The NBA is shockingly full of bad passing and ball-hoggery
; we hold this truth to be self-evident. But can you imagine somebody playing 1,002 minutes in 110 games over a four-year career and dishing out only four assists? Well, believe it or not -- and if you read this site you probably do -- it happened. The culprit was the "Nigerian giant" Yinka Dare, possibly the worst passer in league history.
After the New Jersey Nets selected him 14th overall in the 1994 NBA draft, Dare had some strong words for anybody and everybody who would listen:
"When I see myself play, I think of Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, Shaquille O'Neal. For instance, Shaq is explosive around the basket, and I am, too. If I play my best, I'll be better than some of the best big men who ever played. I'm going to be an All-Star. The teams that didn't draft me made a mistake."
As it turned out, those teams knew exactly what they were doing. Dare wasn't even good enough to get dunked on in one of Shaq's posters. His career averages of 2.1 PPG (on 39 percent shooting) and 2.6 RPG are proof of that. He even had a negative PER during his rookie season, a fact that probably caused John Hollinger to throw up in his Wheaties. But those dubious achievements are nothing compared to Yinka's greatest legacy: 77 games and 770 minutes played without a single assist -- an all-time NBA record for passing futility.
Dare didn't dish his first assist until midway through his third season. Although, to be fair, he got injured three minutes into his very first game and missed the rest of the year. But he played 58 games (and 626 minutes) in his sophomore season without registering an assist. He did, however, commit 72 turnovers and earn the nickname "Stinka Dare" from teammate Kenny Anderson. A sports writer also commented that "Dare" was Nigerian for "comes to NBA without game."
The 1996-97 campaign was Dare's greatest passing season: three assists in 41 games and only 21 turnovers. Unfortunately, the good times were over; Dare would play only 10 games -- dishing one assist -- in his next and final season. Dare finished his NBA career with 4 assists and 96 turnovers, for a miraculous 16:1 turnover-to-assist ratio. According to his bio on NBA.com
, Dare's career assist average is 0.0.
Sadly, Dare died of a heart attack in 2004 at the age of 32. Ironically, his last act on this earth was to "pass away."Update:
Thanks to josh
for providing me with a link to this Yinka Dare Tribute Site
. There learn fun Yinka Facts, like how he invented water and won the 1996 Mr. Universe contest.
Labels: assists, New Jersey Nets, passing, Yinka Dare