Sad Isiah

Note of apology: I misplaced Wild Yams' submission regarding Smush Parker and wrote my own entry about it. Mine has been replaced by his. Sorry, Yams.

There were way too many Worsties from the recently deceased NBA season to fit them all into one post, unless you happen to enjoy blog articles that are 20 pages long. So I'm going to break this baby up into multiple posts over the course of the week. Here's the first one. It runs from the preseason through November only, so never fear: Those of you who made contributions will be recognized in due time.

Gilbert Arenas and his (cracked) crystal ball: Back in October, Agent Zero made the following bold prediction on his blog: "On November 2nd, we're going to go into [TD Banknorth Garden], we're opening up Boston. Right now I'm telling the Boston fans: You guys are going to lose. It's not going to be a victory for Boston. You might as well just cheer for me, because Boston isn't winning in Boston for the season opener. I'm sorry." A few days and several thousand "He has got to be kidding" newspaper articles and blog posts later, Gil amended his prediction somewhat. But not really. "I mean, when you look at that Celtics team, that's a powerful team...on paper. Once those guys get going, you're in trouble. You can’t guard that team...on paper. You still have to play the games.... But November 2 for them, that’s going to be truh-bull. Trouble."

It was trouble, all right. For the Wizards. The Celtics thumped them 108-83. Washington shot 35 percent and committed 20 turnovers (to only 11 assists). They were "led" by Gilbert's 5-for-19 shooting and 4 turnovers. After the game, Agent Zero was unusually quiet: "They have a great squad. You can see that they have what it takes." Too bad (for him) that he couldn't have seen that a little earlier.

Ben Wallace finally gets his way: After spending most of the 2006-07 season proving he couldn't play worth a damn without a headband, Wallace forced convinced Bulls coach Scott Skiles to change his "zero tolerance" policy for headbands to a "one tolerance" policy. Surprisingly enough, that did not affect the cadaver-like quality of Big Ben's play.

Brad Miller's hair adventures: After dropping 25 pounds of soggy fat during the offseason, Brad Beefcake decided to spruce up his image a little bit. During training camp, he unveiled a suave, parted-down-the-center haircut with sweeping bangs and a striking, come-hither gaze that caused the virginity of several thousand Sacramento teens to spontaneously combust. But he wasn't done there. Oh dear Gods no. He soon unleashed upon the world a beautifully cornrowed cocunut that set a new Gold Standard for white boys trying to look like black men.

Josh Howard punks Brad Miller: Speaking of Brad the Bad, during a preseason game between Sacramento and Dallas, he and the tiny Devin Harris got tangled up. The shoving match between the seven-foot center and the wee little guard ended pretty much the way you'd expect: With Miller knocking Harris to the floor like a bop bag. The situation escalated when Harris' teammate, Josh Howard, ran the length of the floor and dropped an atomic forearm onto the back of Miller's head. It was another incident in the fad of one player cheapshotting another player from behind, as popularized by Carmelo Anthony. According to Howard: "I was protecting my teammate -- that's about as simple as you can put it. It was a dirty play, and it wasn't even Devin [who was at fault]." Note that the Nazis at YouTube have taken down the video of this event. If anyone has it or can find it, please send it on. Edit! Here's the video. Thanks, foolioami!

The word out of Dallas was that this wasn't the first time Miller had taken a shot at Harris. Harris claimed that it had happened three other times, and that he was even knocked out of a game one of those times. Personally, I think Harris is a bit of a drama queen. I saw the video, and Harris put a little extra mustard on his fall. Also, things had calmed down right after Howard's sneak attack, but Harris still decided to take an extra shot at the dazed Miller after said sneak attack.

Isiah Thomas' grasp on reality continues to weaken: Remember how Isiah was "looking forward" to taking the stand to debunk the "pretty wildly fabricated" sexual harassment allegations levied against him? Er, that didn't work out quite the way he planned. On October 2, 2007, the jury returned a verdict finding Thomas and Madison Square Garden liable for sexual harassment. The jury also levied $11.6 million in punitive damages against MSG. But despite being found exceedingly guilty in a court of law, Isiah was not the least bit humble or repentent: "I'm innocent, very innocent, and I did not do the things she has accused me in this courtroom of doing. I'm extremely disappointed that the jury did not see the facts in this case. I will appeal this, and I remain confident in the man that I am and what I stand for and the family that I have." Uh, yeah, how's that appeal going for you, Isiah?

LeBron gives Cleveland the middle finger: Those looking for evidence that King James is going to bolt for New York at the first possible opportunity need look no further than last October, when Bron Bron was seen in Cleveland rooting for the New York Yankees, and thus against the hometown Indians. Lebron was even wearing a Yankees hat, and fans started jeering him and chanting "Take of the cap!" One fan even screamed "Go to New York, then" (another fan heard that and said "No, no, please don't"). Naturally, the blogosphere went bonkers, calling James things like "traitor" and "betrayer." The thing is, Lebron's allegience had never been in question; he's a lifelong Yankees fan. But it sure would be easier to root for them if he was wearing a New York Knicks or Brooklyn Nets uniform, wouldn't it?

