There are few good teams that fly under the radar quite as much as the Indiana Pacers. The team has been consistently solid for the past decade, but outside of a couple trips to the Eastern Conference Finals, they have not been seen as a serious threat come playoff time. With each of the Pacers' last five seasons ending in...
NBA Players Versus Zombies Part 1: How Each Team Fares in a Zombie Apocalypse
By: Khaqan Khan
March 11th, 2020. Adam Xavier Silver sits in complete silence with the Cerebro atop on his head. This daily meditation helps him balance his duties as NBA Commissioner managing relationships between the owners, players, and the fans as well as protecting kids from his evil twin, Mr. Slugworth. Everything was going routinely until suddenly, Silver began suffering intense migraine attacks. The extreme pain was too much for the Cerebro to contain. He began seeing flashes. "Where is this coming from!?" he cried out.
Between each flash, Silver saw brief images of pain, destruction, and agony. His most trusted assistant, Mark Tatum, who was waiting outside, rushes in to help Silver take the Cerebro off. "Are you ok, Mr. Adam Silver?" Tatum asked a worn-out Silver lying on the ground.
However, Silver ignores the question and looks beyond the door, desperately muttering, "We have to warn the others."
Silver springs up and begins to run towards the mainframe to call Secaucus. Tatum, not knowing what to do, follows Silver. With sweat in the same shape of his head falling from his forehead, Silver enters the mainframe.
Silver holds the phone up to his ear, "Hello? Hello? Hello!", each hello becomes more desperate than the last. "Hello! Is anybody there?"
After a few long brief moments, the other line picks up. Tatum looks at Silver on the phone, waiting for any sign of clarity, but all he gets is Silver telling him, "The day of reckoning is here. John Schnatter's Prophecy has become true . . ."
Confused, Tatum asks, "What's wrong Mr. Silver?",
"We're too late," Silver responds.
"Too late? Too late for what Mr. Silver?!".
Silver drops the phone, leaving it to hang off the side of the table, allowing Tatum to hear inaudible noises coming through the phone. Tatum gasps. The two share a moment of defeat, which is interrupted by the ringing of a blue phone labeled -Dallas Mavericks-.
Silver gets up from the ground and rushes to answer. He grabs the phone, "Yes, hello? Mark? Mark, is that you?".
Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban replies, "Yes Adam, what the hell is going on? The refs for the game are nowhere to be seen".
"Yea the game starts in 30 minutes, and they haven't shown up yet",
"Mark, listen to me! I have little time to explain. It is happening!"
"What is happening? Adam are you ok?",
"Mark activate protocol 51 and inform the others."
"Protocol 51! You mean to tell me that zom-" before Cuban could finish, Adam hangs up the phone.
Silver looks at Tatum, "The NBA and the world as we know it is at the end of its days."
"What do we do now?" Tatum asks Silver.
Silver looks in response, "Pray we survive."
"And what about the players?" Tatum asks with real fear in his voice.
Silver puts his hand on Tatum's cheek to stare at him for one long second. After taking in a deep breath and a sizeable gulp, Silver looks into his eyes, "Playas play baby".
*Fade to Black*
The pandemic is no laughing matter (shoutout to all the medical workers, and essential workers). But for boredom sake, let's imagine that on March 11th, 2020, instead of a virus, there was a zombie outbreak. The only people left unaffected were NBA players. Let's say they are all in their respective locker rooms when they find out that zombies are trying to barge in and eat their favorite players. Like Call of Duty Zombies, it's the ultimate test of team chemistry. Making it out alive of a zombie invasion is kind of like winning an NBA Championship. Everyone must know their role. You need that one guy you can count on to rise to the occasion. Not to mention all the sacrifices that must be made. How much would you trust the people you play pick up with to have your back in a zombie apocalypse?
But then again, what the hell are zombies?
Zombies are a tall mixed drink consisting of several kinds of rum, liqueur, and fruit juice. You order one usually at a dope bar or just during a night out with the boys. Oh wait, never mind wrong zombie (I don't drink (eh, it's ok my mom isn't reading this anyway (but I actually don't drink though (My dad won't read this either because he's not arou-(Ok, I might start drinking))))).
Imagine your dumbest friend on a xanny bar staring at the wall for 2 hours before noticing you were even there. Then getting excited and yelling inaudibly before going back to stare at the wall for the next two hours. Imagine that person, but dead and trying to kill you by eating your brain (btw why do zombies go for brains?). I'm sure we've all seen some type of version of a zombie. Night of the living dead, Zombieland, and The Walking Dead, which, for whatever reason, is still running? Then there are the more freighting depictions in things like I am Legend, World War Z, and Plants Vs. Zombies (I still haven't played Last of Us). One important thing to note is that the likelihood of zombies ever becoming a real threat depends on whether you live in Florida or not.
However, with the way science and technology are headed, we're bound to stumble upon unchartered territory. Maybe we are probably more likely to get done in by A.I. (Artificial Intelligence, not Allen Iverson). But you never know what these bushmeat diseases might mutate into, or what the side effects of the 'limitless' or "blue chew" pill might actually be. What I am trying to say is, who really knows? For our sake, let's stick to the one eyeball sticking out, vomit green, harmless zombie with a deadbeat pimp-limp type-beat.
So how would each team fair against a full fledge zombie apocalypse?
