Philadelphia 76ers and Marvel: The Avengers as Sixers

(Marvel via Getty Images)
(Marvel via Getty Images) /
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(Disney XD via Getty Images)
(Disney XD via Getty Images) /

Black Widow: Josh Richardson

I figured it’s best to compare the starting five to the original Avengers (minus Hulk, who doesn’t reeeeeally show up until the first Avengers film). A badass former assassin with red on her ledger, impressive skill and a pointed personality, Black Widow fits nicely with newcomer Josh Richardson.

While Iron Man carries the Avengers’ point guard mantle, he doesn’t do it alone. Black Widow helps keep Tony in check, monitoring his behavior in the early films and bringing her expertise as a super-spy, ultra-smart former Kremlin agent to every mission. Also, Black Widow and Hawkeye are both spies (sorta) who go back quite some time. Harris and J-Rich are fellow Tennessee alums.

In the Sixers’ offense, Richardson will be tasked with playmaking duties in an effort to relieve Ben Simmons in the halfcourt setting. He will also defend opposing point guards, using his length to choke off ball handlers. Black Widow uses inhuman flexibility, a knack for small weapons and her unbridled wit to contain more physically dynamic opponents.

While it didn’t always get the weight it deserved, Black Widow’s story arc has been one of redemption and sacrifice. She’s an undisputed core member of the sprawling MCU — a character who elicits deep emotional attachment and has gotten progressively more interesting as the films have evolved.

Richardson will need to change his approach to fit in Philadelphia. But once that happens, his flexible skill set will prove essential to the Sixers’ mission.