Saturday, May 25, 2013

NBA Gryffindor

Ahh Gryffindor, the house we all envision ourselves being sorted into, before reality kicks in and gently reminds us that Hufflepuff is probably our absolute best case scenario. As it stands, NBA Gryffindor deftly mixes raw athleticism with grit and veteran leadership to make them a very tough matchup for any of their rival houses.

CHASERS: Derrick Rose, Monta Ellis (MIL), Paul Pierce (BOS)

Rose- I'm sick of all the negativity, especially coming from Chicago Bulls fans, regarding Rose's decision to sit out the entire season following the cursed ACL that he suffered last April. People seriously think it would have been worth it to risk his career just to jump into the Miami series completely rusty and probably lose in 5 games anyway? If the guy said he didn't feel ready, I have to take his word for it. He was criticized for making what Bulls fans/management seemed to imply was a cowardly decision, but he never wavered in conviction despite pressure from the organization and the city. I'll let Albus Dumbledore take it from here. "There are all kinds of courage. It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends." I therefore award ten points to Mr. Derrick Rose.

Ellis- Say what you will about Monta, but the defining characteristics of this undersized scorer are his fearless drives to the basket, often while taking hits from much larger players in the process. For me, this courage overrules whatever negative feelings one might have about his arguably selfish style of play. On the opening disclaimer, I admitted that certain players were sorted in their respective houses for no other reason than "just because", and Monta just seems like a Gryffindor to me. For this team, his attacking style will bring more to the table than it takes away.

Pierce- It is common practice for Hogwarts students to spend seven years in the same House they were originally sorted into. However, it is an increasingly rare feat for an NBA player to do the same thing. With that in mind, the fact that Pierce has remained in Boston for twice that long is certainly worthy of mention. As the loyal elder statesman of Gryffindor, Paul Pierce stuck with the historically elite team during one of their darker periods, and then led the way during their return to glory a decade later, forever endearing himself to supporters of the club. Now reaching the twilight of his career, it's unclear just how long Pierce's old Shooting Star broomstick will be able to hold out. However, once he finally decides to hang it up, it is certain that his #34 robes will be raised in honor to the common room rafters, and Paul George of the Pacers seems poised to take his spot as the next great Gryffindor Chaser.

BEATERS: Kenneth Faried (DEN), Blake Griffin (LAC)

Faried and Griffin- The lazy answer here would have been to put Brook and Robin Lopez as the Beaters for Gryffindor, and try to pretend that just by being twins, they are in any way similar to Fred and George Weasley. I just can't see it, and the Stanford-educated Lopez twins would be in Ravenclaw anyway, which leads to a much, much, much better solution for the Winged Lions.

Just as Oliver Wood once described the Weasley twins, Faried and Griffin are "like a pair of human bludgers themselves." In putting together this lineup, I cracked a smile every time this scene was conjured in my mind:
Kenneth Faried, on a Comet 260, with dreadlocks that would make Lee Jordan jealous flowing in the breeze; Faried ferociously winds up his bat to smack a high-arcing bludger in the general direction of the Ravenclaw chasers. Meanwhile, on his custom KIA Cleensweep, extra long red robes stamped with that #32, Blake Griffin powerfully rises up to meet the heavy bludger at its peak, wooden bat extended , the unsuspecting Ravenclaw chaser just below...
BAM!!! Welcome to Bludge City!!!

I don't think you can find a more entertaining combo than "the Manimal" and "the Hippogriffin" at this position.  

GOALKEEPER: Tyson Chandler (NYK)

Chandler- This guy is completely defensive minded, and the quiet toughness he's become known for in helping the Mavs win the title in 2011 and return the Knicks to some level of prominence has gone somewhat underappreciated. Operating mainly behind the scenes seems to be how Chandler likes things, which provides a nice contrast to the egotistical antics of former Keeper Cormac McLaggen and the mental toughness of a teaspoon shown time and again from Ronald Weasley. We all know that the Goalkeeper position really doesn't have much impact on the result of a quidditch match anyway, so the veteran leadership and intangible team chemistry that Chandler provides will probably have a bigger effect than anything he actually on the field.

SEEKER: Rajon Rondo (BOS)

Rondo is the clear cut choice to be named All-Hogwarts First Team at Seeker, which means that he would almost certainly be named league MVP.  With long arms, huge hands, and a wispy but strong frame, Rondo was born to play seeker. As for the pre-requisite courage to get into Gryffindor, look no further than his gritty performance against Miami in the 2011 playoffs, when renowned cheapshot artist Dwyane Wade performed his rogue bludger act yet again. As far as seemingly effortless agility goes, Rondo is a Firebolt among Cleansweeps, and his extraordinary court vision ensures that his eyes will likely find the snitch first. He differs from Potter in this regard, who more than once had to rely on blind luck and superior equipment to catch it during his vastly overrated career at Hogwarts.

Just like almost every year, I see this being a two horse race between Gryffindor and Slytherin, with some wildly entertaining games featuring Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff mixed in. Rumor has it that Dumbledore has been practically begging Nitch to set up a Play On Sports account for Hogwarts, just  to get some of these must-see quidditch matches streamed online. I'd imagine that Nitch then pointed out that wizards don't even have internet and politely declined.

That's it for the NBA Hogwarts series, unless I go soft and throw out a feature on Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. For now, I want to hear any opinions and predictions that Bromolytes have for this hypothetical and completely irrelevant quidditch season. Who is bringing home the Larry O'Brien Quidditch Cup this year?

1 comment:

  1. oh man great article... recent history points to Gryffindor winning it all - if they can stay healthy. Lotta recent injury issues not only with the Gryffindor quidditch team but also with new members Rose, and occasionally Chandler, Griffin(dor), and Rondo. Trey Burke would make a great option at seeker if Rondo were ever unavailable.

    Fantastic stuff H... someone should post this on mgoblog or something where the whole world can see it so H can get the recognition he deserves for this brilliant piece of work