Sorry it's been a few days since the last post in this series.

I also apologize for skipping the 2006-07 San Antonio Spurs. There just wasn't anybody in that group who really stood out as a Worst NBA Champion. And I spent literally minutes thinking about it. You know, between reading picking out bellybutton lint and Googling "Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus."

So since I copped out on naming the worst winner from the '07 Spurs, I am handing out the ultra-rare co-Worst NBA Champion award to Brian Scalabrine and Scot Pollard. Because we hear at Basketbawful take our quotas very seriously.

These fine examples of the inequites of human life appeared in a grand total of 70 games for the 2007-08 Boston Celtics (22 for Samurai Scot and 48 for the Ginger Ninja). Scal logged more minutes (517 to 173) but Pollard was the better shooter (52% to 30%). And although the raw numbers put Brian (1.8 PPG, 1.6 RPG) and Scot (1.8 PPG, 1.7 RPG) in a statistical dead heat, Pollard had the higher PER (8.7 to 5.7). They both finished the season with 0.6 Win Shares.

But enough about the regular season. With all due respect to Jim Mora, let's talk about playoffs. And that's where these two men have something in common. You know, besides their stunning whiteness and strangely similar Wikipedia pictures. They both logged exactly zero postseason minutes for the '08 Celtics.

Zero. Zilch. Nada.

"But Basketbawful," you say, "Didn't the Celtics beat the Lakers by 39 points in the series clincher? Surely Brian and Scot made at least a cameo appearance."

Nope. They were both left off Boston's playoff roster.

Of course, that didn't stop Scalabrine from showing off his ring with impunity:

scal
Ring count: Brian Scalabrine 1. Charles Barkley, Dominique Wilkins,
Elgin Baylor, John Stockton, Karl Malone and Patrick Ewing 0.

Ditto for Pollard. Warning: Don't look too closely at Craig Sager's freaky thumbnail:


But I'm gonna go ahead and give Scal and Pollard 1a. and 1b. status, respectively. Brian earned it. With this post-championship press conference:


When Brian Scalabrine becomes the voice of victory, something has gone horribly wrong.

Anyway, Pollard went out on top, retiring after his one and only title. Scalabrine hung on for a couple seasons, but the summer of 2010 -- during which Darko "Manna From Heaven" Milicic got a $20 million contract -- left Brian jobless.

And here we are.

Pollard is best known for bad hair, telling kids to do drugs on live TV, and inciting Cheryl Miller into her infamous "ballahz around the world" speech. Meanwhile, according to ESPN's Tom Haberstroh, Scalabrine is the worst player in Celtics history.

But they have rings.

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39 Comments:
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Certainly the most slap-dash of the Worst Champion posts. And to have co-winners and both of them were left of the playoff roster? Come on now. They were roster fodder and every champion has them. Its hardly consistent with the theme of the series.


Considering the theme of this series and how he played in the NBA Finals, the winner should be Sam Cassell. He did have his moments in the Atlanta series, but then again so did many of the Hawks…and they just weren't very good all season long.

Anonymous calvinklein said...
no this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zzOfsTZEVg



No "but he has a ring?"

Anonymous TransINSANO said...
If co-"champions" is a one-time thing, then pop quiz hotshot: you've got Sasha Vujacic, D. J. Mbenga, Adam Morrison, AND Ron Artest to choose from, but only TWO Worst Champion spots left. What do you do, Bawful? What do YOU do?

Anonymous Harv_j said...
Awww, Pollard got what he deserved, should have got a ring 01/02 with sactown. He played a massive role off the bench that year as 'the garbage man'.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Certainly the most slap-dash of the Worst Champion posts. And to have co-winners and both of them were left of the playoff roster? Come on now. They were roster fodder and every champion has them. Its hardly consistent with the theme of the series.

Remember: Although I set out some basic ground rules for my selections, these are based in large part on my personal feelings. It's highly likely I would have chosen Sam Cassell if Scal and Pollard hadn't shamelessly flaunted their hardware, and if Scal hadn't been talking all big after spending two hours handing out Gatorade during a title clenching game.

Considering the theme of this series and how he played in the NBA Finals, the winner should be Sam Cassell. He did have his moments in the Atlanta series, but then again so did many of the Hawks...and they just weren't very good all season long.

