When you can routinely do shit like this or this, it’s safe to assume you already have superpowers. But perhaps looking to take things up a notch—or capitalize off of the fact that Disney owns both ESPN and Marvel Entertainment—the Golden State Warriors’ upcoming game against the New Orleans Pelicans will feature some familiar faces: The Avengers.
Marvel and The Athletic report that on May 3, we’ll be treated to “a groundbreaking collaboration” that just so happens to be “the first-ever Marvel-inspired alternate presentation” of a basketball game. This broadcast, dubbed “Marvel’s Arena of Heroes,” will include a plot straight out of Disney+ as the Avengers will recruit players from the Warriors and Pelicans to help stave off an alien invasion. And because Marvel is all about flair, expect to see custom graphics, animation packages, 3D virtual characters, and appearances by Iron Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Captain America, Black Widow, and Doctor Strange. Hell, I might even pull up and start shooting lasers out of my eyeballs, too.
“Recognizing the superior physical abilities, agility, and tenacity of Earth’s greatest athletes, the Avengers will hold a series of contests where the winners earn the right to train and fight alongside them as Marvel’s Champions,” ESPN said in a press release. “The Avengers will begin their recruitment with the NBA elite and observe the battle between the Warriors and the Pelicans, focusing on three star players from each team.”
So which players are the Avengers looking to snatch up? They’ll be “scouting” Steph Curry (of course), Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins from the Warriors, and Zion Williamson (of course), Brandon Ingram, and Lonzo Ball from the Pelicans. For each point, rebound, assist, steal, or block that they collect, players will gain Marvel Hero Points. They’ll also lose them by missing shots, bricking free throws, or turning the ball over. The player with the most Marvel Hero Points on the winning team—that’s an important caveat—will be named Marvel Champion.
All in all, this is a pretty blatant attempt to cross-promote Disney’s billion-dollar portfolio. It could be fun or it could be a cheesy fucking disaster. I guess we’ll find out on May 3 on ESPN.