Since I was younger, I’ve always fantasized the characters of Street Fighter being fans of American sports. Americans certainly have the most watched organizations that aren’t soccer in the world. The NFL is slowly gaining a foothold in the United Kingdom. MLB is huge in Asia. The NHL is Canada’s national pastime, as well as many Eastern Bloc countries as well.
In this theory, we will focus one of the biggest sports in the world, basketball, and how the NBA would affect each of the characters in Street Fighter V if all of the characters were both fans of the game and fans of different teams. Since there are only 30 teams in the NBA, and 35 characters in Street Fighter V as of this writing, some teams will have more than one Street Fighter character rooting on the sidelines.
Let’s start things off with an easy one.
Atlanta Hawks – Falke
I think it’s pretty obvious that Falke, the Guardian Hawk, would choose the team that mirrors her own bird motif. She would also find a kindred spirit in late Hawks Hall of Famer “Pistol” Pete Maravich, as his story of being a child prodigy in a demanding atmosphere reflects Falke’s own.
We’ll look back on this choice later, but for now, let’s take a look at the team that reflects total victory.
Boston Celtics – Karin
No team has been as dominant in the NBA as the Boston Celtics. 17 NBA titles between 1957 and 2008 is all Karin needs to hear to literally buy the team and run it herself. She would demand absolute perfection from her players. If you thought the ’90s Bulls or 2010s Warriors were tough to beat, imagine what would happen if the Kanzuki zaibatsu took over.
From Boston, we’ll travel west to an old team with a new look, which just so happens to parallel a long time fan favorite character as well.
Brooklyn Nets – Cody
New mayor. Who dis? You have to give the Nets some props for wanting to start off with a clean slate. Plus, like Cody, they not only got a second chance, but they broke out of a place that despised them, bummed around for a few years, then started a successful campaign that made them the cream of the crop.
…Oh wait, no. That’s not what happened at all. Truly, Nets fans are more like Mike Haggar: get excited for the new blood coming in, then pray to God they don’t blow it. Yeah, that’s Cody, too.
Moving down the coast of the Atlantic, there’s another team that went through an identity crisis, which makes it the perfect team for a certain British soldier to wear the colors of.
Charlotte Hornets – Cammy
Yep, Killer Bee would love the Killer Bees. The sting of being something you’re not lives not just in Cammy’s memories, but in the memories of Charlotte basketball fans as well. Both the Charlotte Bobcats and Shadaloo Cammy have one thing in common at least: only psychopaths want them to come back.
Michael Jordan may run the Hornets now, but the next team on the list is the one that made him famous, and allied him with a punk, tattooed, ill-tempered Worm.
Chicago Bulls – Birdie
Birdie was not the Worm, but they would have made fast friends. The Bird and the Worm. Ponder that for a few minutes.
The real question here is why Birdie would pick the Bulls. Well, aside from rebound Rodman, Birdie may as well have taken the names of his moves from them: Bull Head, Bull Horn, Bull Revenger. I guess this makes Birdie a bull fighter?
We’ll mull over this question as we head east to a hated rival of the Bulls, and a well-liked buddy of Birdie’s.
Cleveland Cavaliers – Ryu and Sakura
If anyone is going to be a Cavs fan, it’s Sakura. As a trend follower, she’d definitely be on the LeBron bandwagon. Karin, having owned the Celtics, would have pulled some strings for Sakura to see her favorite player, and because Sakura is who she is, she would have dragged Ryu along too. Ryu would have no choice but to watch, and would have no idea what was going on, but he would have a nice souvenir hat to carry with him.
From Cleveland, we’ll jump on a plane and travel south to see Mark Cuban and a couple of familiar faces he’d be introducing himself to.
Dallas Mavericks – Guile and Nash
As stated on Street Fighter’s Fandom wiki Guile’s Air Force Base stage is set somewhere between San Antonio, TX and Shreveport, LA. The most likely base it could be? The former Carswell Air Force base in Fort Worth, TX, which was de-commissioned well after the original Street Fighter II hit arcades and is now run by the Naval Reserve.
Because of the proximity to Dallas, and considering both Guile and Nash were Air Force buddies, both men would have likely gone to see a few Mavericks games long before Cuban took over. One of them likely has an autographed jersey of Dirk Nowitzki. My guess is Nash.
