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Comparing the Toronto Raptors to characters from Superstore

Photo credit: Che Bhatt (@shay2.o on Instagram)

All the way back at the beginning of quarantine (oh my goodness a whole year ago), I — like everyone else — needed shows and movies to watch. 

I remembered seeing clips of a show about people working at a Walmart-esque store a couple years ago, so I searched around and found out it was Superstore.

I watched all five seasons in the span of a week and have since rewatched it two more times so it’s safe to say I enjoyed the show.

All of that being said, it has now become even more popular since being added to Netflix so I decided to take advantage of this the only way I know how: compare Toronto Raptors to the employees of Cloud 9.

Very few of these will be direct one-to-one comparisons and if anyone who has seen the show wants to disagree, fight me- I mean, tweet me @omgbradshaw and we’ll discuss this in a very civilized way. 

Nick Nurse: Glenn

“Oh wow you compared the coach to the manager! Good job, Bradshaw! Real original there!”

Listen, they’re both from the midwest (in fact, the town in Iowa where Nurse was born is only a four hour drive from where Glenn was born), have worked in their industry for a long time and eventually became heads of their respective fields. 

And I mean, come on, the resemblance is uncanny!

Also don’t tell me this isn’t how you envision Nurse sounds when he gets a tech or ejected.

Kyle Lowry: Dina

This was the easiest one for me. Although Glenn is the store manager (at the beginning), Dina is really the one in charge. 

Although most casuals would assume Nick Nurse or Masai Ujiri are in charge, they would be wrong. It’s Kyle Lowry. 

I assume that, like Dina, Lowry says whatever he wants, whenever he wants, to whoever he wants. He’s the vocal leader of the team and doesn’t take crap from anyone, teammates or otherwise. 

I mean, can we be 100 percent sure Lowry hasn’t said these exact words to Malachi Flynn or Jalen Harris before? 

Nothing is more important to Dina than the security of the store and she will do anything to stop someone from shoplifting. Taking a charge would not be out of the question. 

Fred VanVleet: Brett

I won’t lie to you, I know nothing about Fred VanVleet other than he works hard and loves basketball. Even going through his Instagram, it’s just him either playing basketball or promoting his brand. 

So, I’m left to compare him to Brett. 

No one knows anything about Brett. 

No one even knew he was alive after the tornado! 

This is how I think of VanVleet. If you watch him in interviews — even with Serge Ibaka! — he’s a quiet and reserved guy who doesn’t really show a ton of emotion. 

Tell me this isn’t how you feel watching VanVleet play defence:

The guy is a machine, he can guard anyone!

Pascal Siakam: Justine

It’s hard to find a direct one-to-one comparison for Pascal Siakam, he’s a goofy guy and, by all accounts, talks a lot. 

That could apply to a few people in the store. Marcus, Matteo, and Cheyenne were all candidates for a Siakam comparison. 

But one thing sold me when I did a quick Google for Justine from Superstore.

Pascal Siakam, a.k.a Spicy P, admittedly hates spicy foods. 

To this day it befuddles me that someone can be called SPICY P but not like spicy foods. 

The reactions people have to Justine’s comments are also how I imagine Siakam’s teammates react when he starts calling himself the Spice Man or just anything he says during practice. He definitely makes the corniest jokes.

OG Anunoby: Garrett

There aren’t too many people like OG Anunoby. Quiet in public but you catch him in the right moment with his teammates and he’s one of the funnier guys on the Raptors. 

He also has the best sneaker game on the Raps (arguably, we’ll get to the other guy in a bit).

For this, I have to assign him Garrett. 

Garrett is known as being the guy who cracks jokes and makes everyone in the store laugh. 

That is Anunoby for the Raptors. 

I really don’t have much here, if I’m being honest. They’re both funny and have nice sneakers. 

Here are some funny OG Anunoby moments that I used to try and inspire myself. 

Norman Powell: Bo

Take one look through Norman Powell’s Instagram and one thing is very clear: the man is all about the bag. Whether it’s building his own brand (Understand the Grind) or the many sponsorship deals and ads he has, I respect the man’s hustle. 

This doesn’t even include his TV spots for Osmow’s. Or that he was called out as the guy who’s quiet when the bill comes around.

We’ve also witnessed Powell ball out in a contract year which, coincidence or not, only strengthens my case. 

In his limited appearances, Bo is known for trying to get money any way he can. I mean, I think this is all the evidence you need. 

DeAndre’ Bembry: Matteo

When Serge Ibaka left the Raptors, the door was open for who would become the best dressed on the team. 

DeAndre’ Bembry has become the man with the most drip and, sorry OG, it isn’t particularly close at this point. 

Matteo takes pride in two things: his work ethic and his fashion. 

Right from the beginning Matteo lets Jonah know that he will outwork him and he does everything that is asked of him in the store. 

Bembry has played his way into the rotation by working harder than almost anyone and being everywhere on defence. 

Oh and I like to imagine Bembry secretly talks trash about the worst dressers on the team. 

Aron Baynes: Sandra

How people in the store feel about Sandra is how Raptors fans feel when Baynes misses a(nother) layup. 

Matt Thomas: Jonah

“How can you compare a guy who barely plays to a main character?”

That’s the thing, Matt Thomas is trying to fit in. He’s been trying to fit into the rotation and find his niche since he came to the Raptors.

Since day one, Jonah constantly has a need to fit in with his coworkers and make them like him. 

Also, Thomas just gives off a super awkward vibe and probably says really weird jokes at weird times.

Malachi Flynn/Jalen Harris: Cheyenne

Cheyenne is the youngest employee at Cloud 9 and the two Raptors rookies are the youngest players on the team. 

Cheyenne has dreams of doing bigger things in her life than working at the store as a cashier but is using it to help get by. 

Malachi Flynn and Jalen Harris clearly have bigger things ahead of them than the Raptors 905 but it’s what they need to do right now to help them going forward. 

Listen, I said these wouldn’t all be direct one-to-one comparisons. 

Wrapping it up

I didn’t want to compare anyone to Amy (especially Lowry) because…

Well, if you’ve seen the end of season five you’ll understand. 

I missed a few Raptors and a few characters but at the end of the day, I think these are pretty accurate. 

If you’ve made it to this point you clearly either really like Superstore and the Raptors or just really want to support. Both are appreciated! Once again, tweet me @omgbradshaw if you think there is a better comparison for someone or if you can think of one for the players I forgot (Chris Boucher, Stanley Johnson, Yuta Watanabe, and Patrick McCaw).

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