Between the drama, the trash talk, the gimmicks, the heel turns, and LeBron James wearing "Ultimate Warrior" T-shirts, the NBA is basically professional wrestling.
And that got us thinking — with the playoffs just around the corner and WrestleMania less than a month away, who are the WWE counterparts of today's NBA stars?
You might laugh at the notion, but we promise you this: if you run through our list of current NBA players and their current WWE comparisons, you'll be surprised by the similarities.
LeBron James — John Cena
LeBron and Cena are the biggest names in their respective endeavors: superstars who became their own brands and came to define sustained greatness for over a decade. It's all too fitting they starred in a movie together.
(We also would have accepted LeBron as HHH. "The King" and "The King of Kings;" it just works. Maybe after LeBron retires.)
Paul Pierce — The Undertaker
A legend back for one last hurrah and a shot at the sport's biggest stage.
Even we're not sure if that phrase is a better description of Pierce or The Undertaker.
Joel Embiid — Finn Balor
We waited so long for both to make their main roster debuts. When they did, they gave us everything we wanted (and more) — only to be snatched away by injury.
JaVale McGee — James Ellsworth
Both are considered laughingstocks by those who don't pay attention to their respective professions; both are low-key geniuses in what they do and the characters they portray.
Carmelo Anthony — Roman Reigns
Pushed as a superstar despite all evidence to the contrary due mostly to the amount of merchandise and tickets he sells, plus a larger-than-life media profile.
Yep, this one checks out.
Austin Rivers — Curtis Axel
(In case you don't know, Axel is the son of former WWE superstar Mr. Perfect. And that's honestly not fair. Rivers and Axel are both hard workers who can shine in the right situation. But, you know. Jokes are jokes.)
Kevin Durant — Seth Rollins
Durant: One of the absolute best in the world at what he does, too often sidelined by major injuries that seem to keep piling up on top of each other.
Rollins: One of the absolute best in the world at what he does, too often sidelined by major injuries that seem to keep piling up on top of each other.
... and now I'm sad.
Boban Marjanovic — The Big Show
Because they're large, you see. Very, very large.
Anthony Davis — Brock Lesnar
Okay, I admit Davis doesn't have the bulk Lesnar does, yet both are athletic marvels whom you wish were on the court/in the ring more often.
DeMarcus Cousins — Dean Ambrose
If Cousins gets sick of "Boogie" as a nickname, "The Lunatic Fringe" would do nicely. Both are as unhinged as they are talented, and both leave you wanting more way too often.
Isaiah Thomas — Jack Gallagher
Absolute showmen who are overlooked because of their stature/appearance. We'd pay good money to see either one live.
Zach LaVine — Neville
Ridiculously athletic performers whom gravity forgot. Here's hoping Neville doesn't suffer a LaVine-like injury any time soon. Or ever.
Dirk Nowitzki — Chris Jericho
World-renowned stars with impressive longevity — and they both have beautiful singing voices to boot.
Chris Paul — Dolph Ziggler
This one's too easy: former fan favorites who turned heel with incessant whining and dirty tricks.
Hey, speaking of which ...
Draymond Green — Samoa Joe
Men who could not care less if you like them. Men who are probably smarter than you. Men who do the dirty work for bigger stars who want to keep their hands clean. And men who will hurt anyone who gets in their way, if that's what it takes.
Only one delivers low blows, though.
Kevin Love — Xavier Woods
Each is the least-heralded member of a Big Three, yet each is vital to the success of his franchise.
Kawhi Leonard — AJ Styles
Leonard's not the talker Styles is, of course, but you can always count on both of these phenomal stars to bring their best on any given night. From a pure technical standpoint, they might both be the best in the world, as well.
Blake Griffin — Kevin Owens
Griffin and Owens are spectacular at what they do, and we love to hate them for doing it.
There's also that whole "fighting someone who's technically on your side" ... thing.
Dwyane Wade — Goldberg
Old heads who rely on the same old tricks to dominate younger competition — and both won championships more than a decade ago.
James Harden — Bray Wyatt
Okay, it's mostly about the beards. We'll admit that right off the bat.
But this comparison is also about unorthodox superstars at the top of their game, even if only one can claim to be a champion.
(And the beards. Always the beards.)
Karl-Anthony Towns — Braun Strowman
Towns is the monster among the new generation of NBA centers — a guy with all the tools to have a long reign at the top.
Sounds like Strowman to me (assuming he can get over that Fastlane loss to Roman Reigns, that is).
Klay Thompson — Sami Zayn
People confuse their calm demeanors as simply being happy to be in the show, but both are cold-blooded assassins who will destroy you with smiles on their faces.
Stephen Curry — Randy Orton
Orton's a third-generation superstar; Curry's a second-generation sharpshooter. And the two-time MVPs 3-point flurries are the profesional basketball equivalent of Orton's RKO out of nowhere.
Russell Westbrook — Shinsuke Nakamura
Two of the world's best talents who are way better than their current surroundings. Unfortunately for Westbrook, there's no main roster promotion in the NBA.
Kyrie Irving — The Miz
Polarizing superstars you either love or loathe — but both get the job done with gusto when it matters most.