Bulls fans quickly turn on their team: Lofty preseason expectations of reaching the NBA Finals turned to rage and hatred only two games into the season as, during what would become a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers in the Bulls' home opener, Chicago fans started chanting for Kobe Bryant. (At the time, there were, of course, rumors that Kobe wanted to be traded to the Bulls. Oh, how times change.)

Phil Jackson psyches out Mike D'Antoni: It was only the second game of the season, but Suns coach Mike D'Antoni nearly popped a blood vessel after the Zen Master called a timeout immediately after a mandatory Phoenix timeout with 4:45 to play and the Lakers leading 111-81. D'Antoni and Jackson, uhm, "exchanged words."

Said D'Antoni: "You mean the eight minutes he took over there to explain maybe one play that he probably didn't run? Yeah, I was pretty upset. I thought he disrespected our players. But he likes to play mind games, and that's fine. He might want to try to do it in playoff time when we bust them every year. We have them three more times. That's fine." And, for the record, the Suns lost two of those three games and flopped in the first round of the playoffs while the Lakers were cruising to the Finals. I'm not saying that Mike's manic, hyper-sensitive nature is why he couldn't coach the Suns to a title...actually, no, that's exactly what I'm saying.

The Big Tamed Tiger: Things looked pretty bleak for the Miami Heat as they looked to start the season without injured superstar Dwyane Wade. But the Big Braggadocio made some pretty bold promises during the preseason. Specifically, he said he was going to return to his old dominating ways until Wade returned. "As a tamed tiger now, you always go back to what you know, a la Siegfried and Roy. I've been tame the last couple years, but here’s a chance for me to go wild again." Unfortunately for Pat Riley and the Heat, "going wild" meant 14 points and 7 rebounds per game before quitting on his team going down with a hip injury that mysteriously and immediately healed after he was traded to the Phoenix Suns.

Most Volatile Player: Paul Pierce is now, finally and officially, a part of Celtics lore, thanks to an NBA championship and a Finals MVP award. But there was a time, early in the season, when The Truth almost picked a fight with a young fan outside a Toronto night club.

Isiah versus Starbury: Stephon Marbury bailed on the Knicks right before a big road game against the Suns, supposedly because Isiah Thomas was going to yank him from the starting lineup in favor of second-year gaurd Mardy Collins. Starbury blew up on the team plane and reportedly said, "Isiah has to start me. I've got so much (bleep) on Isiah and he knows it. He thinks he can (bleep) me. But I'll (bleep) him first. You have no idea what I know." Thomas of course shed absolutely no light on the subject by saying, "That is an in-house matter and we will continue to keep it in-house. Make no mistake about it -- we do want him as a member of this basketball team. He is welcomed back." In the midst of all this dysfunction, the Knicks lost to the Suns 113-102 despite the fact that Steve Nash scored a season-low 5 points on 2-6 shooting.

Phil Jackson thinks "gay" means "funny": I assumed that after whole "Tim Hardaway hates gay people" controversy, somebody as intelligent as Phil Jackson would know better than to make a gay joke during a postgame press conference. Well, I was wrong. After a mid-November loss to the San Antonio Spurs, Jackson said: "We call this a 'Brokeback Mountain' game, because there's so much penetration and kickouts. It was one of those games." The NBA didn't find the joke funny and reprimanded Jackson, who responded with the following incredibly sincere apology. Note that the Zen Master apparently doesn't understand the meaning of alliteration.

Ha, ha, ha...I hate us: Midway through the first month of the season, Jason Kidd was already opening hating his team to the press. That's the kind of situation that rarely ends well, and sure enough, it didn't. But more on that in an upcoming installment.

The Mavericks continue to struggle with bowel ball movement: I "broke" the story about the Mavs' passing woes, and while it didn't seem like that big of a deal at the time, it had the kind of ominous overtones that suggested the team might, at some point, make a panic trade to address the situation. But more on that in an upcoming installment.

Mike Dunleavy Jr. invokes the name of God: On November 27, 2007, the Pacers got a huge road victory last night, winning 112-110 in Denver. But the officials almost stole the game from them by awarding J.R. Smith three freethrows for swinging out his leg and kicking Mike Dunleavy Jr. on a last-second, desperation shot. That awful call gave Smith a chance to tie the game, but the Nuggets were doomed by a little thing we like to call cheater's proof: Smith hit the first two freethrows, then missed the last one. Said Dunleavy: "What was going through my mind was, 'I'm a Christian, I go to church and God may not be a Pacer fan, but he gives us fairness and he was going to come through. The basketball never lies. I knew he was going to miss one of those, but it should have never got to that point." I hate it when athletes go all God-crazy, especially in this came. I mean, we can all agree that God hates the Pacers, right?

