What if Wu-Tang Clan were a basketball team?
Wu-Tang Basketball

If New York's Wu-Tang Clan were a basketball team, what would that look like?

With the NBA All-Star Game and related festivities happening in Indianapolis this weekend, I’ve had basketball on the brain. I asked myself, if the members of Staten Island’s Wu-Tang Clan functioned as a basketball team, what would that look like?

Hear me out. I’m not talking about Wu-Tang Clan actually playing basketball—one of the players has been dead for almost 20 years, which significantly hinders his mobility. What I mean is, how did the ten members function as a group? What were their strengths, and who filled what roles?  How did their different styles cohere?  Let’s break it down.

Point guard – The RZA

The Abbot wants to put everyone else in the best position to succeed, to get them good looks to take the best shots. He can score when he needs to, but he’s more interested in making sure the team’s playing at its highest level.

Shooting guard – Ghostface Killah

Ghost is the best offensive player on the team, hitting outside shots and getting to the rim with equal skill. He’s the most versatile scorer and fills up the stat sheet. He shines in the spotlight but is equally comfortable deferring to his teammates when they have the hot hand.

Small forward – Raekwon 

The Chef is the ultimate team player. He guards the best offensive player on the opposing team – gets buckets, blocks shots, sets screens, rebounds, and dishes. He’s never the focal point on offense, but the team always plays better when he’s on the court. 

Power Forward – Method Man

Tical’s a force on the block, either facing the basket or away from it. He demands a double-team when he’s hot, which is often. Averages a double-double. Can’t shoot free throws. His game is more limited than Ghost or Chef, but his strengths cannot be ignored.

Center – The GZA

He’s the defensive anchor, keeping everyone steady. His offensive game is even more limited than Meth’s, but he’s otherworldly in his comfort zone. He stays within six feet of the hoop, and all of his baskets are dunks, lay-ups, and putbacks.

That’s the starting 5. The rest of the group fills out the bench.

Backup guard – Inspectah Deck 

The Deck’s electricity comes in short bursts, capable of carrying the team for a few stretches every night. His game gets exposed if he’s out on the court for too long.

Backup swingman – U-God

Golden Arms will flash occasional moments of brilliance, but he’s otherwise a somewhat unremarkable rotation piece. He won’t wow you in most games, but also won’t embarrass himself.

Backup power forward/center – Ol’ Dirty Bastard

Six fouls and an attitude. Throw ODB out there to bring a proverbial ruckus, sit back, and enjoy.

End of the bench – Cappadonna and Masta Killa 

These two usually only play if the team is up or down big or if one of the stars needs a quick breather. But don’t sleep on them; they’re in Wu-Tang Clan for a reason. Cappadonna’s verse on Ghost’s “Winter Warz” is the equivalent of a bench player going off for 30 points while hitting eight 3’s.

And there you have it. It’s a tight rotation, but there are playmakers at every position, like killer bees in a swarm. You best protect ya neck.

Photo credit: Cilvawutang, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Adam is just a dude based in Brooklyn who enjoys thinking about music in all forms. He enjoys cooking, board games, baseball, and arranging songs for ukulele that shouldn't be played on ukulele in an extremely amateurish way. Adam is shown here at age 13 on his way to a bar mitzvah.

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