Offbeat

If The NBA's Best And Worst Teams Were Automakers, Here's What They'd Be

Let the LeBron vs. Koenigsegg debates begin.

The NBA season has entered the home stretch, with many teams fighting for the playoffs. The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers are not part of this fight. Both are in first (Western and Eastern Conference, respectively) and only have to worry about playoff seeding. The Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers also don’t have to worry because they are both awful. The 76ers are 8-55 and the Lakers are 13-51. Since CarBuzz is about cars, the question becomes, what automakers best represent these teams?

Note that we're only taking recent history into account, though. Yes, the Philadelphia 76ers were the team of basketball legends Allen Iverson and Julius Erving but recently they’ve looked more like the junior varsity squad at a community college than an NBA club. The Warriors have been nobodies for a while but are now the league's hottest squad. Times change.

The Golden State Warriors are one of the youngest squads in the NBA and are easily the league’s most talented and exciting club to watch. They won it all in 2015 and look like a lock to repeat as champions. Every one on the starting five can score in bunches and flashes, which is probably why Golden State steals the spotlight wherever they play. For all those reasons, the Warriors are Koenigsegg. The Swedish supercar company was founded in 1994 and all it knows are exciting automobiles with insane power and speed to spare. Koenigsegg steals the spotlight at any auto show it attends and its cars are cutting edge, just like the brand of basketball the Warriors play.

If you follow the NBA at all then you know the Cleveland Cavaliers have a roster full of stars that just haven’t been able to put it all together. For that reason the Cavs are Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). Think about it for a second. FCA is made up of brands with big names, like Maserati, Jeep, Dodge and Ferrari. Okay, Ferrari was spun off but FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne still pulls the strings over there. Despite these star names FCA often disappoints, whether it’s with continual model delays, failed merger attempts or possibly phony sales numbers. The brand’s brightest star is Ferrari, but the Italian supercar company would be great no matter who called the plays. Just like LeBron James.

The Los Angeles Lakers are the worst team in the NBA’s Western Conference, but obviously things weren’t always this way. Kobe Bryant is a legend who has won five championships and is a lock for the hall of fame, but the rest of the lineup is young and unproven, albeit talented. The future is murky for this group, which is what makes it Tesla. The Model S is the star of the squad and is carrying everyone else in terms of sales. It would be the first car into the EV hall of fame…if such a place existed. The rest of the lineup has potential but we don’t know if the Model X or Model 3 can carry Tesla once it comes time to pass the torch.

The Philadelphia 76ers are Scion. Why are they Scion? Because, much like the automaker, if the 76ers suddenly went out of business tomorrow and never took the court again no one would notice or care. You could take its players and disperse them throughout the NBA—like Toyota rebadging the FR-S, iA and iM—and no one would long for the glory days when all those guys suited up for Philly. To all the 76ers fans out there: You root for basketball's Scion iQ and should feel bad.

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