Basket brawls: NBA’s heavy hitters set to take WWE by storm

The NBA’s very own “aggressive” players, known for their physical antics have decided to quit basketball and take their talents to the WWE wrestling ring.

In the realm where athleticism meets entertainment, a seismic shift is underway as Draymond Green—notorious for his on-court demeanor—is leading a cohort of National Basketball Association (NBA) players into a new arena: the world of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

This blockbuster move has sent shockwaves through the NBA and professional wrestling communities, promising a collision of raw physicality, showmanship, and larger-than-life personalities. As speculation swirls and excitement mounts, the possibility of seeing Green and other NBA players such as Dillon Brooks, Patrick Beverley, Grant Williams, Isaiah Stewart, Bobby Portis, and Miles Bridges step into the squared circle ignites fervent anticipation.

Collision of two sports

In a move reminiscent of the crossover of athletes turned entertainers like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and John Cena, the transition of these NBA stars to WWE promises a fusion of two worlds.

WWE’s Wrestle Mania will open with the long-awaited matchup between former NBA stars, Dillon Brooks and Draymond Green.

The inclusion of NBA players in WWE represents a strategic move to broaden the appeal of professional wrestling beyond its traditional fan base. “The NBA has a massive following, and by stepping into the ring, I’m [expletive] bringing along fans who may have never watched wrestling before,” shouts Green.

By tapping into the immense popularity of basketball and leveraging the star power of players like Green, Brooks, and Beverley, WWE stands to attract a whole new demographic of viewers. As these players transition from hardwood to canvas, they enhance the visibility of professional wrestling and open up avenues for collaboration between the two major sports entertainment industries.

Preparing for the canvas

Just like any other WWE superstar in the making, each of the former NBA players needs to make a name for themselves in the infamous NXT brand before they move onto the main rosters in either SmackDown or Raw. Wrestling fans hope for a new faction composed of the former hoopers to showcase their charisma simultaneously. And, after enough exposure and popularity in the black-and-gold brand, the WWE Universe can only hope to see the likes of Green, Beverley, Brooks, and the rest make big debuts on Premium Live Events against current superstars in the near future.

However, the question remains: How have the NBA’s heavy hitters been holding up with their transition to sports entertainment? Brian Duncan, WWE’s Head Athletic Trainer, had something to say about their newest recruits, “Their athleticism is without question. We’re currently working on how they perform maneuvers without actually hurting their opponents. (Draymond) was asked to perform a big boot to the chest of a downed opponent, but he did it for real…he probably thought it was (Sabonis). Then, Isaiah (Stewart) stiff-armed one of our coaches the other day when performing a clothesline that left the poor guy knocked out cold by the turnbuckle. Those are the things that they really need to improve on.” With this, it seems that the things that brought the former NBA players to the WWE still exist, but they could hinder their respective pushes to the main event if they cause serious injuries.

Despite these setbacks, Duncan still praises the newest wrestlers, particularly how they sell moves. “I’m aware of their playstyles during their NBA days. I mean, I heard Adam Silver’s league has a flopping problem going on, but that’s actually a good thing in wrestling. These new guys have a talent in selling–making moves done to them look devastating, especially [Beverley]. [He’s] a natural, a really talented flopper…very emotional when falling to the canvas. The fans are gonna be at the edge of their seats watching him take those bumps here, unlike in the NBA,” the trainer claims. All eyes are on the former players, but how are they handling what basketball analysts, former teammates, and their old fans think of their decisions?

Talk that talk

Not even a year after Green’s heart-to-heart talk with Silver, the former Warriors forward made a shocking decision by taking his talents to the WWE, which according to the NBA Commissioner, was not part of their conversation.

“I told him not to make any rash decisions, and I wouldn’t let him do so. This was when he told me he was thinking about retiring from basketball, which he ultimately decided not to do. But this? I didn’t think it was possible, but it seems that his love for the fight has surpassed his love for the game,” reveals Silver, shaking his head in disbelief.

Even animated ESPN broadcaster Stephen A. Smith took his time to go on a heated rant about the situation, exclaiming, “The entire basketball community should be DISGUSTED by this turn of events. For Adam Silver and the rest of the NBA, to allow this to slide is pure incompetence. As for the players, what the hell do you expect to happen? Y’all better WAKE THE HELL UP! You guys are NBA players, which is a BIG privilege, by the way. And you decide to fight in the ring instead? What is this? Fight Club?!” 

Unlike his famed counterparts, LeBron James, who is arguably the face of the league, had a different perspective on the move—encouraging the players rather than being bewildered by their decision. “It’s difficult to last long in this league, and not everyone can handle the grind like I can. You gotta respect their choice, considering how their fragile bodies might not hold up with all the safety concerns and injury risks. I’m sure they’ll all do well, especially Dray, Dillon, Stew, and Pat, whom I’ve sparred with a couple of times. They’ll change the wrestling game and bring it to its former glory. I wish them the best of luck in their future matchups,” expressed James. 

According to former National Basketball Players Association executive Williams, the players have decided to pay no attention to what their basketball peers think about their actions, stating, “Just like Dillon, we all poke bears. Deal with it, [expletive].”

Then, now, forever, together

As the world holds its breath in anticipation of the heated action to come, the new additions to the WWE roster are working hard to ensure they meet fans’ expectations. And despite the controversies surrounding the sudden move, the former NBA players have blocked out the noise and backlash—following what they believe is best for their careers. 

It may take some time for people to get used to the transition, but as they always have, Draymond and his motley crew will surely deliver knockout entertainment. Expect them to come out swinging in their debut matches against WWE superstars, and this time, there will be no technical fouls to stop them from doing what they do best. 

This article was published in The LaSallian‘s Spoof 2024 issue. To read more, visit