LeBron James is leading an army of the living against the darkness. Tyrion Lannister is knocking down three-bangers from the corner with shocking precision.

If NBA Franchises were dumped in Westeros, what Houses would they align with?

Cavs – Starks

Lets start with the obvious: Jon Snow – the King of the North. LeBron James is Jon Snow. Who in the NBA is capable of resurrecting from the dead? Nobody, but bringing your team back in the NBA Finals down 3-1 against the White Walkers (Warriors) is about as close to coming back from the darkness as possible.

Jon Snow took the black – vowing his life to the Men of the Nights Watch. Five years later he returned to Winterfell as the King of the North. King James left Cleveland, his ancestral home for Miami – four years later he returned home – bringing a championship with him.

What about his primal “Cleveland this is for you” scream after winning the finals? That is the type of Caterwauling only a man of the north could produce – most likely while pledging fealty to the Starks.

Then there is the city of Cleveland. Cleveland is the United States version of Winterfell – cold, dark, desolate and industrial. Joakim Noah definitely would not want to hang out in Winterfell – especially if given the choice of vacationing in Dorne.

Oh – and I’m pretty sure Zydrunas Ilgauskas is Brienne of Tarth’s spirt animal.

Lakers – Lannisters

Cersei is a ruthless, cunning, pretty, blond woman, who has spent her life in conflict with her family. Kind of sounds like Jeannie Buss, who recently exiled her brother Jim Buss from Lakerland after an attempted coup.

Tyrion is easily the best part of the Game of Thrones Universe – or the Wilt/Shaq/Kobe/Magic/Kareem/Jerry of Westeros.

Signing Shaq as a free agent in ‘96 is emblematic of the Mountain representing the Lannisters in a trial by combat setting.

And was anybody more Tywin than the cold, plotting, methodical Kobe Bryant. If Tywin Lannister played in the NBA he’d bleed you to death from the elbows.

Celtics – Targaryens

For 300 years the Targaryens sat on the Iron Throne, using Dragons to keep the other houses in line. Thirteen Targaryens ruled Westeros before the Mad King Rick Pitino started burning his subjects alive and alienating everyone until rebellion was the only option.

The Celtics won 11 titles in 13 seasons – and again dominated the Eastern Conference in the 1980s – before, similar to House Targaryen, collapsed in on themselves and became largely irrelevant in the 1990s.

Viseyrs leading a Dothraki horde to the Iron Throne is about as laughable as Rick Pitino leading Andrew DeClercq, Dee Brown and Pervis Ellison to the NBA Finals

Now led by Khaleesi Brad Stevens the Celtics are marching on Westeros – and they, like Dany have a dragon at there disposal down the developmental pipeline: Ante Zizic.

*Sidenote Varys, Tyrion and Jorah are the experienced #Ballislife advisor doppelgangers to Ray, KG and Pierce.

Bucks – Martells

The only reason we care about the Bucks right now is Giannis Antetokounmpo. The only reason we cared about the Martells was Oberyn. Giannis is Greek, and while Dorne remains a mystery, the Martells seem the Feta and Olive Oil type.

Giannis is on the cusp of transcendence as a player – except, his game has one glaring hole: he can’t hit a jump shot.

Oberyn was perhaps the greatest fighter in the known world – he took down the Mountain in a trial by combat – but like Giannis, his game had a massive flaw: his myopic single-mindedness. His obsession with Tywin ended up getting him killed.

Aegon the Conqueror took control of all of Westeros – but was unable to conquer Dorne.  The Bucks won more games during the 1980s than every team except the Lakers and Celtics. Both the House and the Franchise are often overlooked in their respective verticals.

Jason Kidd sucks and so do the Sand Snakes.

Miami Heat – Greyjoys  There’s not much to this one, nor is there much overlap – but isn’t it easy to imagine King James saying to Erik Spoelstra “Your name is Reek” before you maiming him?

Also Theon like Spoelstra is in the midst of a redemption arc.

Knicks – Baratheons Does Robert Baratheon sinking his battle axe into the breast plate of Rhager Targaryen not scream Willis Reed on one leg sinking a jumper on the Big-Dipper?

And then there is Stannis Baratheon, a man with the sharp strategic mind of Bill Bradley and the blunt physical force and relentlessness of Dave DeBusschere.

The Baratheons took the Iron Throne from the Targaryen Dynasty – just as the Knicks took the NBA Finals from the Goliath Wilt Chamberlain in 1970 and ‘73.

Robert’s last days on the throne were spent drunken, as he engaged in the sort of debaucheries that would make Anthony Mason, Charles Oakley and Patrick Ewing proud.

Stannis killed Renly with blood magic – before sacrificing his own daughter with blood magic – that’s on some Phil Jackson, Melo, James Dolan, level dysfunction.

The Baratheons don’t matter anymore and neither do the Knicks.

76ers – Tyrell’s   

No house in Westeros is more prone to tricksterism and deception than the Tyrell’s. Lady Olenna conspired with Little Finger – poisoning Joffrey. Margery hopped from King to King using her sexuality and cunning to manipulate imbeciles.

Every year the 6ers tank for draft picks. Oh, and remember when they fleeced the Nets for a 26-year-old Dr. J?

Getting a top 12-player in the history of the game for $6-million and leaving another franchise in complete ruin – classic Queen of Thorns.

What about trading Caldwell Jones for Moses Malone?

The words of House Tyrell “Growing Strong” are not too unlike the words of former 6ers General Manager Sam Hinkie “trust the process.”

Noah Perkins
Noah has had articles published by a variety of publications including The Bangor Daily News; The NENPA Bulletin; and Monthly Basketball (Japan). His column ‘Heaven is a Playground’ has been featured on ESPN Radio. Noah was also called a "thirst troll" by Tom Arnold once.