Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Democrats and the NBA

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Over at, basketball columnist Jack McCallum has written an amusing piece comparing each of the NBA playoff teams to a Democratic presidential candidate. The analogies aren't "perfect," he admits, but they seem to fit. He doesn't include my team, the Toronto Raptors, but, then, "they aren't eligible to vote".

Read the piece in full for McCallum's explanations. Here's how he breaks down the two fields:

  • Chicago Bulls = Dennis Kucinich
  • Cleveland Cavaliers = Joe Biden
  • Dallas Mavericks = Hillary Clinton
  • Phoenix Suns = John Edwards
  • Detroit Pistons = Barack Obama
  • San Antonio Spurs = Bill Richardson
  • Houston Rockets (or Utah Jazz or New Jersey Nets) = Christopher Dodd
  • Golden State Warriors = Mike Gravel

So what does it say that I admire the Suns (and their great Canadian, Steve Nash), that I respect the Spurs, and that I'm pulling for the Warriors to beat the Mavs?

One quibble: The Pistons aren't exactly a team of grand vision. They're more workmanlike than anything else, and they're too easy to dislike. Solid, competent, but not flashy. Maybe Edwards is more like the working-class Pistons, Obama more like the run-and-gun Suns. (Though Edwards is too clean to be the Pistons. Maybe he needs to be more like them.)

The Miami Heat, the Orlando Magic, the Washington Wizards, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Denver Nuggets aren't included. (Are they too lowly for the Democratic field?) Make up your own analogies. For example, the Lakers are a team coached by a zen master, superstar with a massive ego, and a bunch of young kids. The Heat have a young superstar, a coach who's seen better days, and a bunch of creaky, sagging veterans. Are the Heat John Kerry? (Hey, they won last year, just like Kerry won back in '04.) And what about Al Gore? Is he the Lakers? (Well, I think he's much, much better than that.) And then there's Tom Vilsack, who's already dropped out of the race. Competent, but uninspiring. Hmmm.

(Maybe, switching parties, the Heat are John McCain. But what about Giuliani, Romney, the Thompsons, etc.?)

Ah, sports and politics. Two of my favourite pastimes.

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