Matching Phoenix Suns Players with their Arizona Cardinals Parallels

Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2021 NFL season kicked off three weeks ago, and just like the Phoenix Suns this year, the Arizona Cardinals find themselves chasing a title. Equipped with countless talented players, the Cards own a solid chance to do so, even jetting out with a 2-0 start to their season.

Playing only a half hour apart, the Suns and Cardinals often support each other. After the “Valley-Oop” last year, Arizona wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins rushed to social media to celebrate it, as did several others.

With these two teams working in synch to dazzle the Arizona community, they make this an incredible time to be a sports fan in The Valley. To compare the gridiron with the hardwood though, Phoenix’s players most notably resemble these guys suiting up for the Red Sea.

Phoenix Suns and Arizona Cardinals Parallels

Chris Paul and J.J. Watt

As natural born leaders, Chris Paul and J.J. Watt mirror each other at an extensive rate. Both players also possess sure-fire Hall of Fame resumes, still operating as highly effective players despite their ages.

Last year, Paul finished with the third most assists by a player with 8.9 per game. Meanwhile, Watt closed out his tenth NFL season with 14 tackles for loss and five sacks.

But as an even crazier similarity, Watt and Paul embody the “new guys” on Arizona sports teams, with both having formerly played several years in Houston beforehand.  Without a doubt, these two legends go hand in hand.

Devin Booker and Kyler Murray

Both Devin Booker and Kyler Murray serve as the most important players on their respective teams. They each resemble up and coming products, nearing their primes and beginning to break into the MVP conversation.

Even at such a young age, Murray also already has a few legendary moments to his name, such as the “Hail Murray.” Booker does as well, with his fallaway buzzer beater from the NBA’s bubble restart two years ago standing out above the rest.

Deandre Ayton and DeAndre Hopkins

This one feels obvious. Not only do Deandre Ayton and DeAndre Hopkins bear the same first name, but they both operate as absolute game changers for their teams as well.

Also attached to the “Hail Murray” as its receiver, Hopkins’s ability to rise above his defenders and make the game-stealing play exactly resembles what Ayton did with the “Valley-Oop.” Each player’s size and athleticism just makes them a threat to rip apart opposing defenses at any time.

Mikal Bridges and Chandler Jones

Defense, defense, and more defense. Both Mikal Bridges and Chandler Jones aggravate their opponents better than anyone on their teams. No matter the opponent, Bridges typically draws their best offensive player, even receiving 39 votes for the NBA’s All-Defensive team last year.

Expressing his own defensive prowess, Jones started off the 2021-22 NFL season arguably better than anyone. He recorded an absurd five sacks Week 1 against the Tennessee Titans, and rightfully earned Defense Player of the Week honors for it.

JaVale McGee and A.J. Green

Once seen as top players at their position, but now well past their primes, JaVale McGee and A.J. Green come from the same vine. With their size, they still operate as significant threats during the right situations, such as goal line fades or ally-oop finishes.

Cameron Payne and Christian Kirk

Slightly overshadowed by their legendary teammates at their positions, both Christian Kirk and Cameron Payne go about their games with a gritty and aggressive play style. Often making one or two big plays a game, Kirk’s production absolutely reflects the pop which Payne provides off the bench.

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Like Jones, he danced all over the Titans during Week 1, finishing with two touchdowns and 70 total receiving yards. He then followed up nicely with a 65-yard performance the following week.