Like I said, if not for the flaunting and the woofing and the fact that I just kinda hate them, I would have chosen Sam-I-Am for his shameless championship piggybacking. He basically quit on the Clippers to force a buyout, then haggled over making sure the Clips paid him all of what they owed him, which Donald Sterling didn't want to do. (Said Sterling: "Why should I pay him when he's the one who wants to leave?")

Then he comes to Boston and blows. He had maybe five or six moments, all told, after joining the team. But for the most part, he looked like a player who thought he had a lot more left than he actually did.

But Sam's case is mitigated by two facts:

1. In Game 1 of the Finals, he scored 8 points (to go with an assist and a steal) in 12 minutes off the bench. If I remember correctly, all those points came in the first half, and gave the C's a big lift. Then, in Game 5, which Rondo shooting blanks (1-for-7 in 14 minutes), Sam provided another burst of offense (9 points, 4-for-8, 2 assists in 18 minutes) and the Celtics nearly stole the game. So he actually did have a couple decent games in the Finals.

2. Cassell had already won back-to-back titles with the Rockets in the mid-90s. So this wasn't one of those clear-cut cases of an aging player desperately scrambling around for a ring so he wouldn't have to retire without one.

no this?

I might have to add that...

If co-"champions" is a one-time thing, then pop quiz hotshot: you've got Sasha Vujacic, D. J. Mbenga, Adam Morrison, AND Ron Artest to choose from, but only TWO Worst Champion spots left. What do you do, Bawful? What do YOU do?

You'll just have to wait and see.

Awww, Pollard got what he deserved, should have got a ring 01/02 with sactown. He played a massive role off the bench that year as 'the garbage man'.

Although the Kings did indeed get totally hosed by the officials in that awful Game 6 of the WCFs, that only helped earn Scot 1b. status. His NBA bio will always say "NBA Champion" even though he didn't play a single game from the Celtics after February 24, 2008

Anonymous Stockton said...
We have to admit these guys go a bit away from the "worst..." paradigm...
Rice and Richmond were stars who only got their rings by playing minor (null?) roles on championship teams, and Rider and Walker were bumps who wasted their talents along the way and were offered a chance by the Basketball gods...
Pollard on the other end was a nice scrub, and not so bad... I remember him in the Kings playing some good ball...
and Scal... well... he's a 12th guy... enough said!
Of course, the fact they showed to much pride in their "achievement", plus the nausea of remembering that Ostertag has zero rin... worst champion nominations makes these two a good fit.

Blogger Cortez said...
"Ring count: Brian Scalabrine 1. Charles Barkley, Dominique Wilkins,
Elgin Baylor, John Stockton, Karl Malone and Patrick Ewing 0."

Besides the great John Stockton (and maybe Elgin Baylor), I'm actually HAPPY that Scalabrine has a ring and these other goons don't.

Blogger Dan B. said...
I don't care what any of y'all say -- Scal had to be on here simply because of that picture of him flashing his ring. That's pretty much the definition of bawful.

Blogger zyth said...
ginger power!
also, pollard used to be a decent defender,but meh.
anyways;
http://www.nba.com/timberwolves/news/BEasy_Prepares_For_Camp_2010_09_15.html

at least he mentions that it's his ego speaking,
and! let the weight change noticing begin

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=5581329

seriously though,i hope Timmy comes back a beast

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Continued technical problems stuff: For Google and Mozilla users:

Here's Google's writeup on rpc.blogrolling.com

So for now, it doesn't look like the malicious code affects the widgets like the ones used on this site, but it hit the actual blogrolling site.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Re: Scal as the worst Celtic in Celtic history - I thought it was close between him and Marcus Banks and a bunch of guys from early basketball history, until I sorted by PER just for the lol of it.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Sam Cassell wouldn't really fit the theme of the post anyways since he legitimately earned ring(s) previously with the Rockets. Even if he wasn't a huge star, he was a real contributor.

The way I remember it on that Celtics team, he wasn't causing any problems, he just wasn't playing very well so he wouldn't have fit in there anyways.

