During last night’s epic Heat/Pacers clash, LeBron James was whistled for a flagrant 1 offensive foul. Lebron’s elbow ended up right in Hibbert’s face, almost knocking Roy out of the game. How did LeBron pull off such a devastating combination of power, agility, and aggression in the heat of a playoff-esque basketball game?
His secrets were revealed in his post game comments.
LeBron on flagrant: "If I could jump in air, elbow somebody in the face & still try to finish, I must be a kung fu master or something."
— Michael Wallace (@WallaceNBA_ESPN) March 27, 2014
King James just let us in on his secret: He is a Kung Fu Master. The MVPs, the rings, NBA dominance — all a result of a mastery of the mysterious marital art. Maybe he should film a Samsung commercial where he is breaking bricks while listening to Imagine Dragons? Maybe LeBron is literally imagining dragons as he plays basketball?
Either way, now we know the true path to NBA success — the path of the samurai warrior. This is a copycat league, so you know GMs around The Association are looking for a way to capitalize on this new player development wrinkle. For the sake of the Daryl Moreys of the world, I have taken the liberty of breaking this angle down.
Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: The Kung Fu Master Mock Draft.
Projected pick: Round 1, Pick 1 (Milwaukee Bucks)
Measuring at 7’1″, 326 pounds, and 16 bits, Shaquille O’Neal is an imposing presence who isn’t afraid to literally fight for post position. Possessing good hands, elite footwork, and a turbo button, “Shaq” is a real gamer. He gained international experience playing in Tokyo, and the Bucks view him as a future franchise player. His vertical leap is jaw dropping, climbing 3-4 times his height in the air. Shaq can be so good on some days it appears as though he is using cheat codes.
Kwai Chang Caine
Projected pick: Round 1, Pick 3 (Orlando Magic)
The grandson of basketball pioneer “Grasshopper” Caine, Kwai Chang Caine is a small forward known for his leadership and zen-like focus on the court. His ability to play basketball without needing to breathe oxygen allows him to play extended minutes. He is an elite defender, able to swat shot attempts from several feet away with the power of wind. The Magic could use a little real magic on the court.
Projected pick: Round 1, Pick 6 (Los Angeles Lakers)
The Lakers badly want to pick up their point guard of the future in this draft, and the All-Valley Karate Champion might be the one they are looking for. At only 5’6″ and 145 pounds, LaRusso is undersized by NBA standards. But the kid has heart, and a strong mentor in ex-Special Forces veteran and waxing enthusiast John Kreese. He will show no fear in a playoff series, even in the face of an impending sweep. His go-to move “The Crane” — while devastating — might draw a few traveling violations (and technical fouls) at the NBA level.
Projected pick: Round 2, Pick 9 (Philadelphia 76ers)
Like the Wizard’s Nene, Michelangelo goes by a single name. His brother Leonardo, of course, is the presumptive #1 overall pick in the 2015 draft. But Michelangelo’s stock in this draft continues to slip because of rumored maturity issues. He is known to party late into the night and participate in high injury-risk activities like skateboarding. “Mikey” also struggles with his weight, often sneaking in pizza as a post-workout snack. But he is a wide body who can gobble up rebounds, and the 76ers can afford to take on a project.