For basketball diehards, spring begins the rising wave of high-level hooping. March Madness captures the hearts of bracket-crazed fans while the NBA playoff race heats up at a blistering pace. It’s the time of year hardwood devotees live for.
In the spirit of basketball, myself and fellow Stropse wordsmith Jarrod Castillo drew up our dream teams of video game characters we would want to see take the court. Read on to find out who we picked.
Now, growing up a Milwaukee Bucks fan, I suffered through years of perpetual beatdowns from the rest of the league. The teams lacked swagger, moxie, and ferocity. But, as of late, the team has evolved into a fine-tuned machine. As you’ll come to find out, my super squad is going to align more with the Bucks of today instead of those of yesteryear.
When it comes to my dream starting five, I can’t help but pull from real-life examples for inspiration. As a Golden State Warriors fan, my dream starting five would have to be extremely versatile on offense – because of the Warriors’ read-and-react offense – and be able to switch onto opposing players with ease while still putting up a solid fight on that end. That’s why I ultimately decided to go with a four-out, one-in squad (wherein four players are on the perimeter with one inside).
Team Dylan: Ezio Auditore
As my floor general, I’ve chosen Assassin’s Creed 2’s very own, the Italian Stallion, Ezio Auditore. This guy’s a smooth, crafty, vision-enhanced killer (literally). On top of his skillset, Ezio lived a long life as one of history’s greatest assassins. Being a long-tenured master craftsman, Ezio would be a floor operator designed from the Rajon Rondo framework. This guy lives for the opportunity to seal the deal when time is running out.
Team Jarrod: Kazuma Kiryu
At point, I have Kazuma Kiryu, formerly the lead protagonist of the Yakuza series. Standing at six foot, Kiryu would be my quasi-Chris Paul — someone who doesn’t let Father Time get the best of him and can run an efficient offense. Considering his history as one of the most feared men in the Yakuza series, Kiryu would be the guy I’m giving the ball to hit that dagger, both figuratively and literally.
Team Dylan: Dante
To me, the shooting guard position should be occupied by a player dripping with swagger—a certified stat sheet monster. What better monster than Devil May Cry’s supernatural hunter, Dante? The vigilante Nephilim has a cocky demeanor backed by superior acrobatics and a full bag of tricks making him a nightmare for opposing defenders. The supernatural slasher is very much of an Allen Iverson archetype who you don’t want to heat up because, if you do…it could be game over in a flash.
Team Jarrod: Blaziken
Starting at the two-guard spot, I have my boy Blaziken from Pokemon Emerald. Though he’s six-foot-three – we’re running a pretty small lineup here – his ability to catch fire (in more ways than one) is deathly important to any chance I have of success. I liken him to Monta Ellis, but a bit faster and more accurate for the field, especially since he’s an offensive beast.
Team Dylan: King II
What good would a squad be without a purebred fighter? King II from Tekken 7 is a highly-athletic, tough-as-nails luchador you can rely on to bring strength and edginess to guard bigger opponents. The jaguar-mask-sporting, high-flying wrestler would yam down hellacious dunks to set off crowd pops heard round the world. At the same time, he would be a game-wrecking bully and a catalyst for momentum swings. I like Jimmy Butler as a comparison— they’re both scary.
Team Jarrod: Lincoln Clay
At one of the frontcourt spots, I have Lincoln Clay from Mafia III. Though I didn’t like the game, the six-foot-four Clay is here as a jack-of-all-trades player. Need him to lock down a quick guard or hold his own against a big? He can do that. What about hitting some mid-range buckets or corner threes? I’ll bet he can hit those at an average clip too. Plus, I just had to have someone named “Clay” on my squad; that’s non-negotiable.
Team Dylan: Urbosa
My girl Urbosa from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a mix of elegance and unchallenged vigor. She’s got length, touch, and would step in as squad leader on Day 1. Urbosa would terrorize defenses from mid-range while having the ability to dominate the post on both ends of the court. With an aptitude for drawn-out warfare, the member of Princess Zelda’s vanguard would have the ability to average 38-plus minutes per night without slowing down. It’s hard to find a comp here, but think Candace Parker meets Tim Duncan.
Team Jarrod: Thor
Though this might be cheating, I have Thor from Marvel’s Avengers at the four. Having a literal god on your squad – no, not Michael Jordan – should make for an easy win, and why wouldn’t you have a six-foot-six mountain of a man? I imagine he can set gnarly picks, roll hard and find the open shooter when the D collapses. Plus, I bet he gives really awesome pep talks and could be the heart of the team (a la Draymond Green).
Team Dylan: Kratos
I don’t know about you, but if I saw the God of War stepping onto the court, I’d think twice about whether or not ball really is life. Kratos would garner nicknames like Eater of Boards and Catcher of Bodies. Banging it out in the paint with him would leave you broken by halftime. The downfall with having Zeus’ son on the floor would be his guaranteed propensity for technical fouls and ejections, but that’s a trade-off I can live with. The center most akin to Kratos is Kevin Garnett. And with a player like KG, anything is possible.
Team Jarrod: Mr. X
Rounding things off, I have Mr. X from the Resident Evil series as the man in the middle. Needing a big body that can also potentially facilitate – because we know the defense is absolutely there – Mr. X fits the mold of an Andrew Bogut/Draymond Green-type since he can stand anywhere from six-foot-seven to seven-foot-three, depending on the lore. Built like a tank yet hard to hit, Mr. X and Kiryu are running things.
Watching basketball is one thing, playing is another, and drafting a dream team that includes some of our favorite video game characters takes our love for basketball to a whole new level. Who do you think would win between the two teams? Do you think you could put together a team that could take down both of our squads? Let us know in the comments!
And remember, BALL.IS.LIFE!