Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The NBA All-Asshole Team

Kevin Garnett is King Asshole. This is well known in baskeball circles, and basically anywhere that he is well known. The whole world is realizing it now, though, following the events that transpired at the Garden last Monday. While shit talking is an accepted part of basketball and most sports (besides baseball where the "unwritten rules" are longer than the Bible), there are unspoken boundaries that everyone abides by when trying to get in an opponent's head. Everyone that is except for a few assholes like KG. Everyone knows from the playground to the pros, you keep spouses (or girlfriends), family, and kids (or other sensitive subjects like diseases) out of it. Now, saying someone's wife tastes like Honey Nut Cheerios isn't as bad as saying "happy mother's day" to a guy who's mother died a few years prior, but it's still a jerky move. Unsurprisingly, Garnett didn't really give much a reaction when Melo confronted him on the court, doing a backpedal move that was eerily reminiscent of Melo himself a few years ago, as he usually only shows some real fight when his opponent is at least a foot shorter, Euorpean or a combination of both. Of course, he's not the only asshole in the league, the Association is chock full of guys who deserve a kick in the nuts, or in the very least a place on the NBA All-Asshole Team.

Point Guard

Isiah Thomas

My hatred for this guy is well documented, but Zeke holds the rare distinction of being an a-hole throughout two generations of NBA basketball. Not only was he the biggest asshole on a team full of assholes, but he managed to be an even bigger dick in his transition to front office jobs. Let's start with his playing career though. It's often said that teams take on the personality of their best players and never was that more true than the Pistons of the 80s. Regarded now as an example of the "nastiness" that's required for successful NBA teams, the Bad Boys were really just more mind numbingly annoying than bad. This was a squad that featured Dennis Rodman, who even before he turned into a freak show was notoriously dirty and stupid, Joe Dumars, a quiet snake in the grass, Rick Mahorn whose known for two things, his big ass and his dirty play, and of course, Bill Laimbeer, a big White guy so reviled that it's a wonder he never played for the Celtics. He's now paying his penance as a WNBA coach, a hell that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemies. But steering the ship was Isiah. A man petty enough to encourage a freeze out of Michael Jordan in the all star game, and orchestrate a walk off the court without shaking hands after losing to the Bulls. He was such a prick, it's rumored MJ kept him off the original Dream team. His douche bag playing days were equalled if not surpassed by his career as an Executive and head coach. I won't get into everything shitty he did, but if you want to relive the horror, you can here.

Shooting Guard

Kobe Bryant/Reggie Miller

I'm always on #teamkobe. I've spent a better part of my adult life defending him to his legion of haters (a group that has dwindled with the emergence of LeBron James as the guy we love to loathe) but even I have to admit he's a really big asshole. His fans (like me) can always deflect the asshole accusations with "MJ was a jerk too" and "you have to be that way to be great" but that doesn't take away from the fact that Kobe may be one of the more obnoxious humans that ever lived, never mind picked up a basketball. Ever since his early days as a too big for his britches rookie, he's rubbed people the wrong way. And it's not surprising that he would grow into the immature person that he is now, seeing as how he was basically a child star (hard to be well adjusted when you take Brandy to your prom). Not only is he essentially impossible to play with, but he's also a possible snitch, a possible rapist and a definitely bad rapper.  His philosophy on being a leader is from the Jordan school of either berating your lesser teammates to the brink of tears or just ignoring them all together. He doesn't appear to have any friends (even Derek Fisher only barely tolerates him, and this is a guy who is probably his best friend) and he's now entered the latter stage of his career as one of those old black guys who says crazy things because he can ala Bill Cosby, MJ again, and Barkley.

