Survivor: Heroes vs Villains – NBA Edition

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Published: February 25, 2010

There are two bits of must-see TV in my life:  The Hornets and Survivor.  I never miss a minute of either. 

This season of Survivor has been, quite possibly, one of the most exciting seasons I’ve seen in a long time.  The producers brought back their top ten Villains and top ten Heroes and pitted them against each other.  The casting was remarkable, and has produced a whole new level of drama as most of them were great players in the past, and all are there to win.

When I saw the new format, I also started toying with the idea of making my own list of ten NBA Heroes and Villians.  That, however, fell by the wayside.  I don’t do lists.  I do comparisons and find analogs.

So, in the tradition of pasts posts comparing Team USA to Ancient Chinese Historical Figures, American Idol Contests with Hornets Players, D&D Classes with Hornets Players, etc, I present to you my list of Survivor: Heroes vs Villians contestants with the NBA players that most resemble them.

This post will focus on the ten Villians.  The Heroes will follow in a day or two.

The Villains

Benjamin “Coach” Wade is . . . Ron Artest

Both of these guys are completely ridiculous.  Coach has named himself the “Dragonslayer”, Ron Artest calls himself “Tru Warier”.(Yes, that’s the spelling) Coach is supremely self-confident and self-aggrandizing, despite having done nothing to back it up but talk about himself.  Ron Artest deludes himself into thinking he’s an offensive player without recognizing that the “offensive” part of his game is his terrible shot selection.

Both men have also provided some of the most jaw-dropping crazy moments on television:  Artest going into the crowd in Detroit, and Coach Wade claiming that he was captured by natives in the Amazon, beaten up, and barely managed to escape after they eyed his butt and clearly wanted to “eat his ass”.  Too much crazy.

Courtney Yates is . . .  Rafer Alston

As far as I can tell, Courtney Yates spends her entire time on Survivor sitting on the sidelines needling the other players actually competing in the challenges or doing work.  Rafer does about the same, sitting on the bench, talking smack, and figuring out ways to tell reporters about how much better he is than everyone else.  Damon Jones would have worked here too – if he was still in the league.

Danielle DiLorenzo is . . .  Josh Howard

Danielle went all the way to the finals of Survivor, taking out several very strong contestants along the way.  But here’s the thing:  I barely remember her, and can’t remember her strategy at all.  Josh Howard is the same way.  He was the second best player on a Finals team in Dallas, but he’s been so ineffective since then, I can’t for the life of me figure out just what he brought to the table.

Jerri Manthey is . . . Allen Iverson

During season 2 of Survivor, Jerri Manthey made a name for herself as a “Black Widow”.  She was the person everyone loved to hate, fairly or unfairly.  Allen Iverson, in his prime, was much the same.  People either cheered or reviled him and everything he stood for.  Sadly, Manthey has mellowed, Iverson has slowed, and both are now simply afterthoughts in games they once dominated.

Parvati Shallow is . . .  Steve Nash

Yeah, I said it.  Nash is a Villian!  He has to be!  Remember, he manipulated the press into giving him two undeserved MVPs.  Let me cue up some film so I can illustrate:   First thing you notice?  Matador defense.   And there’s a second turnover – Whoa! look at that pass, off, what, his sixth fast break off a made basket?  Wow.  Er. . but Kobe just scored on him, easy like.  Nash gave no resistan – damn, did you see how he sliced that defense like an overripe melon for a gorgeous alley-oop.  And followed it with a three!  Suns up 9! He’s what, shooting 50-90-40?  At his age?  And look how he sold that crazy flop!  That acting job reminds me of those awesome Vitamin Water Commercials of his.  Have you seen them?  Hil-ar-ious. And the little videos he does with his team?  What a fun guy!  And his team won!  Okay, maybe I can see one MVP . . . annnnd Scene!

That’s what Nash does.  He seduces you.  You can’t resist his flair and charm.   Survivor champion Parvati Shallow is the same way.  You KNOW she’s going to flirt with everyone.  You KNOW she’s going to manipulate everyone . . . sweetly.  Yet she is still going to be there near the end of the game . . . and probably, she’ll get handed a million dollars again if she makes it to the finale.

Randy Bailey is . . . Darko Milicic

Randy is an angry, angry old man.  In his first season, he told us his only friend was his dog, and later you find out his dog is dead.  Seriously.  He’s also a bit of a misogynist – but even he doesn’t quite rise to the level of anger and hate Milicic has displayed.(NOT a safe link for work – if anyone is watching)  Who knows, though, maybe Randy will rise to the occasion and and threaten to rape someone’s family members.

Rob Mariano is . . . Baron Davis

Rob Mariano is smart, charismatic, excellent at the challenges, and always ends up being put in a position to lead.  In fact, most of his teammates on Survivor have already accepted him as their leader after only three challenges.  Baron Davis is the same sort of guy.  His teammates love him, and his sheer basketball talent can be astonishing.  Both men, however, are held back by the same thing:  Everyone knows that as soon as it suits them, they will toss them under the bus.  With no conscience.

Russell Hantz is . . . LeBron James

Russell and LeBron are both must see TV.  Both guys dominate their games with aggressive play that seems to have no answer.  When either of them focus on a particular target, there is very little anyone can do to stop them from taking it out. Due to their success, both men sport egos that are both repellent, yet fascinating at the same time.  And, of course, those same egos have spurred both of them to declare themselves “king”, despite neither winning anything yet.

Sandra Diaz-Twine is . . . Bruce Bowen

Yeah, Bowen isn’t playing, but no one has claimed his crown as the league’s dirtiest player, so I’m going to use him anyways.  Bowen, without question, would do anything he could to win a game.  He’d let his nails grow long to slice up opposing player’s arms.  He’d kick, trip, and step under jumpshooters whenever he could.  Sandra talks people down behind their back, breaks promises, and even unfastened a contestant’s bra during a challenge in the hope that she would be too self-conscious to keep playing.  She plays dirty – and plays at a championship level, just like Bowen.

Tyson Apostol is . . . Kenyon Martin

Tyson feels he’s the best player in the game, and yet, is mostly just a preening ass.  Kenyon Martin is the same, and I will paraphrase Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo! Sports to illustrate, “In the fourth, Martin leapt into the air, screaming and pumping the ball above his head as he grabbed an uncontested rebound.  It was the fourth quarter, and only Martin’s second rebound.”  Everything about them screams arrogance.  Oh, and Tyson likes to walk around in uncomfortably tiny shorts that make you cringe.  They aren’t as bad as the lip tattoo on Kenyon Martin’s neck, but it’s close.

Heroes to come!  Be Afraid.

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