Here is Part 2 of the 2007-08 NBA Worsties. This part runs roughly through December of 2007. And I do mean roughly.
Biggest waste of a hyped shoe line: Gilbert and his Gil2Zeros (or Gil20's if ya nasty). Not only did the guy beg Adidas for more attention in 2006 and blog about how elite this line was going to be, he also decided that it needed 17 special editions to be released throughout the season starting in December. What happened? He played exactly 13 games and had 2 knee surgeries allowing him to live up to an NBA Live curse if there is one and guaranteeing Adidas of a complete waste of resources. Hibachi! [Submitted and written by Kellex of Le Basketbawl.]
The end of the line for Ruben Patterson: Known in some (rather stupid) circles as "The Kobe Stopper," Patterson had averaged a career-high 14.7 PPG on 55 percent shooting during the 2006-07 season. (I have three words for you: Contract Year Phenomenon.) On August 29, 2007, the Angels of Death Los Angeles Clippers gleefully signed him to an undisclosed deal. Clippers Vice President of Basketball Operations Elgin Baylor said, "We are thrilled to add Ruben to our team," and head coach Mike Dunleavy added, "I am really excited by our signing of Ruben Patterson." And that's about when the honeymoon ended. Patterson played only 20 games for the Clips -- averaging 5.1 PPG and 3.2 APG -- before getting waived on December 13. His current whereabouts are unknown, but he is included in Wikipedia's list of American sex offenders.
Dan Fegan gets pwn3ed by Dan Ferry: Anderson Varejao's stubborn (and foolishly greedy) agent went toe-to-toe with Danny Ferry. And lost. One rival agent -- once he'd finished erupting in a pitiless "Muwahahahahahaha!!" -- said that: "Danny Ferry cleaned (Fegan's) clock." Varejao, after a lengthy and fruitless holdout, signed an offer sheet with the Charlotte Bobcats. The Cavaliers simply matched it, allowing them to retain Varejao's services at a price that was well below market value (not to mention $10 million per year less than Fegan was asking for). But hey, that's what Fegan gets for trying to get Greg Ostertag money, because let's face it: Varejao is no Ostertag.
Jason Kidd's mysterious migraine: Kidd missed the Nets' feeble 100-93 loss to the lowly Knicks due to what was reported to be a migraine headache. But rumor had it that Kidd was really suffering from a throbbing pain in his ass, that pain being the wretched awfulness of his team. Kidd, who has no history of migraine headaches, appeared to be upset about how badly his team sucked, and that certain teammates -- cough*VinceCarter*cough -- couldn't play through a little pain and discomfort. In a way, I can't blame him, because playing with Vince Carter would give me headaches too. But quitting on your team, even if it's only for a night, isn't cool. Naturally, this was a dark omen of things to come.
Paul Pierce joins the "No Fun" Police:Before a 113-103 road win over the Philadelphia 76ers, Paul Pierce apparently "scolded a couple of teammates in the locker room who [were] having too much fun and screaming to some music." Said Pierce: "We're trying to play a game." Pierce then admitted that, last season, he "spent too much time telling his younger teammates what to do, where to go, what to eat, how to dress." Wow. Who knew Pierce was such a Fun Nazi? Oh, right, these guys.
Shaq takes out his frustration on Joel Przybilla: During the opening minutes of a routine 112-106 road loss to the Portland Trailblazers, Shaq made one of his signature awkward lurches to the basket and headbutted Joel Przybilla, then fell on him and drove the basketball into his face. Przybilla got knocked out of the game for a while, but he returned in the second quarter and did a good job containing Shaq when the big man was actually in the game. (The Big Ham Hands got into foul trouble yet again.) Yes, the 2007-08 season marked the point at which Shaq could no longer overpower Joel Przybilla. Here's some video of the event.
LeBron proves (once again) that today's ballers are huge vaginas: King James, who looks like an unstoppable force of pure physical power, missed a few games in December with a sprained left index finger. This is what it's come to. Gone are the days when we could expect professional athletes to, say, play through the pain of a broken foot or maybe cut off their finger to stay in a game. Soon a case of cotton mouth or maybe a bad hair day will be all it takes to make it onto the injured list.
Al Horford gives T.J. Ford [Arnie voice] a pain in dah neck [/Arnie voice]: Yeah, I know it was an accident and everything, but Horford's foul on T.J. Ford looked pretty bad. Not only that, it ended with Ford -- who missed the entire 2004-05 season after neck surgery -- getting carried off the floor on a stretcher. I feel kind of like a jerk for saying this, but you know, Ford might not have gotten hurt if the refs had just made the call on what was a pretty obvious travel. I mean, he took three full steps after his last dribble.
Carlos Boozer declares war on Steve Nash's teeth: An "errant" Boozer elbow knocked out a chuck of Captain Canada's pearly whites, but it didn't prevent him from beating the Jazz with 29 points (10-for-12), 11 assists and 6 rebounds. Said Nash: "I just kind of took an elbow or something and it chipped off. So I get to spend some of my day off at the dentist, as luck would have it." Kudos to Nash for having a sense of humor about it. Had it been someone like Kobe Bryant or Lebron James, I'm sure the reaction and resulting press coverage would have been needlessly grim and melodramatic (e.g., "Despite the pain and anguish of a broken tooth, Kobe reached down deep and found the winner within, scoring a bunch of points and blah, blah, blah." Does anybody remember how Nash's tooth got broken the last time? That's right: An errant elbow from Karl Malone (as also noted by Nash after the game). Of course, Malone was an evil Laker at that time, but we know he was always a Jazz man at heart.
