Ineptitude is a relative thing. When there’s a lot of something, you fully expect some of it to suck.
For every Kanye West out there there’s a Vanilla Ice. For every Pulp Fiction there’s a From Justin to Kelly. Everybody knows Kate Upton. Well remember that horse-faced, curly-haired banshee that pretended to be a human being on Sex and the City? Of course, you do, because she’s the reason you haven’t had a good night of sleep since 2008.
This phenomenon is expected when there are literally millions of musicians and movies. When you take a category and dwindle it down to a handful of the standouts, there shouldn’t be any more screw-ups, right? Right.
Which is why it’s hilarious that there are only eight elite basketball teams left in the playoffs competing for the coveted prize of an NBA championship, and one of the players is Vladimir Radmanovic.
You have superstar players like four-time MVP LeBron James and then a bunch of repugnant washouts littering the end of the bench like unflushed turds.
On that note, here are the five turdiest players left in the NBA playoffs:
5. Tracy McGrady – San Antonio Spurs, SG/SF
T-Mac hasn’t been remotely relevant since 2008, when he averaged 21.6 points per game on 42 percent shooting. In the past five years he’s been on five different teams (including the Qindao Eagles) and hasn’t averaged more than 10 points. He was done.
And then, like the hand of God, Gregg Popovich came and scooped him up for the playoffs, because apparently Spurs management looked around at their roster of walking dead and decided they totally needed some more veteran experience.
As you would expect, McGrady is completely useless on this team and will never play unless it’s a 20-point blowout or if the entire starting lineup gets vertigo from watching Steph Curry three pointers arc through the hoop ten times a game. So unless the Spurs are stashing him on the bench on the off chance someone invents a time machine in the next couple weeks, it’s completely pointless, right?
Actually, I have another theory. In 2004, McGrady scored 13 points in 35 seconds as a fireball shot of his ass. For a bygone All-Star who doesn’t have many memorable moments, it was his career defining performance.
Any guesses to who it was against? Yup. The Spurs.
Popovich, a man who displays less emotion during periods of extreme excitement than a blowup sex doll, was flabbergasted. Check out 4:35 of that video. Pop is just pointing at random things and muttering gibberish to himself. It’s like he’s still on coaching autopilot but the controls are completely fried.
There’s no doubt that the Spurs, and Pop in particular, remembered this. And I know we’ve all be saying it for about five years, but this really might be the Spurs last chance of a title during the Tim Duncan era. Manu Ginobili is already more bald spot than scorer and Duncan is closer to filing with the AARP than his prime. With the Heat on title mode cruise control and young teams in the West like the Thunder and Warriors on the rise, the Spurs days are numbered.
Pop knows this. And he remembers. Maybe he figures if they’re in a win-or-go home situation, down double digits, time running out, he has the man for the job. Maybe McGrady can do it again.
Anyway, this little sideshow was worth it for the sole reason that it gave us the most preposterous stat of the playoffs:
Despite T-Mac playing for 15 years, averaging over 20 points a game nine times, leading the league in scoring twice and making seven All-Stars appearances, this season – on a team that he doesn’t really even play on – was the first time he made it out of the first round of the playoffs.
4. Jarvis Varnado – Miami Heat, PF
Every single joke made in the last three months about Mani Te’o’s girlfriend can be made about the Miami Heat’s center, because they don’t have one. And the make-believe one they do have is eerily effeminate.
On paper, Chris Bosh has been the Heat’s starting center all season, but everyone knows he’s way better at photobombing people and doing the robot than he is at playing the post. Bosh averaged 6.8 rebounds a game this season. LeBron, technically a small forward, averaged 8.
They are by far the worst rebounding team in the NBA, and when you’re the worst at anything when the Charlotte Bobcats are still around, you probably should just pack your things up and take your talents to the unemployment line.
If only they had an insanely athletic 6-foot-10 power forward with the wingspan of a pterodactyl they could bring in to solidify their interior and scare small children.
Oh, wait, they do. His name’s Jarvis Varnado. He has arms made out of Stretch Armstrong’s blood and during his sophomore year at Mississippi State he blocked more shots than 304 Division 1 teams did.
