The NBA's Watchful Protectors? How the Oklahoma City Thunder Are Just Like Overwatch

This is a fun post I wanted to write up on how the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder are very similar to the video game Overwatch.

Lately, I have been playing a ton of Overwatch, Blizzard’s newest six on six team based first person shooter that has received critical acclaim from critics and this writer alike. The plot of Overwatch is simple enough, according to Blizzard itself, “In a time of global crisis, an international task force of heroes banded together to restore peace to a war-torn world: Overwatch.” This made me think, are the Oklahoma City Thunder the NBA’s Overwatch? Currently they are up 3-1 in the Western Conference Finals against a 73-9 Golden State Warriors squad that has torn the NBA asunder and are looking to restore peace against the evils of Draymond Green’s flagrant play and an overconfident Joe Lacob. If the NBA were to suddenly play six on six team based warfare for their games, here are the top six Thunder players that compare to Overwatch characters.

Source: Evan Dammarell


Kevin Durant – Reaper
The comparisons are almost perfect for both Durant and Overwatch character Reaper. In Overwatch Reaper is a deadly assassin that glides like a ghost throughout the battlefield. He is best when surprising and swiftly silencing targets before slipping back into the shadows and can quickly become a force that carries teams. The same can be said as Durant, who was coincidentally given the nickname The Slim Reaper by the NBA subreddit, who is one of the most lethal scorers in the NBA. Whether it is from long range or up close, Durant swiftly silences crowds with his scoring ability and his lanky frame allows him to glide across the court, almost like a ghost. The lethality of Durant also is silently killing the hopes and dreams of a repeat championship for Golden State.

Source: Evan Dammarell


Russell Westbrook – Tracer
In Overwatch, Tracer is a unique hero with the ability to dart around the battlefield and remain one step ahead of her opponents while she harasses and pressures the enemy team. With Russell Westbrook, they have their own personal Tracer. At full speed, Westbrook is a raging hell beast when and cannot be contained by almost any NBA defense. He quickly finds himself behind enemy lines due to his speed and can decimate any defense with his constant harassment. The speed and athleticism has also helped Westbrook as well on the defensive end as he has averaged 3.75 steals a game so far in the series against Golden State. Paired with Kevin “Reaper” Durant, Russell “Tracer” Westbrook and Durant form a dynamic duo that is a constant headache for opposing coaches and teams.

Source: Evan Dammarell


Steven Adams – Reinhardt
In Reinhardt, you get an armor glad juggernaut who simply brushes off opposing attacks and can strike back with just as much force when in close quarter situations. Oklahoma City’s big man Steven Adams is a carbon copy of Reinhardt. This series against Golden State Adams has been a physical tank, playing through a bruises, sprains and a swift kick to his kiwis by Warriors forward Draymond Green, he has simply brushed it all off and has kept defending well for Oklahoma City night in and out. On the offensive side of things Adam dishes back just as much physically against the Warriors, averaging 11 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1 block in just four games so far against Golden State. In order to save the NBA as the newly formed basketball Overwatch, Steven Adams would carry a heavy load for the team.

Source: Evan Dammarell


Serge Ibaka – Mei
In Mei, Overwatch players find a defensive style character who can neutralize opponents with her ability to block them with her ice walls and freeze them in place using cryogenics in her weaponry. With sound defense there also comes offensive versatility which Mei also has with the ability to able to dish out damage as well. The Thunder have their own Mei in Serge Ibaka. Throughout his career, Ibaka has been known as defensive stalwart in Oklahoma City swatting shots with relative ease and is so far averaging 1.25 blocks a game in the Western Conference Finals against Golden State. But, Ibaka is not just a defensive player as his offensive game is strong as well. In this series against the Warriors alone Ibaka is averaging 11.25 points a game, hitting shots from up close and from long range as well. Ibaka’s great offense and defense for Oklahoma City has been putting the Warriors on ice as the Thunder look to complete their Western Conference Finals upset.

Source: Evan Dammarell


Andre Roberson – Symmetra

With Symmetra, Overwatch players get a defensive oriented support character that utilizes her lasers to provide defense to the rest of her teammates. She can also pack a major punch with the same lasers, melting through opposing teams defenses with relative ease thank to her helpful laser sentry turrets. Due to being a defensive hero that can also provide a wallop when needed, the most obvious choice to compare Symmetra to is Thunder guard Andre Roberson. As a player Roberson is known for his defense that has helped contain the Golden State Warriors mind melting offense but his offense has also been vital to the Thunder's success as well. Roberson has been cashing in on a lack of defensive respect from Golden State and has been lighting them up from 3-point range with laser like precision, shooting 57.14% from deep this series alone. Normally known for his defense and support for Oklahoma City, Roberson has stepped up big time on the conference's biggest stage.

Source: Evan Dammarell


Billy Donovan -Torbjörn

Torbjörn is a tactician-like defensive character that utilizes turrets to control and zone the opposing team away from the primary objective he is defending. He also provides armor to his teammates in order to help them sustain during the match and help secure the win. Oklahoma City's head coach Billy Donovan is very similar to Torbjörn in this regard. The last two series he has simply outcoached San Antonio's Gregg Popovich and NBA Coach of the Year and Golden State head coach Steve Kerr by setting up Durant, Westbrook and the rest of the Thunder in a position to win; all while being a first year NBA head coach. Donovan has also been able to get the most out of Durant and Westbrook this post season as both are averaging career best numbers all the while blowing out the defending NBA champions twice in this series. Donovan is a master tactician and would carry a similar role in the NBA's Overwatch.

While things are not decided right now in the Western Conference Finals, the Oklahoma City Thunder are feeling confident heading back home for Game 6 of the series in their pursuit of dethroning the reigning NBA Champion Golden State Warriors and hopefully an NBA Championship against either the Toronto Raptors or the Cleveland Cavaliers. But, if war were to break out by evildoers and for whatever reason the athletes of the NBA were the only ones who could help us the members of the Oklahoma City Thunder would form their own Overwatch. Because they are not the team the league deserves and the team it needs right now. The Warriors will hunt them and the Thunder will fight on because they can take it. Because they are not heroes. They are silent guardians, watchful protectors, they are the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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