Let's start with the Atlanta Hawks
First thing that jumps out to me with the Hawks is that they have someone named Charlie Brown on their roster signed to a Two-Way deal. Aside from that, my main worry is that they are rallying around a young Trae Young, who's shown he wants to be the guy. He wants the leadership role but has yet to lead his men to any real success like consistent wins or hair growth. The hope is a grizzled Vince Carter can be the voice of reason and guidance. A veteran point guard like Jeff Teague could probably help Young unlock Clint Capela's potential as a sacrificial lamb, in a similar way Chris Paul did back in 2018 when the Rockets "clashed" (heavy emphasis on the quotation marks) with the Clippers. The hawks will need to rely heavily on Kevin Huerter as the sole white man on the team. However, it is funny that some think the only difference between Kevin Huerter and Klay Thompson is a tan, when in fact it's a more nuanced answer than that. It's the facial hair. There's a big expectation of this team to succeed fast, despite not giving the young players a chance to grow together.
+ Magic City
+ Clint Capela filling the void of hair left by Dennis Schroder
- Trae Young TikToks
- Traded away Luka
I don't feel comfortable with the young core of the Hawks rallying around Trae Young: 5/10 chance for survival
The Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics have interesting questions to ask at the 5-spot. If they could use Tacko Fall as a human watch post, what use do they have of Daniel Theis or Enes Kanter? Sure, Theis is a fundamentally sound big from Germany, and Kanter is used to the constant stress of trying not to get killed (Stay Safe Enes!), but Kemba Walker has had a history of being overwhelmed by size (Pause). Though he can be brash at times, Kanter has always shown ride or die loyalty for his teammates. Kanter's the type of dude to jump on a live grenade to save his fellow men even though he had more than enough time to simply throw the grenade back. Outside of the Bigs dilemma, I can see Jaylen Brown being a Shikamaru type mastermind planner. If Brown is Shikamaru, then Semi Ojeleye is his Choji. Gordan Hayward is an avid gamer and a conservative, so he is probably good with a gun. Marcus Smart will be key in keeping the intensity up and being the emotional leader (whatever that means) of this team. The real x-factor is Jayson Tatum, who has shown he can rise to the occasion while staying smooth and productive like Wilt Chamberlin visiting the Playboy Mansion.
+ TimeLord Robert Williams
+ Kemba is a nice guy
- Daniel Theis runs weird
- Germans and Turks working together does not always lead to success
Right mix of mature young talent and seasoned older all-stars: 8/10
Yikes. I'm not sure what to make of this team. There's no clear leader on this team. You would think it would be former NBA Champion and all-star Kevin Love, who gets paid Judge Judy level money, but clearly, that isn't the case. There's a big disconnect between the vets and youngins' like Colin Sexton. This isn't a team, it's just a collection of individual players. I had big hopes for Cedi Osman (for some odd reason) to step up, but to rally this team to some type of cohesion is a task way above his ability. The Cav's saving grace could perhaps be the Aussie legend himself, Matthew Dellavedova, who's proved that he's willing to do whatever it takes. However, it's one thing to put your life on the line for an NBA Championship and Lebron's legacy, its another to put it on the line for a team full of slugs.
+ let's not forget they beat the Warriors in '17
- Wait, because they beat them, Warriors landed KD who made the league anticlimactic
- They traded for Andre Drummond and didn't buy out Tristan Thompson
Kevin Love might say fuck it and try to make it out on his own, and I wouldn't blame him: 3/10
The Bulls are an interesting team. Not short of talent, but short of any cohesiveness and identity. The Bulls' lack of direction might come back to haunt them. Otto Porter and Thad Young might want to lead the team one way, while Zach Lavine may try to force Markkanen and Carter Jr. to go another way, and Coby White will probably get tunnel vision and end up trying to shoot his way out on his own.
+ Jordan Documentary = Bulls culture reset
+ Pre-Injury Derrick Rose highlights on YouTube
- Crazy eyed Bobby Portis would have been useful right about now
- Why is Zach Lavine so pale looking, but his lips are so pink?
They have potential, but potential don't kill no zombies baby: 5/10
What I would give to see Kawhi take on a bunch of zombies. While Lou Will and Pat Beverley try to strategize, and Paul George takes out a fishing rod for no damn good reason. Kawhi might bust through the door with barely any scratches and say, "I got em." While everyone was planning what to do, Kawhi quietly did his own thing only to shock and impress the rest of the players. All the other players had to do was get out of his way. Self-admitted Beta Paul George will not have to worry about carrying the load. Especially with the duo of Montrez Harrell and Lou Will, who remind me of Groot and Rocket Racoon from Guardians of the Galaxy. I am worried though that Pat Bev is a little too willing to bite a zombie in a fight.
+ Patrick Beverley thinks he's the captain now
+ A buddy of mine saw Landry Shamet at a bar in KC one time. He went up to him and asked, "Hey are you Landry Shamet?" and Landry Shamet responded back with "Yea" thus ending the conversation
- Bumble as their team sponsor
- Their mascot
It is probably a good thing they are not Inglewood yet: 9/10
In part 2, we'll check on how the Lakers once again get special treatment, how the Knicks will mess this one up, and Mark Cuban's progress of Protocol 51.
Make sure you like and follow to stay up to date with next week's release: Part 2 of the NBA Zombie Apocalypse