With the excitement around the upcoming release of the new Star Wars Movie: Rogue One reaching fever pitch, I thought it’d be interesting to see which Star Wars characters from their latest blockbuster hit, the Force Awakens are best represented on the current Boston Celtics’ roster.
Isaiah Thomas is BB-8
What a perfect way to start. BB-8 is an undersized hero with the ability to practically roll anywhere. With his unique round body, he is somehow able to spin over sand, gravel, grass and even upstairs, just as Thomas is able to roll off the body of one his bigs and somehow find his way into the painted area despite the enemy clogging his path.
Not only is there similarities in their size and their ability to fight through resistance but they are also cheeky. I think we all remember giggling when Fin threw a thumbs up to the pint sized robot and he responded with a metallic arm and a flaming thumbs up of his own. Thomas grins at the huge trees underneath when he gets a fishy foul call and often can be seen giving a wink or a smile to the fans.
Also, just as BB-8 can often be found in the company of the Universe’s greatest pilot, Poe Dameron, Thomas can often be found in the company of the best “little guy” athletes on the planet like Allen Iverson and Floyd Mayweather.
Avery Bradley is Rey
When we first saw Rey, she was a fresh faced girl from the barren desert of Jakku and we couldn’t help but think, this is our hero? Celtics fans had similar fears when they drafted the fresh faced Bradley out of the barren deserts of Texas University.
Initially, they showed they were hard workers and scrappers but their upsides seemed limited. Sure they can navigate their way through the hull of a busted ship for scrap metal or grab a steal from an opposing point guard but will they ever be a star? Well, over time it soon became clear that they were more than they appeared. As Rey got out of her comfort zone, her abilities started to flourish. The force flowed inside her and she was soon not simply battling with the Universe’s best but outwitting them.
Now, Bradley may not have midi-chlorians flowing through him but he uses a rarely seen force of will to keep improving. As his career has progressed he has added to his tireless one on one defence and has become a trusted shooter, a good ball handler and a great weapon at the end of games.
Jae Crowder is Han Solo
After coming back from an ankle injury too early, Crowder’s jumpshot looked rustier than the Millennium Falcon rotting away in the junkyard on Jakku, but in the recent game versus the Thunder he showed why he’s the Celtics’ rogue hero, Han Solo.
He plays tough, hard and always seems to have a sneaky plan to get under his enemies skin. Plus there is the clear similarities in wardrobe. Solo is synonymous with his leather jacket and anyone who saw Crowder on the sideline recently would tell you that he can wear a jacket.
Admittedly they are more Matrix than Solo, but there is no doubt that when it comes to fashion he has the attitude; could you pull this off? He is a pirate ready to plunder but he has a heart under those dirty dreads and he would do anything for his team mates.
Al Horford is Poe Dameron
Just like Poe Dameron, Horford is the new superstar in the Celtics’ universe. He is quick with a smile yet still ready to go to war at the drop of a hat. His shot is deadly, be it from a Thai Fighter or from the 3-Point line.
He is determined and is happy to withstand torture from the big bad guys under the basket. He is a great communicator and already is a leader that would have others go into battle for him. He is the future of the franchise and as fans we can’t wait to see more from him.
Star Wars is going to revolve entire movies around him and Ainge would be foolish to not build his team around his new superstar.
Amir Johnson is Jar Jar Binks
Before the Star Wars fanatics get on my case let me make it clear that I know that Jar Jar, much to the delight of most sane people, was NOT in the latest Star Wars movie. That being said, I couldn’t help but think of this stumbling, bumbling hero when I thought of Johnson.
Just like Jar Jar, Johnson’s heart is always in the right place. He works hard and would do anything for his team but it is the execution where things often go awry. When I watch the Celtics and inevitably a pass or rebound goes up for grabs and Johnson bobbles with it, I can’t help but think of the clumsy Gungan.
Marcus Smart is Finn
When Finn first came onto the big screen, he was a Storm Trooper, an enemy, just like when the Celtics announced that they were taking Smart with the precious 6th pick in the NBA Draft. With a shot as reliable as Jabba the Hut and the body of a linebacker very few fans were overjoyed with their use of this pick, especially when the front court cupboard looked particularly bare.
But, as time has gone on, it has become clear why this young man is so special. Just as Finn turned his back on the Dark Side, Smart turned his back on the naysayers on Twitter and has stolen our hearts. He is a ball hog and a demon on the defensive end and just as Finn sacrificed himself to go toe to toe with Kylo Ren, Smart on a nightly basis doesn’t just defend the opposition’s best player but is willing to defend any position.
He is strong, he is tough and just like Finn he is one of the few weapons the Celtics have if they wish to take down the Dark Side that is the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Kelly Olynyk is Chewbacca
Well this one was easy. With Kelly’s ridiculous facial hair and his flowing locks you can’t help but draw similarities with the lovable but hair covered Chewy and the similarities don’t stop there.