The Scalabrine press conference and the whole "in 30 years I'll tell my kids I was MVP line" pushed him over the top.


Next up, the Lakers. I know the temptation is there, but no Luke Walton for either of them. He's a never-ending source of bawful, but be fair. He contributed in his own Walton-y way when he got in the games. And he can't hold a candle to the true scrubs on the bench. I vote Ammo for '09 (just for being Ammo--see if you can find the Jimmy Kimmel clip of his playoff "contributions") and DJ for '10. DJ goes over the top by being on a team where the starting center was basically playing 10 minutes a game, then having his knee swell up to the size of a beach ball. And yet DJ couldn't keep himself in game shape, causing Phil Jackson to just throw up his hands at a press conference and call him out. In the middle of the Finals. That's worst NBA champion material.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
I don't care what any of y'all say -- Scal had to be on here simply because of that picture of him flashing his ring. That's pretty much the definition of bawful.

That's what I'm sayin'. Scrubs who earn a ring -- especially the ones who aren't even on the playoff roster -- are allowed to wear their rings with quiet dignity. That's it. The ones who start flashing the hardware and acting all smug have earned themselves Worst NBA Champion status. In addition to an atomic wedgie if I ever see 'em in person.

Blogger Sorbo said...
Amazing! How many times does Scal use "we" in that press conference? He means "we" as in "not me."

@Anonymous - You can't call Cassell worst NBA Champion. Sure, he's got a mouth, but he earned two in Houston. At any time, anyone who demands a trade out of L.A. is justified, and he was robbed in the 2001 Eastern Coference Finals. He deserves an extra ring just for those two things.

Plus, he played enough minutes in the playoffs to earn some bragging rights. (Although it seems the two worst players bragged more.)

Blogger Michael Hsu said...
Are you surprised anyone demands a trade off the clips? I'm surprised no one on the current roster is demanding a trade?

Are you going to be Jack again this year bawful?

Blogger Sorbo said...
Great timing on this article, Bawful. ESPNInsider called Scal one of the five worst players in Celtics history, along with a bunch a dudes from the 1950s and Acie Earl. His 5.9 PER (from 2006 to 2010) made him the worst. The quote:

"Fan favorite Brian Scalabrine has a lot of heart, but it's tough to ignore that, with the Celtics, he had more fouls than rebounds as a big man who can't score."

Blogger Sorbo said...
Another Worst NBA Champion to make the list: Danny Ferry (9.4 PER) for the Spurs. Just saying.

Blogger Sorbo said...
For your consideration tomorrow: DJ Mbenga, Powell, and Sun Yue.

Walton did contribute to the '09 playoff run, getting about 16 minutes a game (of course, these minutes came because of the Bynum injury).

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I'm getting warned that this site is at risk due to hosting malware. Just a heads up.

Blogger Dan B. said...
Anon -- Scroll up in these comments for AnacondaHL's post about it. We're aware of the problem, and for right now it's basically a false alarm as far as security on our site goes.

Anonymous Matt said...
Reading is FUNdamental



wv - ramen n. A food-based substance that prevents starvation across college campuses.

Blogger Sorbo said...
My favorite Scal quote, bashing media experts: "We're on TV all the time, so it's not like you don't get to watch us play."

Who knows more about watching the Celtics play than Scal himself? We should have listened to him.

Bawful, you missed this clip from the end of the same conference. He gets owned at the end by a foreign reporter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPLxRzFno4c

Some Scal highlights from the 2010 Finals: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfGqPSwYFW8

Of course, my favorite: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLpEbUZdlu8

Blogger Sorbo said...
This play is nice too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zzOfsTZEVg&feature=related

Blogger Ivan said...
Wow, Scal came off as a huge douchebag during that interview; I never knew human Gatorade dispensers could have that much "pride" in them...

Anonymous Bryan said...
Good call bawful. Im not too mad at Pollard but for Scal to have the audacity to talk all that trash at the press conference, he deserves to be on this list. The bigger question though is how did he even get to the podium? I didnt see Adam Morrison interviews in 09 or 10.

Anonymous Nightbringer said...
I don't care what any of y'all say -- Scal had to be on here simply because of that picture of him flashing his ring. That's pretty much the definition of bawful.

