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Thanksgiving football for NBA fans: a team-by-team comparison

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A team by team look at each NBA and NFL franchise, on a historical basis. Each team is compared to one other team for super awesome reasons. Just in time for Thanksgiving!

What will you be watching on Turkey Day?
What will you be watching on Turkey Day?
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Today is Turkey Day (also known as The NFL Presents Thanksgiving) and many faithful hoops fans will have no choice but to watch hours of pigskin football. What's a fan to do? You can refer to this handy article to know what you're in for on a team-by-team basis. As an added bonus, I decided to compare every team to a NBA franchise so you, the rabid hoops fan, can better understand the leeague. More fun, too. Slightly more time-invested. This is super serious and totally well-thought out, by the way.

Trending on Twitter Division

Spurs: Patriots - Pretty much the model franchise, if by model you mean coached by a tyrannical demon who eats children. And they won’t be relevant if the league bans flopping. Adam Silver, we’re counting on you because we sure as hell can’t count on Roger Goddell. Wins way more games than their talent would suggest due to, you know, their nefarious demon lord.

Warriors: Seahawks - Young, crazy talented and an absolute joy to watch. At least, when they aren’t turning the ball over every other possession. Their home stadium is always rocking, and no one wants to play there in the post-season. Probably because the coffee swilling fans will keep interrupting you to tell you about the new startup they’re working on. Bro, I don’t care.

Lakers: Cowboys - Rightly thinks the sports-universe revolves around them. That’s why we have to suffer through them every Christmas and Thanksgiving, respectively. It’s as if the leagues are conspiring to make us talk to our loved ones or something. Also won some championships and stuff, supposedly.

Rockets: Giants - Quite a bit of history, a number of memorable stars, and several championships. Still, no one will confuse them with the league’s elite. Any time you win a Super Bowl with Eli Manning it’s going to look like a fluke. And anytime Dwight Howard is on your roster, everything is fair game. Allegations of child abuseAccused of sex with a minor? There’s no floor with this guy!

Cavaliers: Broncos - Buy world-class superstar, will travel. Until his back gives out. But hey, with the way the refs call contact near him, that won’t be for another ten years. We look forward to watching your greatest player ever spontaneously combusting in the playoffs, as he does just about most years. Its amazing how well these two go together.

Thunder: Packers - Pretty much a pencil-in title threat every year unless, you know, their superstar leader(s) gets hurt. Essentially philosophically opposed to free agency because when you’re a very rich person, living in Green Bay or Oklahoma is generally not great. "But cost of living!" is not a good reason for anything. It’s an excuse.

Raptors: Colts - A little better than we gave them credit for? Mostly kicking butt and taking names now, these recently rebuilt teams are gunning for a title. I doubt either of them get there this year, but the future is bright. Led by a few athletes who look and sound like you can beat them up, except you can't. Annoyingly perfect in like every way.


Playoff Tickets Ready?

Grizzlies: Cardinals - Perpetually overlooked if not outright ignored. Did you know they have the best record in the sport? I sure didn’t.

Bulls: 49ers - Efficient use of their "glory years," managing to nail down a combined 11 titles in like 15 years.  And both teams remain relevant to this day. Known for their relationship with one transcendent head coach each, the GOAT, and a lot of hall of fame players. Unfortunately, they each hitched their wagon to the wrong bored-looking star (Kap, Rose). "He’s young" stops working after a few seasons, we know who these guys are. One is just not as good as you think he is (if you have to ask if Alex Smith was better, you’re gonna to have a bad time), and the other has wet tissue paper muscles. Or maybe just a weak heart. That’s a muscle, right? Also check out the Pacers comparison.

Mavericks: Saints - Thanks to one transcendent player (Dirk Nowitzki, Drew Brees), these teams are sitting pretty after winning the big one a few years ago. Fat, dumb, happy, and pretty. They (the teams) just stopped caring as soon as they won that ring. You guys want to win another? Nah, I’m good. Oh, a new episode of the Walking Dead is on…? Enjoy your semi-retirement, fellas. You sort of earned it, I guess.

