I grew up hating John Stockton and Karl Malone. I despised everything about the two, from the tiny shred of fabric that Stock wore as basketball shorts (see Exhibit A) to every elbow delivered by the Mailman (see Exhibit B).
But thankfully, this dirty duo has since retired from the NBA without rings, and now a new generation of hated players must arise to take their place. Today, I present to you my NBA hate list.
10. Kendrick Perkins
As the #10 player on this list, I'll admit that I don't truly hate Perk; I just don't understand him. Why does he hate life? Why can't the man just smile? Maybe just once? Seriously, Kendrick -- why you mad though?
9. Josh Howard
I know he's pretty irrelevant now that he's idling away on the Utah Jazz, but I will always remember him as a Dallas Maverick who would take cheap shots at Yao Ming. Those of you who know me know that I am not a fan of Yao, but that is not to say that I condone opponents taking hard fouls or trying to injure players on my hometown team. Case in point: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1953070/josh_howard_intentionally_trips_yao_ming/
8. Ray Allen
It was game 2 of the 2010 NBA Finals between the Lakers and the Celtics. If there's one thing I hate most in the world, it's when idiot Kobe fans compare him to the greatest of all time, Michael Jordan, so I was rooting for the Celtics in this series so that Bryant wouldn't even sniff his 5th ring (I only give him credit for 1.5 since the first 2.5 were Shaq's, but that's another story). The Lakers had home court advantage and had won the 1st game at the Staples Center, but then Ray Allen erupted for 32 points (8-11 three-pointers) and Boston was suddenly on their way home with a chance to clench a stranglehold on the series. This was my sentiment after the game:
me: ray allen won this gameI had always thought Ray was overrated. That, and I was sick of TNT showing his mom in the stands after every one of his buckets. Anyway, the man was proving his worth in my eyes until the very next game. Ray Allen's final statline: 0-13 from the field, including 0-8 from three-point territory. And yes, if you'll recall, the Lakers ended up winning in 7 games, and Kobe Bryant did his best MJ impersonation by standing on the scorer's table and holding out 5 fingers. Back to the dungeon with you, Ray.
i became a fan
David: haha hes pretty money
dont know too many ppl that dislike him
or grant hill
he's growing on me
his knowledge of angles is unmatched
that guy must have owned in geometry
me: seriously watching him get open
is pretty amazing
knows exactly where he is on the court
never has to look down to make sur he's behind the line
he could do it in his sleep
7. Russell Westbrook
I used to follow Ric Bucher on Twitter. But then one day, he said that Russell Westbrook was better than Kevin Durant. I no longer follow Ric Bucher on Twitter, but the problem is that sometimes I think Russell believes Bucher.
Westbrook is a child trapped in a man's body. He throws temper tantrums when he doesn't get his way, commits stupid fouls in retaliation, and takes bad shots that he could chuck up whenever he wants to. If I were to make a bottom 10 low basketball IQ list, Russell Westbrook would definitely be #1 with nobody even close to challenging his throne.
He is the primary reason why I didn't and still don't think the Thunder will make it to the finals this year. He is the main reason why I don't think the Thunder will ever win an NBA championship. But here's his one shot for redemption: if OKC somehow makes it past the Spurs and beat the Heat, then he will instantly be taken off of this list, and you will never hear me utter another negative word about him. Please, Russell -- I'd love to be wrong here.
6. Kevin Garnett
What I once considered unbridled passion for the game when Garnett was in Minnesota I now consider insincere obnoxiousness in Boston. You know what I'm talking about -- the smashing of his head into the basketball hoop support, the mumbling to himself after ever play, the fights he tries to pick with anyone smaller than him, etc. (My friend Koller has a similar theory about Deron Williams, who he claims is probably the biggest tool that nobody knows about yet.) I used to watch the YouTube video of Anthony Peeler punching Kevin Garnett for kicks and giggles, but I can no longer locate it. Well played, Kevin.
5. Dwight Howard
To sum it all up, Dwight Howard is a fake, overrated crybaby who allows his decisions to be swayed entirely by what people think of him. If you aren't familiar with the circus that Dwight put Orlando through this year, read this. I will just be speaking about the fact that Dwight and everyone else thinks he's a lot better than he actually is. He even found a way to complain after victories.
“I do want the ball more in the fourth quarter. I want to become a closer. The only way you get there is by getting the ball and have coach have the confidence in giving me the ball.
That’s how Kobe (Bryant) and the rest of the great fourth-quarter players got that way. It’s trial and error. When Kobe first got in the league, it took him a while to become the killer he is in the fourth quarter now. That’s because he went through that phase where he had to learn what shots to take and just get confidence in taking shots in the fourth quarter.
That’s one thing that I want for myself, so I can become the guy who finishes games for my team. I want to be that guy whose team wants him to close games out for them. Coach just needs to have confidence in me.”So says the guy whose most effective move is an offensive rebound put-back and who boasts of a 49% free throw clip this past year.
4. Andrew Bynum
Please refer to Party Foul: Andrew Bynum and Party Foul: Andrew Bynumbnuts for more information.
3. Chris Paul
I can't stand it when NBA players flop on offense, and Chris Paul does it every chance he gets. I give him credit for having a tremendous will to win, but at what expense? He may or may not have been doomed to fail in my book, though, as I haven't fully forgiven him for this:
I mean, c'mon. Who does that?
2. Blake Griffin
Please refer to Stop Staring at Me, Blake Griffin for more information.
1. LeBron James
Ah, the self-proclaimed King. I promise this is the only time I will ever mention sportswriter Jason Whitlock in a positive light, but he tweeted: "Did Jordan ever call himself "Air Jordan" or did he allow us 2 call him Air? LeBron calling himself King James is a joke." I couldn't have said it much better myself.
He is a fool if he couldn't foresee all the backlash he brought upon himself with The Decision. This guy grew up in Cleveland, was drafted by Cleveland, was loved by Cleveland, and thought it would be a smart idea to go on national television and "take his talents to South Beach"? It's like a guy who has been with his high school sweetheart for his entire life choosing to tell her and the rest of the world on a one-hour TV special that he was leaving her for a better girl.
What I hate most about LeBron is that he doesn't have the "it" factor. Instead of taking on the challenge of being the greatest player ever, he took the easy route and just wanted to have fun with his friends in Miami. But then again, for a man whose entire childhood was spent in Cleveland, Ohio, his favorite teams were the New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys, and Chicago Bulls, so should it really have been that much of a surprise that he would sell out?
Photos and video courtesy of ESPN, Ballers Sports, Orlando Sentinel, and YouTube