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O’Boyle: Imagining ‘The Bachelor’ as NBA teams

| Thursday, January 26, 2017

As we approach the All-Star Break, the picture starts to settle in the hunt for an NBA championship ring. But there’s another ring that many across the country dream of getting: an engagement ring from ABC’s bachelor, Nick Viall. “The Bachelor” and the NBA may seem unrelated, but if you look hard enough, there are plenty of similarities.

Liz is the Brooklyn Nets

Truth be told, Liz and the Nets were both out of the running before the season started. The Nets traded away their future in 2013 to pick up aging Celtics stars Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry in the hopes their championship experience would put the team over the edge. Liz, like Garnett et al, has been there before. Unfortunately for her, that played a big part in Liz going home. It’s no surprise to see both Liz and Brooklyn already out of the picture.

Alexis is the Philadelphia 76ers

Some ideas sound so crazy they just might work. Like tanking for four straight years or wearing a shark costume and telling Nick you’re a dolphin while you hope to one day become a dolphin trainer (a job where knowing what dolphins are may be a requirement). Yet Alexis remains on the show, while a finally healthy and already dominant Joel Embiid has led the Sixers to an outside shot at grabbing the No. 8 seed in the East. Is it likely that either Alexis or the Sixers win it all? No, but sometimes you have to trust the process.

Jaimi is the Oklahoma City Thunder

Jaimi’s biography states that she can bench press a man with her legs. Out of anything found in this year’s contestant bios, nothing is a better metaphor for how Russell Westbrook carries the Thunder. He averages a 30-point triple double, but the team still sits way back at sixth in the West. Jaimi has made it this far and the Thunder should make the playoffs, but it’s hard to see them go all the way. There’s another layer to the comparison too. The Thunder seemed set for a potential dynasty five years ago with three young stars in Westbrook, Kevin Durant and James Harden, but slowly that dream came apart, starting with Harden’s 2012 trade to the Rockets. Meanwhile, in Episode 2’s group date, the contestants have to pretend to loudly break up with Nick in public. When Jaimi invents a reason, she mentions laundry, dishes and what else? That’s right, facial hair trimmings everywhere — almost certainly a reason why Harden was traded away.

Rachel is the Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs are the defending champions, they boast the best player in the game and they are strong favorites to win the East. Rachel became an early contender too, earning Nick’s first-impression rose. Yet both are in a bit of a slump. The Cavs are 4-6 in their last 10 games, while Rachel received little screen time in Episode 4. But we know both are real contenders and a blip like this is no cause for concern. Expect both to recover and be just fine.

Vanessa is the Toronto Raptors

Vanessa is a popular fans’ choice. She confronts Nick about Corrine and seems like she’s in it for the right reasons. The Raptors are a similarly likable team. If your favorite team can’t win it all, chances are you’d be reasonably happy if it was Toronto instead. On Vanessa and Nick’s one-on-one date, they simulated zero-gravity, making Vanessa the most likely to understand what a DeMar DeRozan dunk feels like (DeRozan, to his credit, has not thrown up after dunking this season). And Vanessa’s from Montreal, which is also in Canada and therefore basically the same place as Toronto.

Danielle L. is the San Antonio Spurs

Both Danielle L. and the Spurs are obvious contenders, yet there’s not much to say about either. The Spurs are always a top team; it’s what we’ve come to expect under Gregg Popovich, and it’s little surprise they’ve managed to move past the retirement of their greatest-ever player to again be the Warriors’ biggest obstacle in the West. Danielle L. is definitely a major contender right now, getting a one-on-one with Nick in Episode 4, and there’s little to say besides the fact it’s unsurprising. She’s not involved in too much drama, but you know she’ll go far.

Corinne is the Golden State Warriors

You knew this comparison was coming. The villain of this “Bachelor” season and the team most basketball fans root against. If anyone would consider a top-three player joining a 73-win team in the offseason “the hardest road,” it’s the contestant who naps all day and still needs a nanny, yet talks about managing a multimillion-dollar company. If any contestant would accidentally send an inappropriate Snapchat picture to the world, it’s pretty clearly Corinne. Corinne’s been accused of lacking maturity, while the Warriors have blown some leads this year, typically a sign of immature teams. And while you’re clearly supposed to hate them, personally I love watching them both. The Warriors can completely go off and take over a game at any moment — that’s what happens when your fourth-best player can drop 60 in a game. Corinne, meanwhile, takes over the show by saying and doing the most ridiculous things. Whether the Warriors and Corinne win or lose, it will be compelling to watch them when the season really heats up.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

About Daniel O'Boyle

Daniel O'Boyle is a senior sports writer living in Alumni Hall, majoring in Political Science. He is currently on the Notre Dame Women's Basketball, Men's Tennis and Women's Soccer beats. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Daniel spends most of his free time attempting to keep up with second-flight English soccer and his beloved Reading FC. He believes Lonzo Ball is the greatest basketball player of all time.

Contact Daniel