Trailblazers: Chiefs - Ridiculous playoff streaks like Portland’s don’t exist in most sports, so we had to use a different kind of playoff streak. Chiefs haven’t won a playoff game in approximately 37 Vesuvian years. Additionally, both believe they’re the best fan base in sports. Both think they have the best food and a lot of great up-and-coming companies. Both think their fans are attractive. Statements like these make it painfully obvious that they’ve never left the states of Oregon and Missouri.

Pelicans: Texans - This is how to hitch your wagon to a super star. Both teams aren’t much to look at now, but they’re on a serious upswing. Playoffs this year are possible, too. JJ Watt and Anthony Davis are probably the two best players in America, today, because of their amazing ball blocking skills and their distinctive facial features (Watt’s busted nose, AD’s megabrow).

Heat: Ravens - Expansion teams in the ‘90s, these two franchises have nailed down five championship combined. It isn’t supposed to be this easy, guys. Thankfully, enormous contracts for Joe Flacco and Dwyane Wade should shut down their title hopes for the near future. They both likely have the dumbest name in their league. You already have the Suns, why the heck are you creating the Heat with a sun-like ball as the logo? You already have the Cardinals, Seahawks and Falcons, why would you make another bird team?

Suns: Eagles - Years of competing and a few hall of famers has added up to just about nothing, titles-wise. And yet they remain one of the most watchable teams in the sport. They have great jerseys, too. So it’s not all bad. You’d think that, in large markets like Phoenix and Philadelphia, they’d be a candidate to be a contender every year. After all, they’ve got a strong brand, and some history. But it never seems to come together as it should. Whether it’s Barkley proclaiming God’s favor or Donovan McNabb throwing up on the field during the Super Bowl, you can count on these teams to be un-count-on-able in the playoffs. Also, head coach Chip Kelly is pretty much the NFL’s Mike D’Antoni. Has strange and successful fascination with little people (Isaiah Thomas, Shady McCoy, and so on).

Wizards: Browns - These tough luck teams don’t usually get to cheer for a winner, but that is beginning to change. Gilbert Arenas, Michael Jordan, JOHNNY FOOTBALL…and here we are talking about Brian Hoyer and John Wall. I’m still annoyed that the Wizards changed their name from the Bullets, and Browns fans are still mad that some dude stole their team in the middle of the night to move to the DC metro area, which included a name change (the current Browns are a different team than the original one). Is moving from Cleveland to DC-Baltimore even an upgrade? Who does that?


Racists Division

Clippers: Redskins - You should feel bad.


Fly-Over Country

Jazz: Panthers - You know what I think? I think 1996 was like, the perfect year. I wish it were 1996 now. I mean, I really do. I really do. Remember how close we came to a Championship that year? Okay, so Carolina went to the Super Bowl a decade later, but still. Random sports teams in random places who only make appearances in big games because the Champion needs a new generic villain. These teams were placed on the basis that there was too much empty space in between other established teams. Literally.

Timberwolves: Lions - Run by the worst general manager in the history of the sport (Ted Stepien was an owner, not a GM). Thankfully, those guys are gone and much better days are ahead. Until the realization that they’re Lions or T’Wolves fans sets in, followed by despair. Call us when you win something (anything, really).

Pure awesomeness.


Nuggets: Chargers - Randomly exciting every once in a while, but has the good sense to fade to Bolivia quickly thereafter. Notorious cheap-skatery has probably cost them a bundle of wins (GM Massaj Ujiri for the Nugs, pretty much everyone not named Phillip Rivers for the Chargers). Firing excellent head coaches after a good season cost these teams even more (George Karl, Marty Schottenheimer). Likes Powder Blue (as do we all). Plus, San Diego Chargers theme song (which is awesomely cheesy) can be laid over classic Nuggets highlight videos with spectacular results. Really.

Kings: Rams - Surprisingly talented everywhere but quarterback and involved in a lot of relocation rumors. I mean, who wouldn’t want to live in Sacramento and Saint Louis? There’s so much to see and do. East Saint Louis, for one. And the arc! And Sacramento has a minor league baseball team. That’s pretty huge! They don’t just give those things away, do they?


