Last November I compared Celtics players to Nintendo characters. It took an inordinate amount of time, was only interesting to a small portion of my readers, and was hands down one of my favorite posts. So I'm bringing it back with the 2007 draft class. In the 2 weeks leading up to the draft I plan to look at the top 15 prospects and then anyone I recognize - Sean Williams, Jared Dudley, Josh McRoberts, etc. Special thanks to nbadraft.net, which was a valuable resource in this exercise.
1. Greg Oden - Link from Zelda - Physically speaking Oden is one of, if not the most intimidating player in the 2007 NBA draft. So at first glance Link does not seem like an acceptable comparison. However, let's not forget that Link is the main character of one of Nintendo's most popular franchises. Furthermore, much like Oden, Link is a stoic character, particularly in the original Legend of Zelda. Clearly Oden is a franchise player who will make an immediate impact. However, I am not convinced that he will be the star of this draft class. That honor goes to...
2. Kevin Durant - Mario - Based upon his stellar play at the University of Texas Durant catapulted himself into the franchise player talk. Historically speaking players in Durant's mold are far more marketable than big men like Oden. More importantly Henry Abbot and others report that Durant has a desire to dominate and be the best. Taking all that into account I had to compare him to the ultimate Nintendo character - Mario. And if you are concerned about Durant's inability to bench press 185 pounds think of it as his Mario 2. Remember how Princess, Luigi, and even Toad of all characters outclassed Mario in that game. We all know how that ended. Mario returned with a vengeance in the third installment of the game, which even had a movie made about it. He never looked back. Durant won't either.
3. Brandan Wright - Fox McCloud from Star Fox - Fox McCloud belonged to a group of mercenaries. Given the number of players that have left UNC early in the last few years (Raymond Felton, Sean May, Marvin Williams, and Wright come to mind immediately) perhaps the school deserves a mercenary reputation. Furthermore, I remember all of the hype surrounding Fox Mcloud and Star Fox when the game debuted on SNES. And it was a nice game. But it never achieved the success of other Nintendo franchises. Similarly Wright has a lot of potential but is raw and allegedly unmotivated. Wright could be a star but the red flags are daunting.
As a side note, how creepy is Jason Kidd in the picture below, which is from an advertisement for Better Basketball. It looks like his wife (ex-wife?) walked in on him with a groupie.