The apparent exuberance in Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving when he donned the majestic black mask against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden was evident in his offensive outburst last Saturday. After falling hard following being fouled by Milwaukee Bucks forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute last Friday, Irving appeared to be in pain. It was later diagnosed that he had fractured a bone in his jaw, resulting in many physicians making sure that the Wine and Gold star was good to go for the contest in New York City.
If you have been watching any Cavaliers’ coverage lately, you would know that once Kyrie landed in New York, three hours before tipoff, his teammates labeled him with the nickname “Dark Knight” upon seeing him with the tenebrous equipment on his face. Irving is now the third Cavalier to wear a mask this season due to injury, joining Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller.
The NBA just recently told the Cavs and Irving that he could no longer use the black mask as protection, as he had to switch to a clear mask on Tuesday for the home match against the Toronto Raptors. Although Irving’s somewhat historic mask has been retired, we here at Right Down Euclid still want to have some fun with it. He scored a career-high 41 points with the mystic face gear, which prompted many to pick up on the “Dark Knight” allusions and even resulted in the creation of a Twitter account for the mask.
“The Dark Knick Rises,” the third and final installment of the Christopher Nolan-directed Batman movie series, came out this past July and was once again received with critical acclaim. The fictional Gotham City, the setting for all things Batman, is said to have been based off of New York City and its surroundings. Writers didn’t want people to identify with the city when creating the rationale behind it, so the name is derived from a New York business named “Gotham Jewelers.” Regardless, portions of the movie were filmed in New York City and Gotham is said to be home to the state of New York.
I mentioned two paragraphs earlier that we will “have some fun” with the idea of Kyrie’s offensive outpouring mixed with being in New York City and Irving taking the name “Dark Knight” with a smile. For this post, I will take settings, characters and scenes and appropriately match them to my best ability with what took place in “The Dark Knight Rises.” Cavalier fans and movie buffs, enjoy:
Kyrie Irving as Bruce Wayne/Batman:
It all starts with the mask. This sparked the idea for this post and for Kyrie’s teammates to grace him with the nickname “Dark Knight.” In the movie, Wayne realizes that he’s going to need new equipment to fight head villain Bane. After falling in the game against the Bucks, the medical team associated with the Cavaliers made sure that Irving would be good to “fight” on Saturday in NYC against the Knicks. During the movie Bane sends Batman to a prison, which looks similar to a well and is almost impossible to escape. Only one other has been able to climb out of the prison before, but Kyrie’s team helps him and the return of Cleveland’s hero is set for the match against the Knicks. As Bane is trying to destroy Gotham City completely, Kyrie comes to attempt to save the day. He almost leads the Cavs back with his 17-point fourth quarter effort, but the Wine and Gold fall short due to Anderson Varejao’s final free throw attempt rimming out. Just like the movie, which ends in mystery and the end? of Batman, it’s not always a happy ending for good guys. Still, the day is somewhat saved because of Kyrie’s career-high effort and hope in Gotham City is restored. The NBA made Irving retire the black mask, resulting in the end of “Dark Knight’s” heroics.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute as Bane:
This one is short of a stretch because Mbah a Moute doesn’t play as big as a role in Kyrie’s duel with destiny in NYC, but we find out later on in the movie that Bane in fact isn’t the only other escapee of the well-like prison. The reason I make this comparison is due to what the Milwaukee forward does to Kyrie. He sent him to the floor on a foul, resulting in the fractured bone in his jaw. Irving finished the game, but he had to seek medical attention in Ohio before traveling to New York. The extensive team of doctors and physicians made sure the point guard was ready to go against the Knicks.
After Bane proclaims that he will fulfill Ra’s al Ghul’s mission to destroy Gotham, he breaks Batman’s back. Although Kyrie didn’t sustain injuries as sever as Batman’s, it’s still the best comparison to the villain of the finale to the trilogy. Bane injures Batman, which sets up his escape from the prison to save Gotham City. Mbah a Moute sends Irving to the ground, resulting in the reigning Rookie of the Year needing a mask and arriving late to the hypothetical Gotham City. I know I’m reaching on this one, but bare with me.
