LeBron and the Heat have a new threat to face in the west—Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and the new-look-yet-old Lakers. To some fans this is just another evil super-team, and a Heat-against-Lakers finals may sound dreadful.
On the other hand, if you want to feel at peace with the potential 2013 NBA Finals, you can see the Lakers as a new hope—a white knight coming to defeat the evil empire in Miami. They are the rebellion.
On that note, here's the casting list for the 2012-2013 NBA season version of Star Wars: A New Hope.
The Empire (Heat)
LeBron will be playing the role fans love him in—Darth Vader. He's the guy who's in every contest, doing all the dirty work. He joined the Emperor because he thought he needed to, but really this is his Empire now.
Dwyane Wade will be playing the role of the Emperor. Did you think that would be LeBron's spot? No, he's the King, not the Emperor. And besides, the Emperor doesn't do very much. The Empire is his team, it has been since day one. But people who know what's going on are much more worried about Vader than they are the Emperor.
Do you remember the skinny, old guy that Vader force-strangles for no particularly great reason? Try to watch that scene without thinking of Mario Chalmers. Chalmers is a decent player, but he is still Vader's chew toy and will be playing the role of Grand Moff Tarkin.
If your home team does not win the title in 2013, who would rather see win?
The Rebellion (Lakers)
How many of you have wondered who can quiet the premature LeBron-to-Jordan comparisons and thought, "Kobe Bryant, you're my only hope."
Kobe is old, but he's still powerful. If you strike him down, he'll come back even stronger. He is Obi-wan Kenobi.
Steve Nash is—well he's old. Perhaps too old to execute some of his old moves. But he provides wisdom and he can facilitate for the young Padawans. He is, of course, Yoda.
Dwight Howard may not feel like the chosen one right now—he might seem like the underdog—but deep down, you know he's probably going to win. He's the new hope for the rebellion and due in large part to his natural talent and force. He's pretty effective and will be playing the role of Luke Skywalker.
You know Ron Artest is on your side, but you probably wouldn't risk beating him in a board game. Artest is perfect for the role of the lovable but only pseudo-threatening Chewbacca.
Pau Gasol doesn't say a whole lot, he mostly just listens and sometimes gets yelled at. But he has a tendency to quietly save the day every now and then. Naturally, he will be playing R2D2.