An inescapable (but intensely annoying) part of NBA coverage is the burning need many media outlets have to foretell...THE FUTURE. Every season, the world's leading guess-ologists fearlessly tell us who's going to be named MVP, which team is going to win the most games, who's going to the NBA Finals, etc. And these amazing hypotheses usually end up being only slightly less accurate than your average weather forecast. Where's Miss Cleo when you need her
In that vein, Basketbawful reader Spencer nominated this 1999 article -- Phil Taylor's The Starting Over 5
-- for, in retrospect, making the worst prediction ever. In this stirring tribute to getting it wrong, Taylor named the five-man unit that was going to win back fans during the brutal post-Jordan/post-lockout era: Jayson Williams, Stephon Marbury, Keith Van Horn, Bo Outlaw and Ray Allen.
Of this Fab Five, Taylor said: "Together they embody all the qualities that can make the NBA likable again: charisma, passion, lightheartedness, humility, attitude, athleticism and, yes, an appeal to desirable demographic groups. If you were choosing an All-Star team, this would not be the starting five, but for a league looking for a new beginning, these players are perfect."
So, uh, how'd that turn out? Williams killed his limo driver and tried to cover it up
. Marbury eschewed the "humility" Taylor spoke of to become the biggest locker room cancer in league history
. Van Horn failed to live up to his Great White Hope hype and the final act of his career was having his corpse used as an add-on in the trade that sent Jason Kidd to Dallas
. Outlaw somehow hung on to play 914 games in The Association, averaging a very quiet 5.4 points and 4.9 rebounds per game (although he did once notch a triple-double, and when asked about it he famously replied
: "Triple-Double? What’s that, some kind of hamburger?") As for Allen, sure, he's been part of this Celtics' rejuvenation, but I'd be willing to bet Larry Bird's three championship rings that there isn't an NBA fan alive who would claim that Ray kept them from giving up on the league. (Unless Ray calls them "mom and dad.")
Can you think of any other predictions that, in retrospect, were that far off the mark? Leave your nomination(s) in the comments section and I'll assemble a top ten list.Update!
More from Wild Yams
: Some additions to that Fab Five: Van Horn ended his career by quitting for no reason
, deciding to just stop playing in the middle of a contract despite being in the "prime" of his career and being completely healthy. While some might say it's honorable to want to spend time with your family rather than play basketball, it's not exactly helping the NBA and the perception that NBA players are spoiled or whiny. After all, most people can't relate to someone giving up $5 million for one season (not to mention whatever he would have made in years after that) simply because the prospect of being a guy who mostly rides the bench seemed like too much work. Lord knows there's plenty of great family men who have suffered through the horrors of being an NBA player and survived to talk about it.Ray Allen became the first player to publicly say that there may be an NBA conspiracy
and that he felt his Bucks team was eliminated from the playoffs because the league didn't want such a small market team on TV in the playoffs. Whether this was true or not is for you to decide, but doing so didn't exactly help "make the NBA likable again" in the wake of Jordan's retirement.
Labels: Bo Outlaw, fan submissions, Jayson Williams, Keith Van Horn, predictions gone horribly wrong, Stephon Marbury, Worst Evers