From Dallas, we head to the mountains to see two unexpected Street Fighters watching a team that will leave you scratching your head.
Denver Nuggets – Balrog (Boxer) and Vega (Claw)
“Wait, what?”, you say. Allow me to explain. Balrog loves money. Vega is all about beauty. The Rocky Mountains at one point were known for having gold, which with its monetary and aesthetic value appeals to both men. Shadaloo would likely have a mining operation going on in the Rocky Mountains, and to de-stress, both men chill out an NBA game. While Vega would be far from impressed with the unattractive players, even he would admire the strategic value of the game and become a fan of the Nuggets due to proximity.
Jumping back on the plane, we return to the Midwest, traveling to the Motor City, where a certain Canadian watches his team go vroom-vroom on the court.
Detroit Pistons – Abigail
“He’s Canadian! Shouldn’t he represent the Raptors?” Yes, he’s Canadian, but Abigail is first and foremost a car guy. Detroit is only 2 miles from Windsor, Ontario and is only a 3 hour drive from Toronto. Abigail can get there easy to watch a car-themed basketball team on the court. Detroit’s the Motor City for a reason, and Abigail can go back and forth as he pleases.
From the Motor City, we head west to the Sunshine State to see yet another long-established Street Fighter character root for a team close to Capcom’s home.
Golden State Warriors – Ken
Ken and Capcom are both San Franciso-based, so it makes sense that the premier U.S. fighter in the game would also be rooting for the Steph Curry-led, multi-ring winning Warriors. He wouldn’t be able to bring Ryu over since Sakura got to him first, but Eliza and Mel are even better as fans. He can make it a family affair.
Down south, the strongest woman in the world’s team lays close to Guile and Nash’s, proving that even the best of friends can be bitter rivals when it comes to fandoms.
Houston Rockets – Chun-Li
I had seriously considered Juri for this team, but the proximity to Guile and Nash, Chun-Li’s competitive spirit, and Chinese national hero Yao Ming would not let me do it. Chun-Li would be a Rockets fan, cheering on James Harden through headphones while infiltrating Shadaloo at the same time.
Going back up north, we go to a place that most people know for corn and dunes, and a very shocking basketball pick for a certain ninja girl.
Indiana Pacers – Ibuki
Ok, before you click away in disgust, there are a few choices here that make no sense at all. Why? Because I ran out of teams and characters that fit them. However, Ibuki’s choice isn’t as bad as you’d think. Yes, Indiana is boring. Ibuki would hate that. However, its seclusion and quietness is perfect for ninja training, and would even remind her of her home back in Japan.
That being said, she would become a Pacers fan purely by accident. With a name like “Pacers”, it brings to mind visions of speed and a bustling town in Indianapolis, something that Ibuki would go out seeking. Except for the Indy 500, though, it’s not exactly the hip place she’d expect. Basically, she’d have no choice BUT to watch the Pacers.
Going from quiet Indiana to loud Los Angeles, the number one and two teams in the city are perfect for a pair of Shadaloo Kings who are, respectively, first and second in command.
L.A. Clippers – F.A.N.G.
L.A. Lakers – M. Bison
Yep. Whereas Bison sits courtside watching the 16-time champion Lakers, F.A.N.G., the sycophantic second fiddle, enjoys the number 2 team with zero championships, the Clippers. Shadaloo owns them both. There’s a lot of negative energy in L.A. from fans of both teams, so the more Bison stays there, the more powerful he becomes.
That’s right: Bison feeds off the energy created by basketball.
Let’s get out of California for the time being and head back east to the home of Tennessee barbecue, Beale Street, and… the Red Cyclone?
Memphis Grizzlies – Zangief
They’re bears, and Zangief loves wrestling bears, so for him, the Grizzlies are the bear- I mean TEAM to watch. I mean, come on, bears are strong and tough. Even their record shows it! Zangief will be impressed when he finds out the Grizzlies are… *squints*… 27-40….
Maybe the big Soviet should play center. It worked out well for Jake Tsakalidis, right?
