Oklahoma City Thunder: Wrestlemania Season

Mar 29, 2016; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) huddles with teammates during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 29, 2016; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) huddles with teammates during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

Wrestlemania is this Sunday, and while the build-up has been mediocre at best, it’s still an exciting time if you’re a wrestling fan. By writing this column, you’ve probably figured out that I am a wrestling fan and there are plenty of basketball players that are wrestling fans as well. NBA champions are known to carry around WWE titles because I guess rings aren’t big or fashionable enough. In perhaps the greatest crossover between the two sports, Dennis Rodman and Karl Malone famously wrestled each other in 1998, proving that their feud on the court was just as real as their wrestling match.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have a lot of interesting personalities on the team and the most successful wrestlers are just guys who turn their personality up to 100. So if we turned Thunder players up to 100, who would their wrestling counterparts be? I’m glad you asked.

Steven Adams – Steve Austin: “Stone Cold” Steven Adams gets under the skin of opponents, throwing them off their game and drawing technical fouls like Austin drew the anger of just about everyone he came across in the ring. Away from the court, he’s a funny personality who I’m sure could drink you under the table if necessary. (Gimmick Change: Arn Anderson)

Kyle Singler – David Flair: Ric Flair is arguably the greatest wrestler of all-time. Singler is arguably the greatest white forward on the team. So there’s that. This really has more to do with Singler’s hair. Ric is known for his flowing blonde locks and Singler has certainly garnered attention for his, well, whatever he has going on the top of his head. I’d like to know if Singler’s hair turns red when he bleeds, but I’m sure he values his forehead a bit more than Flair did. Since comparing Singler to Ric is a huge stretch, we’ll say that Singler is more like David Flair, Ric’s son who did some wrestling for a while.

Dion Waiters – Shelton Benjamin: This one is almost too perfect. Shelton started off as part of the World’s Greatest Tag Team alongside Charlie Haas the same way Waiters started out as part of the World’s Greatest Backcourt alongside Kyrie Irving. However, things went downhill fast for both of them due to inconsistencies and personality. Sometimes they deliver a big game or a big match and people see the talent and hold out hope that they’re going to be great, but they just never reach that level.

Anthony Morrow – Steven Regal: Regal is one of the best technical wrestlers in history and also one of the most underutilized wrestlers in history. Sound familiar? Morrow is the best spot-up shooter on the team, but can’t get minutes for some reason. Wrestling would’ve been better if Regal was featured more (on top of being a great wrestler, he was extremely charismatic) and the Thunder would be better if they used Morrow better. (Gimmick Change: Fit Finlay)

Serge Ibaka – Batista: Before Batista would deliver his devastating Batisita Bomb, he would give a thumps down. I’m pretty sure that who Ibaka stole his block gesture from. When Batista returned to WWE a few years ago, he wasn’t as good and the fans turned on him, sort of like how Thunder fans are starting to turn on Ibaka. On top of that, both guys are pretty injury prone. And hey, Son of Congo is pretty much the documentary version of Guardians of the Galaxy.

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Kevin Durant – The Undertaker: One of the best of all-time but somehow underrated. That sort of describes Durant this season as he’s been overlooked for most of the season by fans who have fallen in love with Stephen Curry, Kawhi Leonard, and even Russell Westbrook. Durant’s fickleness with the media is kind of like Undertaker’s fickleness with his character (is he a supernatural or a biker or a MMA fighter?) and Thunder fans are hoping that his loyalty is the same. There’s also that whole Slim Reaper nickname that never caught on.

Russell Westbrook – The Rock: Whether he’s delivering funny pre and post-game comments or electrifying the millions (and millions) of NBA fans, Russell Westbrook certainly appears to be in a league of his own at times. He even has signature moves such as the one-handed dunk, the transition mid-range jumper, the newly added euro-step and of course a terrible sharpshooter. (Gimmick Change: Brock Lesnar)

Enes Kanter – Kevin Nash: Nash was a skilled big man who valued money and offense in the ring while rarely selling for his opponents. Kanter is a skilled big man who makes a lot of money, definitely values offense, and rarely plays defense against opponents. Some might say that Kanter isn’t as good-looking as “Big Sexy” but have you seen the man’s mustache? It’s pretty sexy. (Gimmick Change: Ole Anderson)

Next: Thunder 1st Round Preview

Cameron Payne – Kofi Kingston: Extremely athletic, sort of unorthodox, and a little bit wacky with their dancing and mannerisms.

Nick Collison – Dean Malenko: A fundamentally sound worker who didn’t really have a personality and ended up becoming a road agent to mentor the young guys. The only difference between Collison and Malenko is that Collison is taller and so is his money.

Randy Foye – X-Pac: An acquisition that didn’t really amount to much and everyone wishes he would just go away. Maybe we should coin the term “Foye Heat.” (Gimmick Change: Perry Saturn)

Andre Roberson – Dolph Ziggler: Ziggler has pretty basic and poor offense for the most part, but he’s known for his ability to sell, even though it’s pretty inconsistent. Roberson is either going to shoot a corner three or slash to the basket. Defensively, he’s good, but is prone to giving up the big game.

Billy Donovan – The Writers: Keep reading.

Sam Presti – Vince McMahon: The overseer of everything. It doesn’t matter how many good ideas Donovan has, he still has to appease the big boss. That’s the only way to explain why Waiters and Foye get so many minutes. Presti is forcing Donovan to play them so the trades don’t look quite as bad. We all know that Presti wants to be the true star of the team as well.

(Thanks to Samer Kadi and Steve Cook for their help on this)