Olynyk is a deadly sharpshooter from the 3-point line just as Chewy is deadly with his weapon of choice, a bowcaster. Also, Chewy is impossible to understand in his native Wookie tongue, just as no one really knows what the Toronto native Olynyk is talking a’ boot, eh? Then there’s the similarities in height. Both characters are well over seven feet tall and have to duck to get under doorways.
Finally, just as Han Solo had to steal Chewy’s bowcaster to wipe out some of the enemy, Celtics fans and more importantly Brad Stevens are begging the hairy Canadian to stop hiding and start shooting.
Jaylen Brown is Luke Skywalker
Even when Luke Skywalker was just a boy on Tatooine putting together space junk, it was clear to even the passing Star Wars fan that this kid was something special. Obi Wan saw it, Yoda saw it, even the rogueish Han Solo thought that he would steal his girl.
But just like Luke, Brown is going through some serious growing pains. You see him take two steps from the three point line and make a humongous dunk or make a rock move through the air with the force and you can’t help but think that this guy is our saviour. But then he makes a careless pass out of bounds, fumbles a ball on his way to the rim, loses his guy in defence or tries to take on Darth Vader when he’s clearly not ready and frustration swells up inside you.
I’m sure Stevens has been tempted to send his new prize down to the swamps of Dagobah (the D-League) to sharpen his skills but he has stuck with him. Hopefully, like Luke, he can face his demons and be the star that all Celtics fans are praying for.
Jonas Jerebko is Princess Leia
Let’s face it, with his beautifully quaffed hair and his ABBA good looks, Jerebko is the Celtics’ damsel in distress. But just like Leia, he is so much more than that. When Jerebko is attempting to bang underneath against a much bigger opponent, I admit he may as well be tethered by a metal chain in a gold bikini because he is outmatched.
Despite this, he is still an asset. Just like Leia, when given the chance he has a surprisingly reliable shot and creates opportunities for his team mates. He also works tirelessly on the defensive end and doesn’t shy away from a challenge.
Do they have Princes in Swede? I’m not sure but there is no doubt that the Swedish Larry Bird is as cheap and versatile as a piece of IKEA furniture and is as loyal and tough as the undersized but feisty Princess.
Terry Rozier is R2-D2
Like R2-D2, Rozier may be small but what he lacks in size, he more than makes up for with spunk. Rozier has been one of the great surprises of the Celtics’ season thus far and just like the pint sized robot he is fearless, dogged and can be relied on under pressure. Now even though Rozier’s game has gone to another level this year there is no doubt that he has deficiencies. Just as R2-D2 can only move what seems like 3 miles per hour, even when blasters are going off around him, Rozier’s shot can at best only be described as a work in progress.
Despite this inadequacy, no one can argue his importance to the cause. In a team that lacks players with the ability to create their own shot, Rozier continues to get better at creating opportunities for his team mates. Just as R2-D2 was able to get precious information to the resistance, Rozier is quickly getting better at limiting turnovers and getting the precious ball to his team mates.
Tyler Zeller is C-3PO
When you see Zeller on the Celtics’ bench, it is easy to fall in love with him. With a team that struggles to rebound a seven footer with jumping ability seems like the perfect answer. He may as well be a shiny translator able to help out in any situation.
But just like C-3PO, Zeller has proven on many occasions that he’s just too timid and let’s face it fragile to be a serious hero. Just as the funny talking robot is often told to stay in the ship and out of trouble, Zeller is often left on the bench by Stevens.
On the defensive end, Zeller still gets bullied and until he learns to get some more backbone, Stevens will depend more on pint sized options like R2-D2 or Rozier to get the rebounds that he can’t.
Brad Stevens is Obi-Wan Kenobi
The obvious connection between Obi-Wan and Celtics’ coach Brad Stevens can be summed up in one word; unflappable. Whether Kylo-Ren is threatening to burn down his entire village or LeBron James simply seems unstoppable, they are quick to think on their feet and put a plan into action.
Like Obi-Wan, who saw potential in the young Luke Skywalker, Stevens’ greatest trait is his ability to nurture talent and get the most out of his players. In addition to this, he is also very smart and a great tactician. Just as Obi-Wan was able to use the force to bamboozle some dastardly storm troopers, Stevens is great under pressure and is already one of the best in the league at drawing up out of time out plays.
Just like Obi-Wan, does Stevens sometimes need to stop hiding in the desert and make some tough decisions? Yes. But what he lacks in killer instinct, he more than makes up for in work ethic, game knowledge and player management. Just as Luke would happily go against Darth Vader to protect his mentor, Stevens’ players would without hesitation go through a brick wall if it would please their good natured coach.
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