Miami Heat – Dhalsim
I have sadly broken my thesaurus, so I will no longer be writing any more transitions from one team to another. So, instead, let’s talk about Dhalsim. He eats spicy curry. That and the power of yoga gave him the ability to spit fire. He lives in warm India. He’d be a Heat fan on name alone. Also, he Yoga Teleported his way to Miami to watch them win two titles with LeBron. Sakura is not pleased.
Milwaukee Bucks – Ed
Ed, the young buck, decided to do something different from Falke, jumped off the Hawks bandwagon, and started rooting for a youthful, upcoming Milwaukee team. He’s a huge fan of Giannis Antetokounmpo, even if he can’t spell his name right. Why? It’s because they both had to fight to get where they’re at today, Giannis against the influence of poverty, Ed against the influence of Bison. Both influences are evil in their own ways, and both can destroy without very much prompting.
Also, what they did to the Raptors a couple of years ago is absolutely amazing: https://youtu.be/yAWcsehfxrw
Minnesota Timberwolves – Kolin
Cold. Bitter. Cunning. Vindictive. Evil. The worst kind of human being.
But enough about Minnesota sports fans. Let’s talk about Kolin. Her twisted form of justice involves the manipulation of truth and betraying those she partners with just to serve Gill. Combine this with her ice powers, and you have the perfect insane fan of the Timberwolves. Also, she got her powers from a wolf in the Street Fighter X Darkstalkers comic.
New Orleans Pelicans – G
I’ve already stated how the evidence points to G being a Cajun. All he’s doing here is rooting for his hometown. I bet he’s mad about Anthony Davis leaving.
New York Knicks – Alex
While Alex might be a Brooklyn guy, the Knicks were here first. They are the epitome of New York: full of hype with no real substance, and Spike Lee is always in the discussion.
I’d say Alex deserves better, but he kind of deserves what he gets.
Oklahoma City Thunder – Laura
Thunder? Lightning? Also, Laura has the hots for Russell Westbrook.
Orlando Magic – Menat
You don’t need to be psychic to see Menat would be an Orlando Magic fan. Aside from the fact she uses real magic, Menat would love the fact the Magic are owned by the keepers of the most magical place on Earth: The Walt Disney Company. Yep, there’s nothing more magical than Disneyworld. Menat sees mouse ears in her future. And Nikola Vučević.
Philadelphia 76ers – Juri
Chun-Li would have originally gone here, but Juri would be a much better fit with the nastiness of Philadelphia sports fandom. Juri already has a Ph.D. in street fighting, so Julius Erving wouldn’t be the only “Dr. J” in town.
Phoenix Suns – Akuma, Necalli
These two are big on naturalism, and there’s nothing more natural than the sun. That’s really it. But Necalli really loves slam dunks, too. https://imgur.com/sjnO02L
Portland Trail Blazers – Rashid, R. Mika
Would these two know who Clyde the Glide is? Probably not, but they definitely want to be Trail Blazers in their own right. Portland doesn’t seem to be the most exciting place to root for a basketball team, but Portland has been in the top three in NBA attendance for the past several years now.
Sacramento Kings – Urien
Urien doesn’t just want to be the King of the Illuminati; he wants to be the King of the NBA too, and the aptly name Kings would serve his ego well… until he realizes they’re Kings in name only. He’s really gonna hate Bison.
San Antonio Spurs – Kage
Kage was a Sonics fan, until they got up and disappeared. Looking for a new team that wasn’t Portland, Kage went with the Spurs for two reasons:
1) He has Spurs on his body. Really, horns, but still.
2) Gregg Popovich uses a form of the Dark Hado called the Satsui No B-ball. It explains a lot.
Toronto Raptors – Blanka
“But Abigail!,” you say. “Also, Blanka, lightning! Blanka, Thunder!” Nope, he’d be a Raptors fan. That’s Blanka’s claw marks in the Raptors logo. He’d associate himself with a feral beast known for being vicious. Plus, the Raptors mascot and Blanka-chan would be great giveaways on Vince Carter night.
Utah Jazz – Sagat
I ran out of teams. I guess Sagat would really love the seclusion in Utah?
Washington Wizards – Zeku
He became a fan of Michael Jordan late in his career. Also, Zeku’s ability to go back and forth between young and old takes some wizardry. You could say it even takes some Magic!
I should have switched him with Menat….