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What Blazers Players Are Like MCU Characters?

Two Blazer’s Edge writers and Marvel movie fans match up certain characters with their Blazer counterparts.

Iron man, Rocket Raccoon, Hulk, Hawkeye and Captain America... Photo by Daniel Fung/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

WARNING: Spoilers for various MCU movies are ahead. If you aren’t all the way caught up, feel free to exit the article.

After last week’s jersey theme, SB Nation is all about the Marvel Cinematic Universe this week. In honor of this, we gathered two Blazer’s Edge writers and die-hard Marvel movie fans to pick Portland Trail Blazers players that they think resemble an MCU character in some way.

There were two rules coming in: None of the “typical” Avengers should be picked (think Iron Man, Captain America, Thor) and selections should be based more on personalities/traits than looks. The writers preselected eight characters that they would try to find Blazer connections with: Captain Marvel, Spider-Man, Bucky Barnes, Scarlet Witch, Rocket, Groot, Dr. Strange, and Ant-Man.

Writers ... assemble.

Captain Marvel

Isaiah De Los Santos (@IsaiahDeLos): Given the important role Captain Marvel played in Avengers: Endgame, I’d say Jusuf Nurkic resembles her as the missing piece to the Blazers’ puzzle. The Blazers are a scary team with a healthy Nurkic dominating the paint on both sides of the floor. The Avengers needed Captain Marvel to beat Thanos, and the Blazers need Jusuf Nurkic to be contenders.

Nate Mann (@nate_mann13): Captain Marvel is a newcomer on the MCU scene, but in Avengers: Endgame, she saved everyone at the final moment in the climatic world-saving battle. Similarly, Rodney Hood, in half a season with the Blazers, hit the game-winning three-pointer in the quadruple overtime thriller versus the Denver Nuggets. He didn’t have much time with the team but made a lasting impact, just like the heroine.

Spider-Man

NM: Two defining factors of the MCU’s iteration of Spider-Man is his youth and the fanbase’s adoration of him. Sound like someone on the Blazers? Albeit cliché, Anfernee Simons is this team’s Spider-Man. In the MCU, the character is preparing to take over for Iron Man as the head Avenger – in Portland, Simons is preparing to replace Damian Lillard as the leader. And thanks to some impressive performances and the organization’s hype, Simons is already a fan favorite.

ID: I’d say Anfernee Simons reminds me of Spider-Man in his first solo film, Homecoming. That’s when Peter Parker was still on the outside of the official Avengers group, but he showed his potential in Civil War and wanted a bigger role. I think Simons falls into a similar category: the potential is clearly there, there’s been flashes, but he’s not solidified as part of the Blazers’ core just yet.

Bucky Barnes

ID: I think of Bucky Barnes as quiet, not super flashy, but also ready to suit up when the moment comes, which I believe matches Rodney Hood really well. He might not get all the attention, but he’s a necessary part of the team’s success.

NM: Bucky’s journey in the MCU is a rollercoaster: from sidekick in Captain America: The First Avenger to villain in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War, then finally back to hero in the last two Avengers movies. Although Trevor Ariza didn’t start as a hero for the Blazers, he was certainly a villain – any player on the Los Angeles Lakers is a villain in Portland. He also played for in-conference foes such as the Houston Rockets, Phoenix Suns, New Orleans Hornets and Sacramento Kings, but he’s now an appreciated member of the Blazers and likely around for another year.

Scarlet Witch

NM: Scarlet Witch joined the Avengers after initially being a villain – Jusuf Nurkic joined the Blazers in a trade from the Denver Nuggets, perhaps Portland’s biggest rival right now. Both immediately proved important to the team and only grew stronger in their time as a hero.

ID: Scarlet Witch hasn’t gotten a ton of focus in the MCU movies, but we’ve seen enough to know that she has some serious, game-changing power. I’d say that’s very similar to Zach Collins. I’m mad that the injury gods robbed Collins of what looked like a breakout year this season — he looked good on both sides of the court.

Rocket

ID: Honestly, Rocket is easily one of my top-three favorite MCU characters, although he’s kind of a jerk. Putting the grittiness of his personality aside, the all-out chaos that Rocket can inject into the movies reminds of Nassir Little. I am both excited and terrified when Little is on the court because he has no regard for the safety of himself or others.

NM: Rocket has a knack for getting under everyone’s skin, and there’s one Blazers player who has proven very capable of doing so on the court: Gary Trent Jr. He has no problem going toe-to-toe with any player, veteran or rookie. In one game against the Utah Jazz, he bothered Donovan Mitchell so much that Mitchell had to make salty comments about it in his post-game interview.

Adult Groot

NM: Groot is instantly loved by fans when he debuts in Guardians of the Galaxy due to his charm and blind support of the ragtag Guardians. On Portland’s roster, Zach Collins will join in any on-court fight to defend his teammates. However, his vocabulary in these fights is a bit more advanced and colorful than Groot’s.

ID: Since we’re focusing on Adult Groot for this one, I’ll pair him with Hassan Whiteside. Their strengths both depend on their physical attributes, and they’re decent contributors when surrounded by a solid team.

Dr. Strange

ID: CJ McCollum’s yoga moves on the bench make me think he’s very in touch with his inner balance, which matches up with Doctor Strange’s mystic power. I’d also say Strange is a very methodical character who focuses on making the right choices, and McCollum is very similar in the way he approaches breaking down defenders.

NM: Dr. Strange orchestrated the events in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame by looking into the future. He sacrificed himself in the former movie to ensure the remainder of the heroes properly executed the winning outcome in the latter movie. Damian Lillard metaphorically sacrificed himself to the media after getting swept by the New Orleans Pelicans, only to lead Portland to the Western Conference Finals the following season. Plus, both are very well-spoken and appreciate good fashion.

Ant-Man

NM: For my Blazers player resembling Ant-Man, I partially broke the rules stated in the introduction. I’m choosing CJ McCollum based on the photo of him in high school where all the defenders are twice his size. Get it? Because Ant-Man is small? Also, Ant-Man belts out the occasional sarcastic joke, something McCollum has done on occasion in press conferences or on Twitter.

ID: Damian Lillard is easily Ant-Man. He rises to the occasion when his team needs him the most, but he’s also willing to shrink his role down when someone else has it going. It’s one of the things I respect the most about him.


What do you think of the writers’ choices? Have your own MCU-Blazers comparisons? Let us know in the comments!