As for Reggie, I couldn't make a list of NBA players who are assholes and leave off this ugly monkey. Known as much for his shooting ability as his flopping and showboating (him bowing to the Chicago crowd right before Toni Kukoc nails a buzzer beater is a pretty sweet video), Reggie may not have been a fake tough guy like KG, but that's only because he's a huge gaping pussy hole. He was annoying enough to goad hot heads like Starks and Jordan into wanting to kill and/or headbutt him, but I can guarantee he's never had a fight in his life. If you thought that he was unbearable when he played, though, just wait until you see him in his post playing life as a TNT "analyst". The classic example of an ex athlete hired because he is "well spoken" (i.e. talks White), Reggie makes more fuck ups when speaking than a drunk George W. Bush. On a channel that employs Shaq and Barkley, Reggie comes off as the dumbest ex player of all time. That's saying something.

Small Forward

Scottie Pippen

To be fair to Scottie, spending your career as the sidekick to the most iconic athlete of all time could turn anyone into a bit of an a-hole but Pip probably would've landed on this list regardless. On the court, Scottie did the type of stuff that lesser players would get suspended for routinely. Besides his tripping players from the ground, and generally being a jerk, what truly grants him entry into the A-hole HOF is his behavior during game 3 of the 94 semifinals against the Knicks. With the game tied and seemingly headed for OT, a pouting Pip sulked on the bench when he learned that the last play wasn't drawn up for him but Croatian sensation Toni Kukoc, who had already hit a few buzzer beaters that first Jordanless season. Now it's understood in the NBA that the franchise player will be the first option in the waning seconds but that's not an excuse to refuse to GO BACK IN like a baby. Kukoc hit the shot, and all was mostly forgiven for Scottie, but he'll always be an asshole to us.

Power Forward

Charles Barkley

Barkley's one of those guys who has a get out of jail free card with fans and the media. He's so outrageous that he can say anything that pops into his demented pea brain, and people will shrug it off as "Barkley being Barkley". He could open up the next Inside the NBA with "Kenneh, I really do not lahk Jews. I rilly don't. Let me tell ya somethin', my agent is a Jewish person, my accountant is also Jewish. But I just don't like them. They smell and are dirty people" and everyone would laugh it off as good ol' Chuck and his down south charm. Well, it's all bullshit. It's not that Charles is outrageous so he gets away with it like Howard Stern or Lenny Bruce or someone who's actually self aware and intelligent to know that what he's saying is controversial. It's just that he's really, really stupid. Maybe the dumbest ex athlete ever (and that is saying something). Sure, Sir Charles probably understands that a lot of what he says will rile people up (he's a first rate troll) but I also think he believes a lot of the nonsense he spews is actually smart. He worships Muhammed Ali but aside from speech pattern (which he imitates like Kobe imitates MJ), the two have nothing in common aside from the fact that they have the same number of NBA championship rings. Let us also not forget that he once claimed to be a Republican (because he was rich), threw a guy through a glass window and spit on a little girl.

(Also Kevin Garnett for the above reasons)


And your starting asshole center is none other than.......

Shaquiiiilllleee O'neeeeal

The world's worst kept secret is that behind the goofy smile and dancing, Shaq is as big of an asshole as the current goofball center to go from Orlando to LA and call himself superman.  Let's start with the fact that he's played for more teams than any other Hall of Famer (I didn't research this statement but am assuming that it's correct). Like Taylor Swift and her many publicized break ups, after a while maybe you have to think it's you, big guy, not them. Shaq routinely showed up out of shape, occasionally resulting in lengthy injuries, beefed with multiple coaches and mostly coasted through a career off his physical dominance. It's no surprise that a sociopath gym rat like Kobe would clash with him. Shaq was too busy focusing on sucking at side ventures like being one of the worst rappers and actors of all time or attempting to be the world's doofiest sheriff. For Kazaam alone, he earns a spot on the asshole list. You might have noticed a trend developing here. Half of the guys on this list are now employed by Turner sports, and Shaq might be the most boring commentator of all time, adding absolutely nothing to a conversation.

Congrats to all of the inaugural inductees into the PTU Asshole Hall of Fame. You guys suck.

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