Misfit groups that thrived when put collectively

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The Guardians of the Galaxy have been relative unknowns as characters after they have been launched to the Marvel Cinematic Universe again in 2014. The success of the franchise within the larger image of the remainder of Marvel’s Infinity Saga gave delivery to one of the vital beloved casts and set of characters regardless of skepticism of how issues would possibly work after they have been launched to us.

All week at SB Nation, we’ve been looking on the MCU and the impression it has had on the world at giant and a number of the issues which have bled over into all of sports activities. Right here, a panel of our writers are going to try a number of the groups that mirror the ragtag assortment of characters thriving as soon as they discovered one another.

The 2003-04 Detroit Pistons

Maybe it’s simply the Detroit in me (spoiler alert: it completely is), however there is no such thing as a higher illustration of throwing a bunch of items collectively and crossing your fingers that it really works than this group.

Ben Wallace was the guts and soul of the staff, however had bounced across the league for a couple of years and was undrafted. Chauncey Billups was the No. Three general choose in 1997, however was on 4 completely different groups earlier than touchdown in Detroit in 2002. Rip Hamilton was a part of a commerce that despatched Jerry Stackhouse, an All-Star scorer, out of Detroit. Tayshaun Prince was a star at Kentucky, however had a tough time cracking the rotation early in his Pistons profession. The ultimate piece was Rasheed Wallace, who was a fiery character regardless of having the entire expertise on this planet.

The Pistons have been a formidable staff within the East earlier than including the latter Wallace to the combination, however he was the ultimate piece to a puzzle that noticed them make a run by the playoffs after which solid the ultimate blow within the Kobe Bryant/Shaquille O’Neal Los Angeles Lakers dynasty. The Pistons rode an elite protection and contributions from all each route to take down the Lakers within the 2004 NBA Finals, profitable the collection 4-1. They got here a Sport 7 wanting going back-to-back, dropping to the San Antonio Spurs in 2005. The 2006 Pistons would end with an everyday season document of 64-18, however misplaced in six video games to Dwayne Wade and Shaq’s Miami Warmth within the Jap Convention Finals. That might be the final time the Pistons’ beginning 5 shared the court docket collectively, as Ben Wallace would go away for the Chicago Bulls forward of the 2006-07 season.

— Anthony Broome

The 2013 Pink Sox

The 2013 Pink Sox actually had no enterprise being nearly as good as they have been. Boston was coming off a really not good document of 69-93 and completed final within the division throughout the completely disastrous one-year experiment with Bobby Valentine as supervisor in 2012. With new supervisor John Farrell on the helm, the Pink Sox had some actually nice items to work with — particularly superstars in David Ortiz, Shane Victorino, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester, and Dustin Pedroia — however had some questions marks coming off an completely horrific season.

The Pink Sox just about cruised to an AL East pennant, however the season was an actual rollercoaster. The squad donned a “Boston Sturdy” patch after the Boston Marathon bombings, and Large Papi’s emotional “THIS IS OUR F*CKING CITY” speech served as a rallying level for the staff and metropolis.

At one level in September, Mike Napoli (principally Drax, if we’re being sincere), Mike Carp, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia all hit grand slams over the span of per week. Not dwelling runs, grand slams.

Oh and don’t neglect the beards. Nearly each member of the staff grew distinct beards, and it grew to become such a factor that the staff adopted “concern the beard” because the official slogan heading into the postseason.

Each time it seemed like they have been out of a battle, they’d come by within the clutch.

The Pink Sox would go on to beat Tampa Bay, Detroit, and St. Louis en path to their third World Sequence title in 10 seasons. With enormous contributions from guys like Napoli, Carp, Saltalamacchia, Jonny Gomes, David Ross, Brandon Workman, and Will Middlebrooks, how can or not it’s something apart from a rag tag success?

— Caroline Darney

The Rock & Sock Connection

Look, I get it, a few of you’re most likely foaming on the mouth as a result of I dared to say a WWE tag staff, however there’s little or no that higher typifies a “misfit staff” than when The Rock and Mankind teamed up and have become tag staff champions in 1999.

The pairing was good. You had The Rock, stalwart babyface (good man) teaming up with the misunderstood Mankind to type a traditional Odd Couple amidst the WWE’s “Angle Period.” Not solely have been they two of the most effective, most-popular wrestlers on this planet on the time, however they’d pure charisma and chemistry collectively.

Wrestling followers knew the staff wouldn’t final. These have been two of the highest singles opponents within the firm working as a tag staff, nevertheless it lifted each of them. It allowed The Rock to be his traditional, smack-talking self, and Mankind to virtually be the straight man — which was a hilarious departure for somebody whose character was largely comedic.

The duo have been dynamite within the ring, and electrical energy off it. No one can neglect the traditional “Mr. Rocko” promo, through which Mankind gifted The Rock along with his personal, customized sock puppet, that seemed prefer it was air brushed on a seaside boardwalk. Every little thing that was good about WWE on the time was typified by The Rock & Sock Connection, and they’re my choose for the best misfit staff of all time.

— James Dator

The 2005-06 Phoenix Suns

From Vibrant Facet of the Solar:

Some how, a way, this group of misfits nonetheless received 54 video games and completed 1st within the Pacific Division. They’d match up towards Kobe (who had 35.Four ppg that yr…the ninth greatest scoring season in NBA historical past) and the Lakers within the First Spherical of the 2006 Playoffs.

The Suns would go down 3-1 to Los Angeles, and it felt like all hope was misplaced. But, in true superhero style, they battled again to win the collection in seven video games. This was largely to a different Guardians-esque misfit, Tim Thomas (we’ll enable him to be Yondu on this situation)

— John Voita, Vibrant Facet of the Solar

Staff North America

Staff North America is, was, and at all times will likely be my favourite hockey staff. They performed collectively for under six video games complete, however the mark they made on hockey is one that won’t be forgotten. This staff was the brainchild of NHL Normal Supervisor Gary Bettman main into the 2016 World Cup of Hockey and included 23 gamers underneath the age of 23 from the US and Canada.

Which means present stars like Nathan MacKinnon, Connor McDavid, and Jack Eichel have been all taking part in on the identical staff. It was the primary official take a look at the Toronto Maple Leafs 2016 first general choose Auston Matthews whom many had not been capable of watch whereas he was taking part in in Switzerland.

Staff North America was the whole lot conventional hockey analysts hate — they’d the arrogance of youth with out having earned their time, they performed a run-and-gun offensively aggressive model, and so they have been endlessly cool. Additionally, the emblem is superior. This was a snapshot of what the NHL was about to turn out to be, a transition from the second useless puck period right into a way forward for quick, expert hockey.

Picture by Brian Babineau/World Cup of Hockey through Getty Photos

Alas, this staff wasn’t as profitable as they have been legendary. They received two of their three pre-tournament video games however when it got here time to the precise World Cup of Hockey, the didn’t advance previous the primary spherical with a document of 2-1, dropping to the one staff that mattered within the tie breaker to advance. The completed the event in fifth place however will endlessly be first within the coronary heart of everybody who watched these younger bucks usher within the new age of hockey.

— Steph Driver

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