Who?

Hawks: Falcons - You guys are still in the league? Good for you. Sure you’re not…? Oh, alright then. Good luck in the super cup or whatever it is you guys compete for.

Bucks: Jaguars - Not relevant would be an overstatement. But a promising rookie brings hope for the future. See? I can be nice. Likes green, doesn't wear it a quarter as well as a much better franchise in their own sport.

Magic: Titans - Weird results of 90s corporate thinking: everything must have a product tie-in or alliteration. And Houston Oilers sounded so cool, too. At any rate, these teams are in for a long rebuild. Jake the Hurt Locker isn’t the answer at quarterback, and Victor Oladipo isn’t carrying them to a winning record by himself. Both wear blue with stars on the logo, and look kind of silly doing it.


Tough Breaks Division

Pacers: Bengals - How far we’ve come. From Championship favorites to also-rans, largely because of a severe leg injury (Paul George, Geno Atkins). Ouch. Andy Dalton doing Andy Dalton things isn’t helping, either. Best memory is almost beating a great team in the playoffs 20ish years ago (both of whom are compared in this article! Cosmic!).

Hornets: Buccaneers - Former expansion teams with a memorable run some years back. While the Hornets are formerly the Bobcats, the Bucs were formerly a team with a pulse. Both teams have new uniforms this year and both are still looking for their franchise quarterback (hint: its not Kemba Walker). We could’ve also gone with the Carolina Panthers, as well. Carolina teams are just so dang bland.

Pistons: Bills - Bad mama-jamas of the late eighties, these dudes historically bring it on defense. Unfortunately, they haven’t brought enough of it for the whole team in quite a while. The Pistons have been a sinking ship ever since Joe Dumars realized he can’t draft (so why not pay whoever is available in free agency? Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva, come on down!), and Buffalo can’t even field a 53-man football team as of writing this, because Buffalo. I suppose watching Josh Smith huck threes from 26 feet like his name is Stephen Curry is better than forfeiture, but how much better?

See Also: Bears - You give Jay Cutler a $100 million contract, you don’t even get to have me make fun of you. If only the Bears could reverse course on this like the Nets did with their geriatric group a year ago. The Bears are like that NBA team that NEVER has a decent point guard, even though seemingly everyone can pull one out of their backside. Oh I know, the Bulls! Nice music video though.


Billionaire James Bond Villains Division

Nets: Vikings - Yeah, well, what did you expect? The other NFL team with an evil European billionaire for an owner? Apparently, Zygi Wilf been found guilty of using "evil motive" and organized crime-like tactics to commit fraud just last year. Sound like someone you know? Of course it does.


Has-Beens Division

Knicks: Jets - Too easy. Both teams count their glory days as a couple seasons like 40 years ago, and their most recent accomplishment is making it to like the Conference Finals years ago. Neither team has much hope for the near future, either. Best player ever was like the fourth best player at his position when he played, at best. Nice classic jerseys, though.

76ers: Raiders - Proud, venerable franchises with a smattering of hall of famers and a big footprint on the game. Sadly, no one under the age of 25 was alive to see it. Now looking forward to next year’s draft, and possibly, the draft after that. 0-13 76ers owe the 1-10 Raiders a drink for winning a game first (who knew? I had them going 0-98, on account of their historically awful "offense").

Celtics: Steelers - With titles in every decade but the 90s, and the most titles in league history, its pretty easy to call them the best team of all time. But I won’t because Rondo is a weirdo and Roethlisberger is a pervert and has been accused of worse. Yeah, the Steelers aren't exactly has-beens, but everyone agrees that watching them lose is far more entertaining than watching them win, so they go here.

See Also: Dolphins - Pretty great team all those decades ago. Wasn’t it? I mean, you were amazing! The talent was so obvious I could even see it on my wood-paneled 17-inch black-and-white Zenith Television, and I can’t see crap on that thing! So good. Can’t wait for your 1974 Ring Ceremony so I can see all of your great players who are still alive. Time flies, huh?