The Greek Gods of The NBA, by Joe Maher

The Greek Gods of The NBA

Every year the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) takes a vote to determine the next season’s twelve Greek Gods of the NBA. This vote has always been done in secret and both the fact that it exists, which it does, and the results, which are real, have never been publicized. After the most recent election, an exclusive, anonymous source, who I will refer to as Wessell Russbrook, came to me with the classified results of this vote. In order to maintain full journalistic integrity it is worth saying that this anonymous source did not win a Greek God vote and was incredibly salty about it. Before going into this year’s Gods though, we have to go through a brief history of these basketball Gods.

A Brief History of These Basketball Gods

In Ancient Greece, the Gods created this game called “in-the-air-circle-ball” and partook in its divinity daily. The name became a little confusing when Wham-O later created the modern day frisbee, so they ended up changing it to “basketball.” After the name change, the sport made its way to the common man, and it was an instant hit. The original olympics were actually just naked basketball (which I entirely believe should still be the case). Once every four years, the Gods would descend to earth for a single game of basketball, during which the twelve best mortals played against the twelve Gods. The voting for the Greek Gods of Basketball started as the way to determine which mortals would play against the gods. In 1946, the NBA, lead by the secretly immortal David Stern, took control of the voting process and people began to forget the whole event ever existed.

Here is a short list of some good background knowledge on this vote:

The longest running Zeus was Michael Jordan with a fourteen year stint. His most impressive nomination was the year he was voted Zeus despite being a shitty minor league baseball player.

LeBron James recently came under fire for reports that he was the second coming of Jesus Christ and so, if found guilty, would not eligible for voting. The investigation is still ongoing, but a sentencing is unlikely.

The only rookies to ever be voted a God were Michael Jordan (Zeus), Christian Laettner (Hades), and Dwyane Wade (Aphrodite).

Russell Westbrook is the first reigning MVP to not be voted a Greek God. He was salty.

The 2017-18 NBA Greek Gods

Zeus - King of Gods, LeBron James
Important Notes: This god goes to the the best player in the NBA. Zeus and his counterpart in the NBA can both throw lightning bolts, LeBron just chooses not to. Russbrook told me that he feels as if he belongs in this one for some reason.

LeBron James is the most dominant player in the NBA, and as of after this vote, he has now won thirteen straight Zeuses which puts him one season away from tying Jordan’s record for most Zeuses in a row. I believe in two seasons we will witnessing history and see the first ever fifteen straight time Zeus.

The only time LeBron used his thunderbolt power was that one dunk against Kevin Garnett in the playoffs in 2008. If you look close enough you can see the bolt coming out of the ball before it hits the rim and if you listen you can hear the thunder boom right afterwards.

Hera - Queen of Gods, Kelly Olynyk
Important Notes: This God goes to the most female looking NBA player and Kelly Olynyk was almost a unanimous decision. The only vote that was not for Kelly was for “Not Kelly Olynyk” and it was almost definitely Kelly’s vote. He is now a five-time winner of this God.

Kelly Olynyk, often known as Kelly O-putting-on-a-clinic, is a deserving recipient of this award. Not only does he look as feminine as any NBA player in history, but he also has the ability to score at will just like the second most powerful of the gods, Hera, can.

Poseidon - God of The Sea, Giannis Antetokounmpo
Important Notes: This God goes to the most versatile and dominant player. I don’t really see any connection to Poseidon or the ocean, but Russbrook told me not to worry about it. Giannis, like Poseidon, now has an all-powerful trident that he is legally allowed to stab anyone with.

I’m pretty sure that if there was only one Greek God of the NBA, it would be Giannis. He’s a semi-sleeper MVP pick, averaging almost 34/10/5, leading the Bucks to the most promising year in recent history, and actually Greek, and actually a freak.

Hades - God of The Underworld, Kevin Durant
Important Notes: This goes to the most hated and snake-like NBA player. Russbrook says that this is the most accurate God of the year. Notable Hadeses include The Player Formerly Known as Ron Artest, Dennis Rodman, and Matthew Dellavedova. Hades’s and Durant’s superpower is being invisible (which he has chosen to only use when on social media).

