CO-WRITTEN BY JAKOB ROSATI AND BRADEN WAGLE
As the NBA Playoffs continue to heat up and Game of Thrones is preparing to shock the world, let’s compare current NBA figureheads and some of the marquee HBO characters.
Jon Snow / Giannis Antetokounmpo:
Giannis just like Jon comes from a mystery-filled background, pertaining to his overseas upbringing. Both Jon and Giannis are honorable, strong leaders, who don’t like being in the spotlight. They are leaders who want what is best for everyone. They both came into their positions as naive children, with little knowledge of how the world of Westeros or the NBA works. Now they are each dominant players in their own respective games.
Bran Stark / Jerry West:
West is universally known as one of the best front office figures of all time. West, like Bran, is all knowing and has complete sight over the current NBA and where it is heading, just like the Three-Eyed Raven. West joined the Los Angeles Clippers in 2017. Since then, the Clippers have traded their best players in Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and Tobias Harris, resulting in an underrated gritty team, that is prepared to make a huge splash in free agency. West and Bran are huge contributors to main storylines in their respective worlds.
Sansa Stark / Damian Lillard:
Lillard, like Sansa, was always good, but kind of just there. Never a true threat. As time has passed, both Lillard and Sansa have made true names for themselves, acting in great fashion during crunch time and in the clutch. Both have started being more vocal as well, with Sansa challenging Jon and Daenerys while Lillard has been calling out Westbrook all postseason.
Daenerys Targaryen / James Harden:
Harden, just like Khaleesi, is all-powerful and respected by many. There is a dislike among the two because of their unorthodox play. Harden plays in what some would call a cheating style, while Khaleesi has raised dragons, something that is exclusive to her. Both seem to get rattled in clutch situations and can perform, but have yet to prove themselves in the greatest challenge of them all.
Petyr Baelish / Kevin Durant:
Baelish AKA Littlefinger was a master manipulator and perceived as the biggest snake in Game of Thrones. He always seems to be on the winning side. Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder to join a team that came back and beat him 3 games in a row. Durant made an infamous “snake” move, as Littlefinger has on many occasions. Both Littlefinger and Durant are heavy influencers in what happens in their battles: the NBA Playoffs and war for Westeros.
The Night King / Gregg Popovich:
Pop and the Night King are quiet, consuming characters. The Night King takes out his enemies and brings them back to life to join his army. They all act the same and go about battle in the same manner, probably because they are dead. Pop gets free agents to buy into his decades-old system and culture. Many players looking to revamp their career will join Pop in his journey to the Finals. He tolerates no foolery and gets straight to the point, kind of like the Night King who hurled a spear at a moving dragon as it flew around, then taking it for himself.
Tyrion Lannister / Chris Paul:
Tyrion the imp and Chris Paul the “point god”. Two of the smartest men in the game, never letting their height shadow over their true talents. Both are leaders who have helped teach a star how to act and play the game. Both have spent time struggling in bad situations and thriving in great ones. At times they can both be snarky, annoying, or even aggressive, but usually, they know what is best and can be counted on for the right decision.
Samwell Tarly / Brad Stevens:
Brad and Samwell are both scholars of the game. They don’t necessarily play it themselves, but both hold a substantial amount of information that is used to aid people who do. Stevens has struggled at times dealing with the chemistry of the Celtics, as Tarly did in the Night’s Watch, but in the end, they both are just trying their best. Both are reserved and avoid attention. They take people who may be overlooked or unappreciated and turn them into notable players. They are both the best at ensuring warriors have what they need to gain the status they desire.
Arya Stark / Steph Curry:
Arya and Steph are the sharpshooters. The ones that were never expected to be great or have elite talents, but here we are as they both are some of the strongest to partake in the Big Dance. Arya possesses high-level swordsmanship skills and the abilities of the Many-Faced God. The majority laughed at her when she aspired to wield a sword. Steph was never supposed to be elite, as he was always a great shooter, his playmaking and leadership were always overlooked. As we have yet to see Arya’s future, Steph has already become the greatest shooter of all-time and is arguably one of the best players to ever do it. They both have blown all expectations out of the water.
Cersei Lannister / Draymond Green:
Draymond and Cersei are both power-hungry maniacs, who think they are bigger than they actually are. Draymond was great when he was an underrated defender and energy piece but now acts like he is a great, just as Cersei has falsely proposed a claim to the throne. They both also like taking cheap shots, whether it’s blowing up a building or kicking a man in the groin, neither seem to care about the response to their actions. They have both ridden many noble people to greatness and would be nothing without their respective allies.
Jamie Lannister / Kawhi Leonard:
Kawhi, just like Jamie, slayed the king in LeBron James. They were regarded as some of the best no-drama, All-Stars with an unbreakable bright future. They both proceeded to foil that reputation with frowned-upon actions, Kawhi holding out on the Spurs and Jamie’s incest, infidelity, and mishaps in war. Now they both look to redeem themselves, as Kawhi joins the North, similar to Jamie. Both have opportunities to change the narrative greatly after the Big Dance, especially Kawhi in free agency.
Theon Greyjoy / Kyle Lowry:
Lowry and Theon are both men who show up at times that don’t matter as much, cough cough, the regular season. Here we are in the final couple seasons (playoffs), neither of them show up and disappear, disappointing as usual. Theon left his sister Yara stranded, just like Lowry has left his co-stars stranded by poor play, year-after-year in the playoffs.