Look, it’s a long off-season, and we’re trying to stay occupied while we wait for the action to start. So sometimes we need to get creative.
Somewhat recently, there was a post where we all looked back nostalgically on our favorite Kings of the past. It was a great idea, and we all got a warm and fuzzy feeling from it. (Well, I did anyway.)
But for every Yin, there has to be a Yang. And so the thought hit me: Who is our LEAST favorite player of all time? I’m not talking about a King, although you may have one (his name might even rhyme with Veggie Prius). No. I say we cast a much wider net, where the fish are abundant, plentiful, copious, profuse, bountiful, numerous, and those are all the synonyms my on-line thesaurus gives me.
Some obvious candidates leap out, most of them associated with "The Dark Empire" otherwise known as Hell-A.
There is of course Kobe the Non-Consensual Adulterer. Hard guy to like. Not in-your-face obnoxious perhaps, but smug, arrogant, and with an exceptionally irritating smirk.
Then there’s Shaq-Daddy. The Diesel. The Big Aristotle. (My ass! Guy can’t even spell Aristotle.) He was the easiest to hate back in the day with his 7th-grade-level taunts and blowhardiness. Recently, though, he’s toned it down a bit, and has even veered dangerously close to making pro-Sacramento comments in recent years. But history is still history.
Then there are guys who give new meaning to self-absorbed---guys like Starbury, Sprewell, and Payton. There are notable cheap-shot artists like Bowen, Fortson, Malone, or Stockton. Incessant whiners like Bill Laimbeer, Rasheed Wallace, or even Brad Miller. And guys who just plain got on your nerves, of which the list is far too long to even contemplate.
So many choices. So little time.
But for my money, when the dust finally settles, one name rises above the rest: Rick Fox. FIRST…CLASS…A-HOLE! Gum-chewing, smarmy, cheap-shot pretty boy. Guy seemed to think he was God’s gift to basketball AND Hollywood. And, of course, he would never have amounted to a hill of poodle droppings if he hadn’t been playing with two of the most talented players of the modern era. Yet he seemed to think that he was a born champion. He wasn’t a terrible player, mind you, but basically his repertoire was limited to two things: shooting the three, and getting in Peja’s grill. But put him on any other team in the league, and his name would have elicited a collective "Who?". The guy just oozed smug obnoxiousness.
So there you have it. My two minutes are up. We will of course need to turn this into a poll---you know, to get some very important hard data. But first I wanted to get a sense of everyone’s all-time most stupendous unfavorites ever to disgrace the NBA hardwood. Have at it guys (and gals).
P.S. No point in doing a least favorite coaches poll. The results would likely be unanimous (although Andy made a pretty strong case against Pat Riley recently).