This isn’t really a surprise. Durant is hated all around the league for his move to Golden State. Apparently he’s really into the Hades thing though, as it’s fuel for him to be a better player and also for him to poorly defend himself via fake social media accounts. Real snake move KD, real snake move.

Hestia - God of the Home, Steph Curry
Important Notes: This god goes to the player who never loses at home. Obviously already “never” is a lie this year, but you get the point.

Curry of 2015-16 was also under investigation for being a God/Demigod because of his 99% 3-point shooting percentage. After DNA testing it was confirmed that his parents were both mortals (Dell and Sonya Curry) and that he’s just amazing, but not a God. He does win a lot at home though, maybe it’s because he’s closer to Ayesha’s toes.

Athena - God of Wisdom and War, Kawhi Leonard
Important Notes: I think this God is pretty self explanatory. Wisdom and War.

This one is obviously Kawhi. Even injured, he’s still the embodiment of Athena.

Artemis - God of the Moon and Hunt, Jimmy Butler
Important Notes: This one is a little bit of a stretch. Moon and hunt reminded the NBA players of a wolf, and so Timberwolves. They then chose Butler because he went to Marquette, the most prolific, prestigious, powerhouse in the NCAA, let alone the Big East.

The logic on this one is pure genius. Have you, the reader, seen Jimmy Butler recently? He’s ripped as fuck now and I think could actually take on a wolf in a fight. He’s basically the definition of a Timberwolf. Also Marquette is the most underrated college ever. They got D-Wade, Butler, Crowder, Doc Rivers, Chris Farley, and reigning D-League MVP, Vander Blue.

Aphrodite - God of Love and Beauty and Also hair, Gordon Hayward
Important Notes: This is the most attractive God who also has the best hair. Having two working feet is not a requirement for this God, so there’s an upside for you, Hayward.

His hair is amazing. It’s too bad he we can’t see his hair this season. Russbrook had nothing to say about this one, he thought the right man won. Russbrook also did say that there’s no re-voting, but let’s ignore that. The new winner could be any of the following: Wade, Wesley Matthews, J.J. Redick, Tony Parker, Carmelo Anthony, and Kyrie Irving.

Hephaestus - God of Fire, Giannis Antetokounmpo
Important Notes: This is the God where when you look into their eyes you feel terror, you see fury in its purest form, you know that if you have to guard him, he’s scoring on you, you instantly know all the secrets of the world and it slowly turns you insane, you know for a fact that you’re facing a God. Giannis’ Greek origins makes him eligible for two Gods. Russbrook also thought this could have been him, but it really never could have.

This “he’s actually Greek” thing is really important. He’s two of the Gods and they’re the best gods after Zeus. I mean, fire and water, that’s a deadly combo. Giannis deserves all of them in my opinion.

Ares - The God of War, Demarcus Cousins
Important Notes: This God goes to the angriest player in the league. Usually it’s whoever leads the League in technicals, ejections and fighting.

If there was a stat for anger% or anger per game, I know for a fact that Boogie Cousins would have the highest levels every year (followed closely by Draymond).

Dionysus - God of Wine and Theater, J.R. Smith
Important Notes: This god usually goes to the player who is most fun to drink with and becomes very dramatic in times of emotion.

J.R. Smith, whose real name is Earl, seems like the player who loves life the most. He’s the Gronk of the NBA, but wears fewer shirts. The perfect example of how dramatic he is is how after winning the championship, Smith did not put on a shirt for eight entire months and the offseason was only four months.

Hermes - Messenger God, Chris Paul
Important Notes: This is always the head of the NBPA as a way to pay respects for them. A lot of the time they wouldn’t have won a God otherwise, so they get Hermes.  

Paul has to get something here. He and David Stern lead the voting, and in return Paul gets to be a God and none of the players reveal that Stern is immortal and still the commissioner of the NBA. The NBPA president is only available to be voted on for Zeus and Hermes so, when Oscar Robertson and Bob Cousey won their Zeuses, there were only eleven Gods.