Survivor: Heroes vs Villains – NBA Edition, Part 2

Published: March 4, 2010

No game tonight, but Survivor is on, at least.  Seems like the perfect day for me to post Part 2 of my Survivor: Heroes vs Villains comparison to NBA players.  Part 1, in case you missed it, can be found here.

Today, we hit the Heroes of the show and their NBA analog.  Enjoy:


Amanda Kimmel is . . .  Dirk Nowitzki

This one was easy. Amanda Kimmel has twice leveraged a skillful social game to make it to the big dance, working her into the final as a favorite to win it all.  Then, both times, she completely blew her chances by picking the wrong opponent to face in the final tribal council,  and then compounded the error by trying to be the “nice girl” and play up the idea she felt bad about all her strategic moves.  That, of course, fell flat both times with a jury she had helped vote out.  Dirk Nowitzki, of course, has twice been the leader of strong favorites to win the title, and both times crashed and burned disastrously, gaining and then losing a two game lead over Dwyane Wade and the Heat, and then following that up with an even worse flameout against Golden State in the first round.

Candice Woodcock is . . .  Chris Hunter

Yeah, I’m a huge Survivor fan and I didn’t know who Candice Woodcock was either.  Oh, and somebody named Chris Hunter apparently played for the Golden State Warriors this season too, so he gets to be her analog.

Cirie Fields is . . . Chris Paul

Really, this works better than you might think.  Cirie is one of the most dangerous players in the game.  She is constantly underestimated due to her weight, but she is a puppetmaster that manipulates the game and alliances with ease.  Twice now, she has built and masterminded underdog alliances that overcame the odds, putting her in striking distance for the finals.  She’s cut-throat, identifies her strongest challengers and then bides her time until she can cut them down like she did with Yau-Man in the Fans vs. Favorites season. Chris Paul, of course, is barely six feet tall, yet somehow dominates games like no one his size has ever done, relying on a competitive drive and intelligent, clever play to keep him on top.  A simply fantastic pair of players to watch.

Colby Donaldson is . . .  Dwight Howard

Both of these men are are muscular, charming and have a great smile, and both have made it to the finale and lost.  For both players, their remains lingering doubts about their ability to win, since both may be too nice to seize control of the game the way they should.

James Clement is . . .  Kevin Garnett

In past seasons James Clement has always been eminently likeable.  Rippling with muscles and over-the-top intense in the challenges, he also displayed a surprising humility, infectuous humor, and a “tell-it-like-it-is” style that made him one of the most popular players ever.  Garnett, of course, was similar.  His passion, loyalty and intensity was celebrated, and his position as a tragic figure struggling on a bad franchise in Minnesota merely added to his appeal.  

Since things have gone bad for both guys.  Kevin Garnett won a title, and what was viewed as his devotion to the game morphed into a front-runner’s arrogance.  His constantly flapping lips turned off any fan that didn’t wear green – and now James Clement has followed that model, without even the benefit of winning.  In the first three shows, James’ intensity in the challenges has carried over into camp life, where he’s been aggressively unpleasant on a regular basis.  It’s simply amazing how quickly both guys went from beloved to reviled.

James “JT” Thomas Jr. is . . .  Dwyane Wade

JT is a master of the game of Survivor.  He’s got the complete package; An honest demeanor, likeable personality, physical skill in the challenges, an astute judge of intentions, and a folksy, backwoods manner that makes every player on the team completely underestimate him.  He ends up dominating the show like few others, yet everyone on his team always forgets about him until its way too late.  Dwayne Wade is the same sort of player.  He can do just about anything on the court, and his game has already propelled him to a ring. Yet somehow, he is always overlooked.  It’s Kobe-LeBron or LeBron-Durant or LeBron-Melo, while Dwayne Wade has already shown he’s on that level, and much more deserving of accolades.  Sometimes it’s completely freakish how both Wade and JT manage to fly under the radar.

Rupert Boneham is . . . Tracy McGrady

Rupert “The Pirate” Boneham was simply physical dominant in his first season of Survivor.  His strength and leadership helped his team to win after win in the challenges, but he also became an early target and was completely unable to progress in the game, getting voted out early.  McGrady, of course, was an absolute beast in Orlando and early on in Houston.  He won scoring titles, dominated the game, and yet, somehow, never made it out of the first round of the playoffs.  Sadly, the comparison doesn’t really end there.  Both McGrady and Rupert have lost that “something” that made them so compelling earlier in their careers, and watching them play now makes you come away feeling vaguely disappointed.

Stephenie LaGrossa is . . . Amare Stoudemire

Both has every physical skill in the world.  Both play hard, and for some, that’s enough.  Not for me.  Both have big mouths and are never ever satisfied.  Stephanie is always whining about something, and Amare is always complaining and wanting out of Phoenix.  Both have also had key roles on teams that have piece by piece been whittled away until there was no chance for them to contend.(Stephanie was on a tribe that lost every member but her and Phoenix has consistently hemorrhaged talent over the last five years)

Jessica “Sugar” Kiper is . . . Jason Collins

I’m not entirely sure why they brought back Sugar for Survivor.  I’m also not really sure why Jason Collins keeps finding teams willing to sign him.  I guess Collins is tall, and Sugar does weep a lot.  That must count for something.

Tom Westman is . . . Kobe Bryant

Both Bryant and Westman are champions who won with weak social games and pure physical dominance.  Both were helped to their biggest win by a teammate who sacrificed their own game to help them along.(Gasol subsuming his game completely to Bryant, and Dolphin Boy dropping out of the final Survivor Challenge for the most bizarre of reasons)  

Outside of the games, Kobe has had off-court troubles, wanted to be traded, quit on his team once in the playoffs to make a point, and has tossed multiple teammates under the bus.  Tom has built mediocre alliances that weren’t particularly strong or trustworthy, but saved himself from being targeted for elimination by simply winning immunity.  There’s also something fake about both guys, a  looming sense that both men may be smiling, but that they feel superior to the person they are talking to at all times.  

Oh, and to top it all off, both guys are extremely popular, yet I am absolutely not a fan of either.  Just being a fireman or a great basketball player isn’t enough for me. Sorry.

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