Andrew Bynum declares war on Fabricio Oberto's face: Bynum earned himself double technicals and an ejection for popping Fabricio Oberto in the face with an elbow. And it didn't happen in the heat of action; it happened during a dead ball situation while Oberto was making his way downcourt. What made the situation even more pathetic was how Bynum raised his hands after the fact to make it look like he didn't actually intend to hit Oberto, then actually complained about getting teched up (which earned him a second technical). Naturally, Kobe had to stick his nose into it, running downcourt to argue with the the ref. And of course Phil Jackson, ever the smug one, commented to the sideline reporter between the third and fourth quarters that the officials had "evened things out" between the two teams (since Duncan and Parker were out) by kicking Bynum out of the game. See, these are perfect examples of why it's so easy to hate the Lakers.
Tony Parker's sprained vagina ankle: TP missed a handful of games in December with a sprained ankle. Of course, I'm sure it was just a coincidence that his injury happened to coincide with those nasty allegations of an affair with French super-hottie Alexandra Paressant, who claims she did the nasty désobligeant with TP. This is going to totally shock you, but Parker denied it: "I love my wife. She's the best thing in my life, and I have never been happier." Here's the funny thing, though: Parker "said" all that in a statement from Longoria's spokeswoman, Liza Anderson. So Parker, a three-time world champion and last season's NBA Finals MVP, has to defend himself through a statement issued by his wife’s spokeswoman? I guess we know who wears the Pretty Pink Princess panties in that family.
Darko Milicic's ego (once again) hits an all-time low: 2007-08 was supposed to be Darko's breakout season. But after a listless performance against the Magic -- 4 points (2-5), 3 rebounds, 5 personal fouls, and several brutal posterizations by Dwight Howard -- the only thing broken was Darko's ego: "My confidence level right now is really low. It's horrible. It's weird. I'm with a team now that needs me, and has given me every opportunity to play. I've got a nice contract, but for some reason I can't even do the things I used to do. I don't know what's wrong with my game." Wow. I don't know how his confidence could possibly have gotten any lower than it was in Detroit, where the coach wouldn't play him and most of his teammates wouldn't even look him in the eye. But it happened.
Update! Jeff Foster punks a fan run amok: During a 93-85 Pacers victory over the Gilbert Arena and Caron Buter-less Washington Wizards, a crazed fan made it onto the court and managed to evade several Keystone Cops security guards before Indiana center Jeff Foster stepped in and tripped the kid, sending him into what I'm hoping was a brutally painful faceplanting. [Nominated by Stephanie G.]
Pat Riley discovers the pain of, uh, pain: After a 106-103 loss to the Pacers, the Heat fell to 6-17. What did Riles have to say after his team's latest defeat? "There's a lot of pain. It's very painful. Sometimes you wonder. I'm not trying to get on a philosophical bent here, but when you're given everything that you've ever wanted in your profession, you wonder why that you feel such pain. You say why, why give me all this and make me feel pain?" Uh...what the hell? Seriously, that insipid rant is one of the most pathetic things I've ever read. Maybe it's just me, but I think that after winning 6 championships (1 as a player, 5 as a coach) and becoming a mega-millionaire, you officially lose all rights to whine like a little bitch unless a loved one is diagnosed with terminal cancer or you get sodomized by hillbillies during a rafting trip through Alabama. Once again, I'm just sayin'.
Unhappy holidays from John Paxson: Somebody had to take the fall for the failed expectations of the Chicago Bulls, and everybody pretty much knew it was going to be Scott Skiles. But on Christmas Eve? Seriously? Yes, seriously. Merry freaking Christmas, Mr. Skiles. And you have to wonder how much of the blame Skiles really deserved. As Statbuster asked at the time: "Is Scott Skiles responsible for Ben Gordon, Kirk Hinrich, and Ben Wallace devolving into Juan Dixon, Steve Blake, and Michael Cage? Is Skiles accountable for the Kwame Brown-like work ethic of Tyrus Thomas? Was Skiles the one that dealt LaMarcus Aldridge for this guy?"
Then, on the day after Christmas, finally free of Skiles' iron-fisted tyranny, the Bulls once again put forth the kind of lackluster effort that got their coach fired and made Kyle Orton the talk of Chicago. Released from Skiles suffocating offensive sets, Luol Deng shot 5-of-15 and Andres Nocioni hit 1-of-11. Ben Wallace, who chafed under Skiles' Draconion rules, submitted a 2-point, 4-rebound gem while being totally outplayed by Matt Bonner (12 points, 9 rebounds). But despite their newfound freedom and the sense of hope it brought, the Bulls still got blown out by a Spurs team that didn't have Manu Ginobili and suffered through a poor game from Tim Duncan (8 points on 2-of-9 shooting and 5 turnovers). Yay, team. [Nominated by dumbgenius.]
We wear short-shorts: With the Lakers and Celtics both leading their respective conferences for the first time since the Bird/Magic era, the Lakers "honored" the moment by breaking out 80’s sized (or lack thereof) shorts. There are too many wrongs here to list…but I will:
1. The Celtics first laughed at the idea and then proceeded to literally beat the pants off the Lakers (and they gave a very accurate preview of things to come in the Finals with their physical presence. As a Lakers fan I was hoping they just lacked confidence because of the shorts and not because the C’s are physically intimidating...boy was I wrong!)
2. The baggy 00's era tops with tiny 80's era shorts look made it appear as though the Lakers came out in their boxers. Correct me if I’m wrong, but basketball is a sport not to be played in underwear.
3. Did I mention that the fans were laughing also? Save the sideshow antics for the Clippers and not the best and most physical team in the NBA.
4. They gave away tee shirts proclaiming, "I saw the short-shorts!!!" Really? Am I really going to wear a tee shirt of an ass-kicking that brags about seeing grown men in tiny shorts? (Here’s a pic of the tee.)