even with Durant expected to miss the entire season as he recovers from an Achilles injury, the Nets are going to be one of the most exciting teams to watch this season. Coming off a playoff berth, Brooklyn essentially swapped D’Angelo Russel for Kyrie Irving at point guard and added DeAndre Jordan to bolster its frontcourt presence.

In a weak Eastern Conference, a second-straight playoff berth seems likely, and with Durant on board for the foreseeable future, the Nets should be on the short list of title contenders after this season.

(Yahoo Sports illustration)

Toronto Raptors: Kyle Lowry and Marc Gasol as the Hart Foundation

Bret “The Hitman” Hart and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart were one of the greatest tag teams in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The Canadian duo won two tag-team championships during that time before eventually disbanding in 1991. This mashup was fairly obvious considering the Canada connection — although Hart is from Calgary, not Toronto.

#gallery-1 { margin: auto; } #gallery-1 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 33%; } #gallery-1 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-1 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */


Source : Yahoo Sports Link

Follow 3-www.NET
Follow
e-Radio.US
  
Share
e-Radio.Us

Category Latest Posts