I agree, too much. Any chance of that image being added to the banner?

Anonymous Mladen said...
Don't forget this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3js3MpYxtXw

"He's a whiiite guy on the Celtics who doesn't play..."

Blogger zyth said...
Bawful, I'm sorry.
http://realgm.com/src_wiretap_archives/69168/20100918/bulls_in_contact_with_scalabrine/

but I can't stop laughing at how stupid the gm's are

Anonymous jpaw said...
scal sounds exactly like the gingers do have souls kid. its kinda scary hahah

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I feel this is appropriate...for this article specifically and the site in general

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcVEDCqKNz0

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Scot Pollard at least looked like a basketball player.

Blogger Wormboy said...
Gotta give Pollard some credit for two things: 1) he provided some nice hustle for the utterly hosed 02 Kings, and 2) he was one of the funnier and more entertaining NBA players.

Blogger Sorbo said...
Is Brian Scalabrine Glenn Beck's brother?

Blogger chris said...
Sorbo:

Man, I miss making "Sun Yue rises to the occasion" one-liners. :D

Blogger Dave M said...
Sorbo:

Haha, Glenn Beck meets 8 Mile.

Anonymous Heretic said...
Hmm, apparently Kobe Bryant is a genius:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Celtics-fans-can-blame-Kobe-for-the-Shaquille-O-?urn=nba-270942

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Any word on whether Adam Morrison is going to take his talents (not to mention his back to back championship experience) to Boston? If that's not enough, apparently the C's are also looking at Mario West.

My favorite Scot Pollard moment was when he said he still believed the Kings were better than the Lakers after LA eliminated Sacramento in 2001. Note that I'm referring to LA's 4 game sweep of the Kings, not the 7 game series that happened the following season.

Anonymous Arouet said...
Are you guys honestly you telling me if you were the thirteenth man on a team that just won the title you would be able to resist the urge to flaunt it completely, just because you didn't play a minute in the finals? You just won a goddamn ring!

It -was- silly, but still, empathy should play a part in how bawful you judge an action.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
On their quality of play, they deserve it, it's hard to argue with that, although more Scalabrine than Pollard who was somewhat effective as a post defender when he was healthy that year. But I can't hold them being proud of their rings against them. It's nice that they weren't gripping or whining about not playing (Pollard was injured so he was safe from those personal complaints), that they supported their teammates. It'd be worse if they thought they were too good for it, too above being a bench warmer to be happy for their teammates. I thought it was kind of sweet that Scalabrine, who was in suit and tie during the clinching blowout, sneaked away in the fourth quarter and put on his uniform so he could celebrate with his teammates.

My pick would have been Cassell even though he did play a crucial role in both opening game wins against Cleveland and LA. But playing an important role didn't stop Antoine Walker from being selected as the worst champion of the Miami squad. Besides those two games, Cassell was absolutely dreadful, like a worse Rafer Alston. He shot the ball almost every time he touched it and missed nearly all of them. It was crazy. But the main reason that Cassell deserves this spot is that he messed with the dynamics of a 66 win team that had blown through the regular season, winning by a differential of 10 plus points, the last team to do so since the mid-90s Bulls teams. They played through Pierce, Garnett and Allen and the second unit was a balance between Posey and House lining up to shoot threes from feeds by Pierce and Allen and Powe crashing the glass. Cassell, with a veteran-infatuated Rivers pulling the strings, upset that order, missed a boatload of shots and nearly derailed their postseason run. Once he was benched for most of the games from the mid-point of the Cleveland series, the Celtics resumed looking like their regular season selves and took home the title.

I do have to qualify that Cassell wasn't entirely to blame. Rivers deserves fault for messing with the rotation, benching House the moment the playoffs began even though he had played a good role in their 66 wins. He inexplicably only started playing Cassell after home court was clinched and the Big Three was being rested, meaning Cassell was tossed into the playoff rotation without much experience with his teammates. Another factor in their struggles, most of which came on the road, was the youth and inexperience of Rondo. It was his first playoff series and he had one good road game in the entire playoffs. It was night and day between his home and road performances and when it's your point guard being Jekyll and Hyde, it's hard to get away from those struggles.

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