- Matthew Shear
The Chicago Bulls as Pokemon
Jimmy Butler - Pikachu
Pikachu is the face of the Pokemon franchise, often viewed as an ambassador to the game. In the Pokemon television show, Pikachu is Ash Ketchum’s longest standing ally who has been through everything with him. The same can be said about Jimmy Butler. With the departure of Derrick Rose this offseason, the Chicago Bulls are now Jimmy Butler’s team. Butler needs to have a great year for the Bulls to be in the playoff hunt, and as the only star returning with Fred Hoiberg (aka Ash Ketchum) for his second season as Chicago’s head coach, Jimmy is primed to have an outstanding season.
Dwyane Wade - Moltres
Moltres is one of the oldest legends in the game, first appearing in the original generation of Pokemon video games. Somehow, though, the fire type bird is often overlooked due to the popularity of such legends as Articuno, Zapdos, and Mewtwo. Doesn’t this sound similar to Dwyane Wade? Wade is one of the greatest shooting guards to ever do it, yet he often gets tossed to the side in favor of other once-in-a-generation players like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. That doesn’t diminish the fact that, like Moltres, Wade can still catch fire at any moment. Hopefully he can turn back the clock this season and show Bulls fans exactly why he will go down as a legend in the game of basketball.
Robin Lopez - Snorlax
Snorlax is a defensive monster, and when trainers woke the sleeping giant with a Poke Flute, they found that he was already ready to join their party. Similarly, Robin Lopez (or Brook Lopez if you’re Fred Hoiberg) is a defensive minded player who was picked up from the Knicks and will be ready to join in the Chicago Bulls’ quest to reach the playoffs this season. When needed, Snorlax can knock out opponents with some powerful offensive moves, and hopefully Lopez can match his mark of 10.3 PPG from last season to aid the Bulls on both ends of the floor.
Rajon Rondo - Lapras
Lapras is rarely thought of as a high powered offensive threat, but Lapras has often aided trainers in traveling through regions with the move Surf. A similar role is envisioned for the newly acquired Rajon Rondo on the Chicago Bulls. Rondo has historically struggled to shoot the ball from any distance, but last year he led the league in assists per game. He has won a championship in Boston and knows what it takes to be a contender in the NBA. Coach Hoiberg is hoping that Rondo can help this new look team reach their ultimate destination, the playoffs.
Doug McDermott - Squirtle
In the original generation of Pokemon video games, Squirtle was one of three options for your starter. He wasn’t initially an incredibly strong Pokemon, but given time he could evolve into the amazing Blastoise. During Doug McDermott’s first two seasons with the Chicago Bulls he didn’t see much playing time because he was stuck behind veteran sharp-shooter Mike Dunleavy. Now that Dunleavy is gone, McDermott will have the chance to build on the flashes of promise he has shown the last few seasons. Given time and experience, it is likely that Dougie McBuckets will be shooting the ball like he has cannons protruding from his back.
Denzel Valentine - Dratini
Dratini is a rare Pokemon that has a unique ability as a dragon-type to learn a diverse range of moves, and given a lot of training they can eventually evolve into the powerhouse Dragonite. The Chicago Bulls’ newest draft pick, Denzel Valentine, has similar promise to his game. The former Spartan can do it all; defend, score, and pass. He comes into a tricky situation with two older and more celebrated guards ahead of him in Wade and Butler, but given time he can become a great player for the Bulls.
See the rest of our articles comparing NBA Players to Pokemon