I like to build imaginary teams in my head. It’s fun. Especially when it relates to basketball. One team I have is the All Neanderthal Squad. It's all the players in the NBA who I think look like the missing link. Chris Kaman, Al Jefferson, Mike Miller, Jerry Stackhouse. You get the idea. Another one I have is Team Mail It In. These are the guys who just get by on pure talent, with no real motivation to improve their games. Lamar Odom, Samuel Dalembert, Kwame Brown...the team is 15 guys deep. And Shaquille O’Neal is the head coach. One team I would love to see constructed in real life is the All Goon Squad. Just as its name suggest, it's compiled of the meanest, toughest, and most confrontational guys in the NBA. Here's what I got so far.

PG - Rajon Rondo: He may the least intimidating guy on the roster, but don't let his boyish looks fool you. He's got the personality of a bear trap. His moody and feisty temperament makes him the perfect point guard for this team. If anyone begs for the ball too much, he’ll hand it over and tell them where to shove it. He even had Doc Rivers walking on eggshells around him at times. If you asked him how his day was going, he'd probably tell you to go fuck yourself. Yup, no one can turn a casual interview into something extremely awkward quite like Rondo.


SG - Tony Allen: Probably my favorite player on the team. He plays with intensity, attitude, and grit. But that's not why he's on this team. He beat up a teammate...on board an airplane...over a card game. Safe to say he ain't afraid to sock someone in the mouth during the course of a game if he had to.
"Let's see him grab a rebound now."

SF - Metta World Crazy: Need I say more? Metta is the basketball Mike Tyson. Minus the face tattoo...and the Hall of Fame skills. But given the opportunity, I could totally see him biting someone's ear off. He may have the shortest fuse out of any player on this team. One time I was watching him give a brief interview right before he went to the locker room for halftime. As he was running off the floor, the camera guy was following him. Someone in the crowd must have said something to him. Because he stopped, turned, and started glaring into the stands. He had this unsure hesitation in his body. You could see the wheels turning in his head. Like "Should I go up and roundhouse this guy in the neck...Or should I just let it go." This was AFTER 2004 brawl in Detroit. And if that doesn't tell you something take a look at this video. Even other goons are afraid of him.


PF - Zach Randolph: Probably the last guy you'd want to mess with in the NBA. In 2003 during a Trailblazers practice session, Ruben Patterson and Qyntel Woods got into a scuffle. Zach Randolph stepped in and punched Patterson in the face. That's right. He saw two people fighting and decided he wanted to join in. Just because. A few years later during a game against the Phoenix Suns, Z-Bo got frustrated delivered a solid jab to the ear of Louis Amundson. Ever since that day Z-Bo has been known as one of the league’s premier bad asses.

 Chris Paul didn't get the memo

C - Kevin Garnett: Now I know what you guys are thinking. "But KG really isn't tough. He's one of those fake tough guys." Correct. KG isn't tough, and would much rather back pedal than throw an actual punch in the midst of a scuffle. However when it comes to trash talk, he's basically unmatched. He said Carmelo's wife tasted like Honey Nut Cheerios...His wife and mother of his child! He called Charlie Villenueva a cancer patient. He's a habitual line crosser and doesn't make any apologies for it. He's the kind of guy who'd see a dead kitten in the street and think to himself "Hmmm, there's a joke in there somewhere."
"From what I understand, British food does not taste very good. Although I'm rather fond of kidney pie....BITCH!!!!!!"

PG - Delonte West: Never mind the fact that on two separate occasions he got in a fight with teammate Von Wafer wild playing for the Celtics. Never mind the fact that he may have slept with Lebron's mother. Never mind the fact that he's been diagnosed with having a bipolar disorder. Never mind the fact that he carries guns in a guitar case a la Antonia Banderas. Delonte solidified his spot after he gave Gordon Hayward a wet willie during a game against the Utah Jazz.

 He also specializes in Wedgies and Indian burns.

SG - Deshawn Stevenson: I'm convinced that Stevenson is an active gang member. When he was with the Mavs he'd throw up what looked A LOT like a gang sign after making a three. Also he has a red Pittsburgh Pirates tat on his face; a symbol that's often linked with the Bloods…Ok, maybe I watch way too much of that Gangland show on A&E.

Ok, maybe he's just calling out the next play...Yeah, that's it.

SF - Matt Barnes: As I've mentioned in the past, I really hate this guy. But I guess that makes him a perfect candidate for this roster spot. He's probably the most well rounded douchebag in the league. Fights, shit talking, unnecessary stare downs, a bunch of random tattoos. ARGH!!! How can anyone be a fan of this guy? If you share your trail mix with him, he'll probably return it after eating all the M&M's. His mom probably checks her purse after he leaves her house. He probably cusses at his kid’s soccer games. When he's driving down the highway, and someone lets him merge, I bet he doesn't even give that little "Thank you" hand wave.

mega douche
 Look at him. Tell me you don't want to punch your screen right now.

