Tonight saw The Walt Disney Company flex its portfolio muscles on live television with ESPN and Marvel’s Arena of Heroes, a first of its kind broadcast that was done in partnership with the two Disney brands. The gist of the idea was Marvel and basketball fans would see elements from an original Marvel story integrated throughout the game as an alternate presentation for the Golden State Warriors vs New Orleans Pelicans match-up. The Marvel love was present beforehand though as the Warriors revealed starting forward Draymond Green was wearing a Black Panther watch.
Green was one of six players selected as one of the participants in the interactive game/event, whose play in the match-up effected the outcome. Other Warriors whose work affected the outcome include two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry and 2014-15 NBA Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins; plus, New Orleans Pelicans' players Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and Lonzo Ball. The scoring system for how the Arena of Heroes game will be tabulated can be found below.
- One Marvel Hero Point will be awarded for every point, rebound, assist, steal and block
- One Marvel Hero Point will be deducted for every missed field goal, free throw or turnover.
An official description for the "narrative" of the event and how the scoring factors in reads:
""After a narrow victory over an invading alien army, the Avengers receive an ominous threat from the enemy who vows to return in greater numbers and force. The Black Panther and Iron Man quickly realize they will need more help and form a plan to expand their ranks to fight this impending threat. Recognizing the superior physical abilities, agility, and tenacity of Earth’s greatest athletes, the Avengers will hold a series of contests where the winners earn the right to train and fight alongside them as Marvel’s Champions! The Avengers will begin their recruitment with the NBA elite and observe the battle between the Warriors and the Pelicans, focusing on three star players from each team."
Green is just the latest athlete to make a major appearance with a Black Panther themed wardrobe. Last week during the NFL draft former Michigan defensive end Kwity Paye was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts last night with the 21st pick and wore a Black Panther inspired suit just for the occasion. Paye previously opened up about his interest in the character and Chadwick Boseman's portrayal of him on the big screen.