The Ultimate NBA-Thanksgiving Dish Rankings

Thanksgiving. A time for food, family, and fun. And nothing has been more fun this year than the 2017-18 NBA season. Chock-full of great players, interesting storylines, and exciting action, this current NBA season has been one of the most fun in recent memory. We here at The Post Up thought it would be fun to see how the current crop of NBA superstars compare to the most popular Thanksgiving dishes. Let’s see how they stack up:

Rolls – Anthony Davis

Underlooked and under-utilized, a good batch of rolls really helps complete a Thanksgiving meal. And Davis remains one of the NBA’s most complete players, as a super versatile, 7-foot big who can play the wing like a guard and defend the paint like a center. Like rolls, hopefully Davis will finally get his due recognition soon.

Potato Salad – Paul George

A thanksgiving staple, potato salad has the unfortunate position of being either the second or third most popular potato dish on the holiday (behind mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes). But like his fellow teammates Carmelo and Russell Westbrook, Paul George is a superstar in his own right, and capable of carrying a team to the playoffs.

Mashed Potatoes – Carmelo Anthony

A hall of fame side dish, mashed potatoes unfortunately doesn’t get a lot of appreciation as a good Thanksgiving side. Perhaps because mashed potatoes are associated with so many other holidays and meals, most people don’t think of them as great in their own right. Carmelo Anthony has a similar reputation – someone who’s revered as one of the greatest scorers in league history, but has been unable to find championship success.

Sweet Potato Pie – John Wall

The most reliable and consistent Thanksgiving dessert goes to one of the most reliable and consistent point guards, John Wall. You can always count on Wall to give you around 20 points per game and around 10 assists as well, just like you can always count on a good sweet potato pie being a crucial part of your Thanksgiving dessert spread.

Pecan Pie – Joel Embiid

A bold, brash dessert goes to the boldest and brashest new NBA star, Joel Embiid. The NBA’s newest sensation has made a name for himself with his aggressive play and trash talk on the court, and his fun and humorous side off the court and Twitter. Pecan Pie has started to emerge as a Thanksgiving sensation itself, becoming more and more common as the pie of choice in the dessert line-up.

Green Bean Casserole – Kawhi Leonard

Steady, faithful, and good if not spectacular, the green bean casserole is the Thanksgiving equivalent of the NBA’s most steady and consistent superstar, Kawhi Leonard. Kawhi is remarkably quiet and unassuming, but still manages to put up mind-boggling stats and keep the Spurs as a top contender. Green bean casserole is also quiet and unassuming, one of those dishes that you never pay that much attention to, but once it’s on your plate, it never disappoints.

Eggnog – Kristaps Porzingis

The only beverage on this list goes to the only Knick on this list, Kristaps Porzingis. You can’t have a great Thanksgiving without eggnog, and you can’t have a list of the best players in the game today without Porzingis. He’s developed into one of the best big men in the game in only his third year, and he looks like a lock to make his first All-Star appearance this year.

Collard Greens – DeMarcus Cousins

A bit volatile (depending on who cooks them), collard greens can either be a great side dish or a total disaster. The same goes for DeMarcus Cousins, who is the most volatile NBA superstar in the league right now. On any given night, Cousins can drop 55 points and grab 20 rebounds, while dishing out assists and hitting a few threes as well – or he can lose his temper, cuss out a ref, and be ejected from a game in the first quarter. There’s no way of knowing with Cousins. Same with collard greens, which can be rich and flavorful and a great complement, or bland and grainy and inedible. But when they’re right, both collard greens and Boogie Cousins are two things you want on your team.

Candied Yams/Sweet Potatoes – Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook’s tour-de-force MVP season was like eating a heaping serving of candied yams (with the marshmallows on top) – super sweet, probably not healthy for him in the long run, but man it was a lot of fun. But in today’s NBA, one man can’t carry a whole team, as Russ learned last season. And one dish can’t carry Thanksgiving, as delicious as candied yams are, they need help. A well balanced plate helps a lot, and now Russ has his own help in the form of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. We’ll see if those additions can help Russ advance further than he did on his own.

Mac & Cheese – James Harden

A holiday staple and breakout star, mac & cheese has emerged as possibly the most important dish to a good Thanksgiving. The quality of the mac & cheese can make or break the meal, and only the most trusted of individuals get the honor of bringing the mac & cheese to dinner. That’s a lot of responsibility for one dish, just as James Harden has the responsibility of being the lead facilitator and scorer for Rockets. Even with the addition of Chris Paul, Harden currently leads the league in both points per game and assists per game. Will this be the year that Harden, like the perfect mac & cheese, becomes the most valuable?

Stuffing – Damian Lillard

A perennial All-Star but somehow continuously overlooked, Dame has the bad fortune of playing for West Coast team in a small-market of Portland. He also has the misfortune of being a great point guard in a league full of great point guards, making it hard for him to stand out. The distinction also goes to stuffing, which is routinely a great Thanksgiving side dish, but somehow gets lost in the shuffle amongst all the other great side dishes. Maybe one day people will appreciate Dame and stuffing as much as they do other dishes.

Gravy – Steph Curry

Everyone loves gravy and gravy makes everything better. Dry turkey? Add some gravy and your bird is saved. Overcooked stuffing? A little gravy turns it back into a palatable dish. When gravy is at its best, it’s an unstoppable force that steals the show every time. The same can be said for Steph Curry, a two-time MVP and NBA Champion who makes everyone around him better and routinely is the most fun player to watch on any given night.

Ham – Kevin Durant

A great ham can really be the best main course on Thanksgiving. When cooked perfectly, it can really dominate the meal and be the best thing on your plate. But the ham will never usurp the position as the king of Thanksgiving, which will always belong to the turkey. KD winning a championship with the Warriors is the Thanksgiving equivalent of having an aunt bring a store bought, Honey-Baked Ham to your house and showing up your mom’s turkey. Sure it may taste amazing, but it kind of feels like cheating.  

Cranberry Sauce – Kyrie Irving

Once the perfect complement to the star of Thanksgiving, the turkey, cranberry sauce has seen its popularity increase exponentially over the years. The right cranberry sauce can be seen as a star in its own right, and the same can be said for Kyrie, who left Lebron James’ side to go be the star of his own team in Boston. And with the Celtics riding a blazing 16-game win streak, this Thanksgiving is looking like Kyrie’s time to shine. In the words of Future and Lil Uzi, that boy got ‘too much sauce’.

Turkey – Lebron

The King. The star of the show. While others may come for the crown, there remains only one true Thanksgiving king – the turkey. The same applies to Lebron James, who despite attempts numerous challengers, remains the best player in the league. Other players may have better years or be more popular at different times, just like other dishes may be better than the turkey some years at Thanksgiving. But no player has managed to supplant Lebron as top player in the game even in his fourteenth season, just as no dish has ever been able to supplant Turkey as the main Thanksgiving attraction. Long reign The King.

Do you agree with the comparisons? Think there’s a player or dish we left off the list? Let us know in the comments below!


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