Professional athletes are the closest people we have to superheroes. They are idolized, can do things normal people can only dream of, and even have their own logos. It’s only natural that we compare the two, so here are the top seven picks of the NBA draft with the superhero I feel represents them best.
Joel Embiid – Superman
Joel Embiid, up until his injury, was the consensus number one pick. He has the most potential to become a dominant NBA player and future Hall of Famer. He has once-in-a-generation talent, if he develops.
Now that we have to factor in his injury, he will drop a bit, but someone will still take a gamble on him. Taking a look at Superman, on the surface he is inarguably the most dominant superhero. However, once you take into account his weakness to kryptonite, superheroes such as Batman can, and have, taken advantage of this weakness and beaten Superman.
Take kryptonite away, Superman is unstoppable. If Embiid can overcome his injury, he will be the most dominant player the league has seen since Shaq.
Andrew Wiggins – Wolverine
First off, they are both Canadian. That was enough for me.
Besides that, Andrew Wiggins is easily the most freakishly athletic player in the draft. Have you seen that picture showing how high he can jump? Wolverine is one of the most freakishly blessed mutants with his ability to heal at such a rapid pace.
If Wiggins can develop Wolverine’s signature mean streak to go along with his natural talents, he will win multiple MVP awards as he punishes the league.
Jabari Parker – Captain America
Captain America hails from a different time in America, a much more wholesome time, and is often ridiculed for his old-fashioned values. Parker is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a.k.a. the Mormons, a group that is also often questioned for its old-fashioned values.
Jabari has the potential to be a great leader and a “glue” guy for his team, just like Captain America is for the Avengers. But, he will probably get some good-natured ribbing from his teammates for not drinking and such à la Bryce Harper.
Dante Exum – Thor
Once again, nationality played a part in this decision. Exum is Australian and the dude that plays Thor in the movies is Australian. But more than that, Thor is from a different world, and Exum is from, well, Australia.
Exum is listed as a point guard, but will be more than capable of playing shooting guard as well. When given a team, he will be able to star, but for the first couple of years he will be able to play a great role as a second or third option. This is similar to Thor, who can easily carry his own movies and lead his own teams, but when put on a larger team, knows his role and gets the job done.
Noah Vonleh – Mr. Fantastic
Vonleh had the second largest wingspan at the Draft Combine, the largest height-to-wingspan differential, the largest hands both in height and width, and was a quarter of an inch away from being tied for the largest hands in recorded history for a draft prospect.
This makes Mr. Fantastic an obvious comp. Both can stretch more than the average player/superhero. Also, Mr. Fantastic is one of the smartest superheroes, and Vonleh has a great mind for the game and willingness to learn.
Marcus Smart – The Hulk
The Hulk is big, strong, aggressive, and has a temper. Marcus Smart is big and strong for his position, very aggressive, and has shown to have a temper. I’m not knocking Smart for going into the stands, and if what the man allegedly said is true, I would have done the same thing, but it does make for an easy comparison.
Aside from that, Bruce Banner is a genius, and Smart has all the makings and basketball IQ to be a great floor general. The Hulk is often overlooked, but is an all-star superhero and when we look back on this draft, Smart could be the best player to come out of it.
Julius Randle – Batman
Randle has some amazing tools. The rebounding, the post moves, the ball handling, the jump hook. Similarly, Batman is most famous for his gadgets and his utility belt. Also, Randle can’t shoot and Batman refuses to shoot.
Batman may not have the super powers that his peers do, and Randle may not have the gifts that other players in the draft have, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Randle have a better career than the rest of the draft class by maximizing the tools he has been given, along with acquiring some others along the way. Like a jump shot. He needs one as badly as Batman needs the Batmobile.