PF - Reggie Evans: He's not even a basketball player. He became a millionaire by running up and down the floor disrupting the other team by any means necessary. Fouling, flopping, and even fondling other men. Yeah, on occasion he’ll pull down 20 plus rebounds in a game. But that’s only because no one wants to go near him.


C - David West: From what I understand David West is a trained boxer. That makes him one of the few guys in the NBA qualified to step in the ring and kick someone's ass. He also reportedly sent the Cavaliers mascot to the hospital after the two got into a play fight before a game in 2012.

11th - Stephen Jackson: Getting into a fight with anyone on the goon squad means that you'll have to also fight Stephen Jackson as well. In the Pacers/Pistons brawl of 2004, Jackson could be seen right there, battling in the trenches with then teammate Ron Artest. And when things get really heated; He's known to pull out a gun a squeeze off a few rounds such as the case in 2006 outside an Indianapolis nightclub.
"We can just tell the judge you where having shooting practice. Get it? Shooting practice."

12th - Kendrick Perkins: There's a direct correlation between the decline in his game and the rise in his jack-ass-ed-ness. It's really all he has left. He can't shoot, dribble, pass, jump, or even run at an NBA speed. I guess he's good at defense in the low post, but with the decline in the number of back to the basket centers, that one skill he has isn't even useful half the time. So yeah, Perkins is almost pointless. However, last season he did have the balls to fight Zach Randolph in front of the locker rooms after a game. And for that, he's earned a spot on the Goon Squad.

Artist Depiction of the scuffle

13th - Kenyon Martin: He used to be a hard fouling, hard dunking All Star. Now he's just a hard fouling role player. Kenyon has a reputation of taking things just a little too far. What would normally be an intentional foul usually results in a flagrant foul. At this point, I don't think he likes basketball nearly as much as he likes inflicting pain on others.

kenyon kills leonard
  No blood; No foul
Anonymous Anonymous said...
nice piece, jason, thanks, man!…it would be terrible if all players were goons, but its amusing to have some goons in the league. the league might be at an all-time low for goons, several who were in their late 30's having been aged-out in the last few years.
love the list, but i only counted 13 players. would be nice to have a full 15. in a (would-be) dramatic twist i submit a "star" (near "superstar") and a "superstar" for consideration:
andew bynum. can you be a goon and a lazy spoiled brat (b-i-t-c-h) simultaneously ? (goons usually aren't lazy). he is a brat, but he has definitely pulled some goon moves.
dwyane wade (i'm a wade fan, he has dropped off for sure, but he is still very good. he is now underrated .).but it is undeniable that he gets his goon on when necessary.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
i forgot: goons are kind of cool in a way. but bynum and wade aren't. so never mind. there really aren't 15 solid goons in the league? pekovic would be a great goon if he wanted to be one, but alas...

Blogger Jason said...
I forgot about Bynum. (Probably because he's always hurt) He'd be a good candidate.

And as for Wade, I thought about putting him on the team, but anyone who wears pink pants probably shouldn't be on the roster.

answer to the question why i like this website.

Blogger Unknown said...
The only change I would make is Bill Laimbeer as coach!

Blogger Wormboy said...
Jason, love the "imaginary teams in my head" bit, and there's lots of potential mileage there. Just keep their clothes on and no adult stores, OK? But as long it caan be read by kids under 13, I'm all in, and would love to see you post 15- deep squads during the year (please, give us first team, second, team, third team!)

After Wade's thuggery of last year he deserves first team all-NBA thug squad until somebody surpasses him. And given the lack of a suspension, I'm willing to put David Stern on the list. Can't we just call him a swing man?

And dude, you can totally have a hall of fame entry for these for non-active players. Hell, Metta World War Artest gets early entry in the Hall while still active! Laimbeer has an exhibit in the Hall. An Charles Oakley won a special award for most opponents pants wet in direct response to playing against him.

{oh, and World War Artest might actually surpass Oakley. Holy crap, I think Hansbrough actually piddled himself right there. And yes, while I loved Hansbrough when he was at Carolina, dude is a straight up hoops thug now.}

And Garnett doesn't get a position for jawing with guys. Garnett gets it for grabbing guys' junk during the game.

And don't forget, it's Kenyon "Neck Lips" Martin. He may have tatooed over that bizarre thing on his neck, but evidence still exists:

Anonymous Anonymous said...
practice fodder: ryan hollins

Blogger Raza said...
Jason, excellent call on Stephen Jackson. I mean if you get cut a WEEK before the playoffs start on a team with title aspirations who seemingly rarely have issues with anyone...you know you've got problems.

Kudos my friend.