C.J. Miles as John Blake/Robin:
Every superhero needs a sidekick that they know will never outshine them, and Miles was the perfect player to fill this role. We don’t know the true identity of Blake, and the same can be said for Miles in the beginning of the season. In his first 14 games as a Cavalier, Miles was only averaging 6.6 points and shooting 33.0 percent from the field. Coach Byron Scott became frustrated with Miles at many times before his offensive outburst, often keeping him on the bench for entire games. In the five games after his early season struggles, which came at the same time Scott put Miles in the starting lineup, the former Utah Jazz player averaged 21 points and shot 45.6 percent from the field.
Seeing Miles fill the role as Kyrie’s partner in fighting crime in lieu of the injure Dion Waiters was really something for the movies. His initiation into the starting lineup sparked something in his game, leading us to our next character…
Byron Scott as Commissioner James Gordon:
One thing I couldn’t get over from this game is people saying that it was Kyrie’s coming out game. Please, he’s been here and he’s here to say. The reason for that is because he has a good coach who is a point guard guru and is one of the firmest believers in Irving. That’s what Gordon was for Batman. While the rest of Gotham Police Department is out trying to stop Batman from doing the right thing, Gordon is one of the only characters who stand by his side despite him being stationed in the hospital for most of the film. Gordon also is the one who puts his trust in Blake and names him detective of the GPD.
Scott promoting Miles to the starting lineup is the one comparison I found between the Gordon-Blake relationship. Although Miles isn’t as important and crucial as in his role as Blake is, he works together with Kyrie. That is clear because once Kyrie returned, which was the same time that Miles was implemented as a starter, the two clicked. Good find Commissioner Gor…err Byron Scott.
The basketball rim as Miranda Tate/Talia al Ghul:
I wanted to be a little ludicrous on this one. Tate is revealed toward the end of the movie as the one who actually escape the prison and not Bane. Earlier she encourages Batman to come back and fight evil, but little does he know that she’s setting him up. The rim was Kyrie’s friend all night long, up until Anderson Varejao approached the free throw line. In the waning seconds of the game, Irving stopped before crossing the three-point arc and found Varejao in the lane. That’s when he was fouled, and had the chance to send the game into overtime. After hitting the first of two free throw attempts, one final shot was left to determine overtime. Right about when Varejao was about to put up the attempt, a referee stopped him due to a New York substitution. That just made the suspense even greater. Unfortunately, Cavalier fans ended up finding out that the rim was in fact not on their side, as the Andy free throw rimmed out. Bummer. Still, it was not as good as an ending as the movie, however.
Even though these next four “characters” weren’t involved as much in the game, it’s still fun to assign them roles:
Carmelo Anthony as The Joker:
As we all know the actor Heath Ledger, who played The Joker in the second installment of the revamped Batman trilogy, passed away from prescribed medication overdose. The job he did was amazing, and couldn’t be duplicated. That led to his character not being casted in the following movie. Anthony, who is now back from his injury, was also absent in this game due to an ankle sprain. I had to incorporate a Knicks player into this somehow, so that was the interpretation I came up with.
Dan Gilbert as Lucius Fox:
Fox is the person in charge of Wayne Enterprises, so it’s customary that I apply the owner comparison here. Fox provides Batman with all the high-tech equipment necessary to fight evil and Gilbert provides Kyrie with a basketball court and gear to hone his skills. Fair enough.
Chris Grant as Alfred Pennyworth:
By drafting Irving with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Grant put the franchise in the hands of the former Duke point guard. By that I mean that the Cavaliers plan on building the team around Irving for years to come. Even with only 11 games under his belt in college, Grant trusted Kyrie’s ability to take the Cavaliers back to a competitive level. It’s going to be a tough task, but it’s far from over. Just like Pennyworth provides Batman with advice and aids him on his missions, Grant did the same for Irving by taking him No. 1.
NBA as Gotham Police Department:
As we all know, the black mask came to an end due to the NBA not allowing it for a second straight game. They made him switch to a clear one, getting rid of the “Dark Knight” persona. Throughout the whole movie the GPD is trying to stop Batman from fighting evil because they think he is causing havoc. In fact, Batman is trying to do good for the city of Gotham, but the police don’t realize this and are too brainwashed on carrying out the Dent Act. This is similar to how the NBA is a stickler when it comes to things like this. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted…