As the Mavs enjoy their offseason, the zeitgeist moves its attention to the film event of the year: Avengers Endgame. Which of your Mavs would be which Avenger and why?
Folks, it’s the quietest portion of the offseason for the Mavs. Exit interviews have come and gone. Dirk is gallivanting around Dallas and writing emotional thank you’s in the paper. Luka is off watching his old team, Real Madrid, wreck shop. Tim Hardaway Jr. had his microfracture surgery. So for now, if you’re not watching Dame’s completely AMAZING buzzer beater to send the Thunder home, you’re probably catching up on some movies and TV.
One notable movie that has nearly everyone talking and discussing theories of who’s and what’s is the upcoming Marvel’s Avengers Endgame that sees the culmination of 22 movies and over 10 years of lead into a single film that opens this weekend. So as a fun exercise and another set of variables to take into account, let’s recast the Avengers we know and love with the Mavs roster that we know and love. Way too much thought went into this, but this should be fun! It’s offseason, folks.
JJ Barea as Captain America
JJ Barea may look like Steve Rogers BEFORE he became Captain America, but that doesn’t change his heart and determination. He had his coming out party in 2011 as he was a key contributor to the Mavs championship run, which just happens to be the same year the first Cap movie was released. JJ is the glue of this team and is willing to lead by example or with words. We also know after he got clobbered by Bynum during the Lakers sweep in 2011 that he can take a hit and keep coming, just how Cap says, “I can do this all day.” He can do a bit of everything you want out of a leader and can do it at an age that would impress even Captain America.
Dwight Powell as Falcon
Dwight is a loyal comrade to his teammates. He has their back and knows exactly what needs to be done to make a play work. He and JJ have such good chemistry that they were a league-best tandem, not unlike Falcon and Cap in the past few movies they’ve appeared in. There’s no better ride or die Mav than Dwight right now and Falcon would approve.
Dorian Finney-Smith as Black Panther
Do Do is a sleek and nimble player who understands what is needed of him at all times, moving like a cat and pouncing on opportunities to score. The Black Panther is the wise King of Wakanda that must do what is best for his people, even if it isn’t the easiest. Both men have a quiet strength about them that opponents may view as weakness, but come through when they are needed most.
Maxi Kleber as Thor
While Maxi may not wield the might Mjolnir, he is worthy of the honor. He is the unofficial heir to the throne of Wurzberg Germany like Thor is to Odin and has earned the respect of his proverbial father in Dirk. Maxi also possesses the ability to put the hammer down when he dunks on opposing players, which is only mirrored by him defending the paint like Thor defends the nine realms.
Jalen Brunson as Spiderman
Brunson is the new recruit on the team that has immediately shown his worth and his value to the team. Although he can make a rookie mistake now and again, he regularly shows why he is allowed to play so much with the big boys. Brunson, like Spidey, has a bright future with the team and both are capable of being cornerstones of franchises.
Trey Burke as Rocket
Trey Burke has been an absolute surprise in the backup point guard position, not unlike how Rocket has become a surprise fan favorite in the Marvel universe. Both are small compared to their counterparts but are always good for more firepower than you’d expect. Trey also possesses a valuable level of basketball IQ and craftiness that would make Rocket laugh and respect him all the more.
Courtney Lee as Groot
Courtney Lee might not be the flashiest member on the team or given the most playing time, but he is a consummate team player who is there when he’s needed. These qualities, on top of him being a man of very few words, is how he has become the Groot of the Dallas Mavericks.
Justin Jackson as Ant-Man
Justin is a late arrival to the squad who hasn’t always known his role, much like Scott Lang as the Avenger’s Ant-Man. He, like Scott, can go big or small, depending on the lineups Coach Carlisle wants to play. He has shown the ability to make big shots and do the little things right which should allow him to play a part in the Mavs future like his counterpart Ant-Man in the Marvel Universe.
Ryan Broekhoff as Hawkeye
Broekhoff came into the league as a known sharpshooter, but he didn’t get much run for the team out of the gate. If you remember, Hawkeye’s career was much the same. Appearing first in Thor, he didn’t have much to do until Age of Ultron. Similarly, Broekhoff finally got to show off in the back half of the season where he set his sights and ended up shooting 40.9% from deep on the year. Now if only he’d sport Hawkeye’s sweet super-Mohawk next year…
Tim Hardaway Jr as Winter Soldier
Timmy has a history with the team that he can barely remember as his father played a season with Dirk 18 years ago. Just as the Winter Soldier would rather focus on the present, Tim Hardaway is looking to make his mark on Dallas as a weapon for the good guys. With a reputation for being an inefficient shooter, Hardaway Jr would prefer to make amends by pulling a Bucky Barnes and doing what is right for the team. It also helps that they both have had strange surgeries to a limb that they don’t fully understand.
Devin Harris as War Machine
Devin is the Vet who has backed up his guy from the time he showed up in the franchise. He is always welcome to show back up whenever he wants and knows his role better than anybody on the squad. This perfectly mirrors how Col. James Rhodes is the perfect backup whenever Iron Man needs a hand.
Salah Mejri as Hulk
There are two sides to Salah Mejri, there is the fun-loving guy who tells jokes and loves his teammates, but then there is the other side known as The Mej that will terrorize the interior and destroy teams like OKC on a regular basis. When The Mej comes out, you hear grunting and screaming from the rim mics that leaves you wondering: Is that his secret, that he’s always angry?
Kristaps Porzingis as Vision
KP is the magical being that isn’t supposed to exist. He’s a 7’3” big man with the touch of a much smaller guard and an impossible shot that can’t be defeated. The Vision being an android with super strength, flight, phasing and a laser that comes from his forehead is likely the most fantastical thing in the Marvel Universe, but he does exist and we’re so lucky he’s on our side just like KP. He is the next step in the evolution from his idol, Dirk Nowitzki, just as Vision is Tony Stark if he could remake himself.
Luka Doncic as Star Lord
Luka, while a new member of the team, brings leadership, skills and a brand of comedy Mavs fans have loved to the team. Peter Quill, or Star-Lord, as he likes to be called is the perfect analog as he leads a ragtag group of heroes that is never afraid of the moment. Both remain cool under pressure and love having a good time. Luka’s skills are not of this earth and we have seen Luka’s mom, but never his father… Could his stepback be so good because he is a half-god like Star Lord???
Dirk Nowitzki as Iron Man
Dirk. The start of it all. The alpha and omega of most Mavs fans’ universe. Tony Stark, the Iron Man, kicked off the Marvel Universe and has taken us all on a fan’s journey we can never say thank you enough for. Dirk lost in 06, which gave way to the player he would become, like Tony in Iron Man 1. He came back better in 2011 to win it all like when Iron Man saved earth in the first Avengers movie. And in taking a back seat and handing off the baton, his basketball journey will end this year as many suspect Tony Stark will do in Endgame.
Dirk is the OG. He is the basketball dad of Porzingis’ skills like Tony is to Vision. He and JJ have a bond like brothers that have bettered each other’s careers, just like Cap and Iron Man. He is the blueprint that gives the next generation a path to follow, not unlike Tony Stark giving way to Peter Quill. Dirk is one of kind, so even this comparison falls short, but Dirk and Tony have given Mavs all the excitement, joy, laughter and heart that we could ever ask for.
While there is nothing monumental happening with the team, enjoy your time watching playoff basketball and picking your favorite targets to pursue come July 1. We will be digging into players they can pursue to build their own super team as teams exit the playoffs, but for now: Excelsior.
Featured Image: The Well Creative. hoopeduponline.com