This graphic apparently comes from a web comic called XKCD
. I had no idea; it was simply forwarded to me by a friend. But I've heard that the comic is pretty funny.
Marvin "Bad News" Barnes -- who received his nickname for various off-the-court problems, like (allegedly) attacking Providence teammate Larry Ketvirtis with a tire iron
-- was one of the NBA's great wasted talents. Cocaine abuse destroyed his body and cut short what many people thought could have been a Hall of Fame career, and Barnes has since been arrested for trespassing, stealing videotapes from an adult movie store, being under the influence of narcotics, and burglary. The awesomest of his arrests came after he robbed a liquor store in broad daylight while wearing a basketball jersey with his name on the back. Oh yes he did
But Marvin's greatest sin was his crime against Mighty Science. In 1975, during his rookie year with the ABA's Spirit of Saint Louis, Barnes showed up for a team flight and was told that it was scheduled to leave Louisville at 8 a.m. and land in St. Louis at 7:57 a.m. This, of course, was due to a time zone change, but Barnes couldn't wrap his head around the concept. As he explained to Bob Costas
(who at the time was the Spirits' announcer): "I ain't goin' on no time machine. I ain't takin' no flight that takes me back in time." So News rented a car and drove to St. Louis.Dishonorable mentionsUpdate! Chris Washburn or Charles Shackleford:
I got this reminder from deej: "Hey Basketbawful, you left out the scholarly Chris Washburn and his famous quote 'Yeah, I can go to my right and my left. That's because I'm amphibious.'" Indeed I did, although there seems to be some dispute about whether Washburn or North Carolina State teammate Charles Shackleford said it. Additionally, the statement is sometimes quoted as: "Left hand, right hand it doesn't matter, I'm amphibious."Jason Kidd:
In 1994, during his rookie season with the Dallas Mavericks, Kidd was trying to explain that the Mavs were going to improve greatly on the previous season's record of 13-69. At least, I think
that's what he was trying to explain. But what he said was: "We're going to turn this team around 360 degrees."Dennis Rodman:
When asked about chemistry, the Worm said: "Chemistry is a class you take in high school or college when you want to figure out two plus ten or something." Who dresses like a woman and doesn't know a damn thing? This guy
Mr. Emotional once said: "Any time Detroit scores more than 100 points and holds the other team below 100 points, they almost always win." Have I mentioned how glad I am he won't be coaching in Chicago this season?Update! Drew Gooden:
The bearded wonder doesn't know much about geography. He once said that: "I didn't even know Elvis was from Memphis. I thought he was from Tennessee." As if that wasn't bad enough, he also claimed that: "My girlfriend isn't Asian. She's Thai." Tip o' the hat to 80's NBA
for the first quote.Update! Kenyon Martin:
Ever wonder why Kenyon is such an, ahem, pleasant guy? Here's why, in his own words
: "When I was young, I would just snap. I've come 360 degrees with my temper and my attitude." Yup, that's about right.Update! Kenyon Martin (again):
Did you know that Kenyon used to suffer from a persistent stuttering problem? Well, he did
. And, according to him: "Sometimes I still do. I've come 360 degrees, though." That's gruh-gruh-gruh-great, Kenyon!Update! Kenyon Martin (yet again):
Regarding opening the 2001-02 season finally free of the injury and fatigue seasons that had plagued him the previous year, Kenyon said: "Trust me, it's 360 from where it was."Kobe Bryant:
Of course, I can't omit Kobe, who once lamented that: "I've always been an outcast. Since I was a little kid. I was the only black kid in Italy, I was the only Italian kid in America." Aren't there, like, 60 million people in Italy? And aren't there about 300 million people in the United States? I think Mamba needs a lesson in demographics.Update! Mychal Thompson:
Sweet Bells once explained his
ability to measure errors in refraction
sunny disposition during an NBA summer league broadcast: "I'm an optometrist. I always believe in good -- well you know what I mean. I believe in good stuff." Shaq:
In describing his mammoth intellect, The Big Brain Surgeon once said: "I have a lot of knowledge in my medulla oblongata." I'm sure he probably picked this term up from Water Boy
, but for the record, the medulla oblongata
is the part of brain that controls autonomic functions like respiration, blood pressure, swallowing, vomiting and (my favorite) defecation. So...was The Big Geritol actually saying he has poop for brains? I'll let you decide for yourself.Shaq (again): The Big Mathemetist also claimed that
: "My game is like the Pythagorean theorem, no one has an answer." But, uhm, there is an answer to that theorem
, Mr. O'Neal. Update!
Shaq actually used this quote again, revising his original assertion
: "There is no answer to the Pythagorean theorem. Well, there is an answer, but by the time you figure it out, I got 40 points, 10 rebounds, and then we're planning for the parade."Shaq (yet again):
And when asked whether he had visited the Parthenon during his visit to Greece, the Deisel fatuously uttered: "I can't really remember the names of the clubs we went to." Update!
Loved this comment from Basketbawful reader a: "What he should have said is that other centers are probably like the Quadratic Equation -- nobody remembers them after 2 years! B2+/- Root C2-4AC... aw screw it!"Tracy McGrady:
Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin aren't the only NBA players who have trouble with Euclidean geometry. After signing with the Orlando Magic in 2000, T-Mac said: "[My] career was sputtering until [I] did a 360 and got headed in the right direction." Hm. Could explain all those first round disappointments.Update! Vlade Divac:
I'm sure there's a perfectly sound physiological reason that middle-aged men develop large and rather nasty beer bellies. But Vlade thinks there's also a psychological
reason. To wit: "We all get heavier as we get older because there's a lot more information in our heads." Another tip 'o the hat to 80's NBA
Oh, and even though he's not a basketball guy, I can't omit Yogi's celebrated declaration that: "Baseball is 90 percent mental -- the other half is physical." That was almost matched by Mickey Rivers infamous "Pitching is 80 percent of the game. The other half is hitting and fielding" comment.
If you have another example of a basketball player mutilating the sciences, leave a comment or email me directly.Important Note:
In case you're wondering about the 2007-08 Worsties, they got delayed, mostly because they're going to be much longer than I originally anticipated. Expect a multi-part series to start next week.
Labels: Doug Collins, Jason Kidd, Kobe Bryant, Marvin "Bad News" Barnes, Mighty Science, Shaq, Tracy McGrady, Worst Evers