Photo via Deviant Art user nebezial
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) March 9, 2013
So you can all blame Tim for this. In the midst of talking about basketball, a lively discussion accidentally popped up on my Twitter feed today: if you compared the Brooklyn Nets to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, who would be who? Naturally, this discussion spiraled, with so many of you giving so many opinions on who you think fits what turtle description. I loved most of them, agreed with half of them, and after much personal deliberation, below are my final choices.
Side note: most of the information I gleaned from the TMNT is either from memory or from Wikipedia. Feel free to add your own input, which is probably better than mine.
Deron Williams: Raphael. I think this is indisputable, actually. Caustic, straightforward, short-tempered, shoots first and asks questions later. Like Raphael, Deron likes to involve himself in one-on-one competition but also shows a rare softer side, such as spending time with his son after games. Raphael trash-talks everyone, brother or otherwise, D-Will spends plane rides catching teammates asleep and told A.J. Price off during a preseason game. D-Will is one of the strongest point guards in the league, and according to Raphael's Wikipedia page (I know -- he has his own Wikipedia page -- they all do -- but I can't focus on that right now), he's considered the strongest member of the Ninja Turtles.
Joe Johnson: Leonardo. Leader by design, disciplined, even-keeled, doesn't give in to pressure or attack in anger. You can't shake Leonardo, defenses can't shake Joe Johnson: good night or bad, he goes through the same modes of attack.
Gerald Wallace: Casey Jones. I originally thought Wallace was Splinter, until I realized I was making that judgment entirely based on Splinter's beard. Jones is a vigilante and will go toe-to-toe with anyone -- much like Wallace, who notably got in Kevin Garnett's face on Christmas Day. He'll also use anything to his advantage to keep up with the Turtles -- he wasn't blessed with superhuman strength or unnatural ability, but uses every tool at his disposal (usually tools from sports, like golf clubs and baseball bats) to attack. Similarly, Wallace -- the team's swiss army knife -- uses every trick in the book to stop opposing scorers.
Brook Lopez: Michelangelo. The team's needed light-hearted member, Lopezangelo personifies the goofiness of California sun when juxtaposed with discipline, sarcasm, and science. I could easily imagine Lopez saying "Cowabunga!" after finishing a successful post-game press conference. Good-natured, generally happy, but with a mean streak that comes out every once in a while -- just like Lopez, who's accustomed to smiling and making ridiculous faces on the floor but will occasionally throw it down with authority or take over a game when you least expect it.
Mikhail Prokhorov: Shredder. Yes, Shredder is the primary antagonist in all iterations of Ninja Turtles, which makes this comparison a little off. But, in my defense: Mikhail Prokhorov is clearly Shredder.
Andray Blatche & Reggie Evans: Bebop and Rocksteady. Sometimes, you're not sure they have any idea what they're doing, but as a duo, you can't deny their effectiveness. They just need to come off the TMNT bench together to do the most damage.
This is absolutely something I can picture Evans & Blatche doing after a practice. And look at Prokhorov, reprimanding them.
James Dolan: Krang.
Jerry Stackhouse: Splinter. Splinter is the epitome of veteran leadership. Stackhouse was brought on by the Nets to be a player/assistant coach, helping mentor the young
turtles Nets through what was sure to be a tumultuous season. Splinter is a ninja master, and Stackhouse accordingly has shown a propensity to take on any opponent with grace and oh look here's the video of him knocking Shaq to the ground again.
(Runner-up for Splinter: Keith Bogans. Bogans is kind of a mix between Splinter and Michelangelo.)
MarShon Brooks: Venus. Seemingly mystical skills we only see sparsely.
Ian Eagle: April O'Neil. The voice of the Turtles to the outside world, someone with a strong commitment to doing their job right (April fled Baxter Stockman after finding out he was using her work to steal from bank vaults, and Ian Eagle makes it a point to know how to pronounce every player's name in the NBA), and someone that's as synonymous with the Turtles as any non-Turtle there ever was.
That's all I've got so far. If you've gotten to this point, thank you for plowing through what's probably the dumbest thing I've ever written. You're welcome for never writing the idea I had months ago for each Nets player as a different type of deli sandwich.