Carmelo Anthony chokes a bitch: 'Melo got ejected with 6:18 remaning in what would become a 127-99 loss to the Lakers for giving Sasha Vujacic a chop block to the throat away from the ball. Anthony claimed it wasn't intentional (but it was) and that Vujacic drew attention to the foul by flopping (which he did, laughably so). Said Vujacic: "I think I've got to give him a DVD of European soccer. Then he can really see flops. I think it was frustration on his part. He's one of the best players in the league. But we did an amazing job on defense against him by double-teaming him -- and that's why he tried to choke me. I was surprised that he grabbed me with his hand." Ha, ha, yeah, you go ahead and try to give Carmelo a soccer DVD and you'll probably get choked again, Sasha. Or at the very least he'll bitchslap you from behind and then run away. Anyway, here's the video:

The Miami Cold, Part I: Minus D-Wade and with Shaq playing like an apathetic senior citizen, the Heat finish November with a 4-11 record in what will, incredibly, be their best month of the friggin' season. Pat Riley not only thought he could do better than most of his players, he said it out loud. To the press. "I guarantee you I should suit up. I'd play better than some of them right now. I guarantee it. I swear to God. With an old hip and 62 years old and I can't see, I'll play better than some of my guys tonight. Come on, they were pretty bad." Making matters even worse, the Riley and the Heat had to deal with a ridiculous off-court distraction...

Smush's Parking Disaster: After self-combusting last year on the Lakers (prompting Phil Jackson to remove him from the starting lineup 80 games into the season), he was given a new shot at an NBA career in Miami this season... until he physically attacked a female valet over a disputed $12 parking fee. This essentially ended his season with the Heat (the league's worst team), and after a couple month hiatus from playing he was eventually sent to NBA Hell for what probably marks the end of his career. [Submitted and written by Wild Yams.]

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Good stuff Matt. I'd like to nominate cornrowed Brad Miller for the Basketbawful header.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Ahhh, Brad Miller. I can't believe how overrated that guy is. And most people have never heard of him!

Just my opinion.

Blogger Alex said...
GREAT start to the Worsties! I cannot wait to read the rest. Bravo!

Blogger KNEE JERK NBA said...
Brad Miller's an anomaly, for sure. He's a pot smoking Republican with the fashion sense of Gary Oldman from 'True Romance'. He hunts, too. Weird.

Blogger Victor said...
Lebron James's fandom is just annoying. He's a Cowboys, Bulls, and Yankees fan, which is basically the 3 dynasties of the 90's. We all have a few irritating acquaintances like that.

Vujacic's comments about "amazing defense" are pretty funny too. Ray Allen thinks differently.

Blogger DDC said...
Matt, awesome start dude. I'm laughing so hard, I'm damn near in tears over here...

Blogger Justin Tenuto said...
Dear Brad Miller,

Hey there. This is your closet and we need to talk.

When you graduated college and went to Italy because of the then-active NBA Lockout, you were looking good. Remember when Dad Miller bought you that smart suit for interviews, thinking a seven footer with no post moves would surely end up selling widgets in Tuscaloosa? Yeah, it's sitting here: UNUSED. So are all those ties you bought in Milan. And those Tivas you used to wear during your Outdoorsman phase. Remember socks & Tivas? That was a good look for you.

Now, Brad: I'm not saying you have to look like a Dave Matthews fan or anything, but please: ditch the FUBU. It's all you wear now. Your other clothes sit in here, gossiping after you leave: "Did Brad buy his Gold fronts yet?" your loafers ask. "I hope he uses his 5-game weed suspension to buy some real pants," your Sean John jumpsuit moans. "At least he shaved the cornrows," says your N.W.A. vintage tee, bought for $150 on eBay with the Maloof's hard earned money.

See, we're mocking you Brad. I'm sorry it's come to this. You just look ridiculous. Because, see, white dudes can't wear the things black dudes can. It's a rule of nature. You ever seen Andre 3000? The man can wear football pads, a fur coat, and a bowler hat and look like the coolest human that ever lived. George Clinton can wear a PlayStation as a necklace. But you? You cannot do this. Nature made you a gangly white dude. Though this has allowed you play roundball at the highest level, even though you rebound like Eric Snow, it also prohibits you from, you know, actually being black. If your clothes won't remind you, I really don't know who will.

Your Closet

Anonymous Anonymous said...
To be fair to Gilbert, the wizards had the best regular season win percentage against the Celtics. IIRC 3-1. the other team that beat them twice was Orlando Magic. These were the 2 teams that they didnt want to meet in the playoffs.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
dont forget Al Horford's childish boasting and Paul Pierce "gang signs" in the later worsties.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Great stuff BAwful. I can't wait to read the next, or next-next installment of Worsties involving the Western Conference panic trades. I have my six-pack of Sam Adams ready.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
oh finally, you recognized that agent is actually zero, apart from the jacking-up-shots and teh ego department... finally someone. great stuff bawful btw, as usual.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Wow, wow, wow. Just like a train wreck.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Looks like the NBA referee saga is not over yet! Apparently Donaghy has another referee in his Fave 5.,2933,381842,00.html

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Brad Miller isn't black?