And this guy was just chilling at the end of the bench while Joakim Noah and Jimmy Butler snagged 25 rebounds in Game 1. Varnado is the most prolific defensive force college basketball has seen since Shaquille O’Neal and he’s rendering exactly zero minutes a game for a team anchored by an iridescent ink monster with a Mohawk. How do you explain that?
I can’t, and I’m the guy who came up with the Tracy McGrady/time machine theory a dozen paragraphs ago. Which means this guy is effectively hopeless.
3. Daequan Cook – Chicago Bulls, SG
Somewhere between 2006 and today, Daequan Cook went from being one of the most promising young long range bombers in the world to a guy who apparently can’t comprehend the spatial restrictions of a basketball court.
As a member of the vaunted “Thad Five” recruiting class at Ohio State, Cook led the Buckeyes to the NCAA Championship game even though Greg Oden was off in Injuryville for half the season (he must have a timeshare there or something.) Cook averaged 10 points a game.
Then Cook got to the NBA and he forgot how to play basketball. It’s inexplicable, unless in the summer of 2007 he accidentally stumbled across a Men in Black crime scene involving a giant, malevolent cockroach from outer space and a cat, in which case Will Smith was forced to flashy-thing him out of his memory.
The bottom line is that Daequan Cook absolutely stinks now.
In Game 7 of the first round of the playoffs against Brooklyn, Cook gave us this impossible nugget of uselessness: In the span of about four possessions, he circled too far out on the perimeter looking for the ball, and when he got it passed to him he was out of bounds. Twice he did this. In about a two minute span. Then, in Game 2 against the Heat, he did it again.
So far in the playoffs he’s tallied one of the most miserable stat lines you’ll ever see: 36 minutes played, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 6 fouls, 6 turnovers and 3 points on 1 of 10 shooting.
Aliens are real, guys. They have to be.
2. Tyler Hansbrough, Ben Hansbrough and Miles Plumlee – Indiana Pacers, F/G
Hell yes, I’m clumping these three doofuses (doofi?) into one, big, awkward Wonder Bread sandwich.
What we have here is perfect storm of hilarity. If such a thing as fate exists, it was in prime form when it decided to team the bug-eyed Hansbrough brothers with one of the 14 Plumlee good ol’ boys together and throw them on the most vanilla team in the universe. And, because fate is apparently the funniest of abstract concepts, it made them all uncoordinated and awful.
I’m not entirely sure what makes these guys so unlikeable. They just have those faces. Tyler has a perpetually wide-eyed, slack-jawed gaze that makes him look like he just crapped his pants and isn’t sure if he should cry or be proud of himself. Ben just looks like a guy who should always be wearing a backwards hat and listening to Dave Matthews. And Plumlee, well, this is what he looks like. You tell me if you want to punch him or not.
If they were good, none of that would matter. Players like JJ Redick have overcome the unfortunate problem of having really punchable faces by actually being good. But these three misfits? If you took any three players from any other team in the league and had had them play Plumlee and the Hansbrough brothers, the game would never end because six players that bad would never score 11 points.
Ben was picked up as an undrafted free agent, so frankly, his career arc has gone as expected. If he didn’t have a famous last name he’d still be playing for the Krka Novo Mesto Dicktuggers in Serbia. This video pretty much sums up his entire existence:
Plumlee, shockingly, was a first round pick. Only the Pacers could look at a goofy white guy who averaged 6.6 points his senior season and decide he’s first round material.
That leaves Psycho-T, aptly named because, like I said, he for sure has a log in his shorts during every game. Despite being a stud at North Carolina, it was obvious his skills (slow, can’t dribble, jump or shoot) wouldn’t translate well to the NBA. Yet the Pacers took one glance at this bow-legged spaz attack and decided to make him the 13th pick in the draft. He’s averaged 4.3 rebounds and 5.5 points on 41 percent shooting in the playoffs.
So there you have it. Two first round picks and a former Big East Player of the Year have contributed what amounts to a poor 5-minute stretch of game time for Nate Robinson.
In short: I don’t think many franchises will be adapting the Indiana Pacers drafting philosophy any time soon.
1. Rip Hamilton – Chicago Bulls, SG
I have so many RIP jokes going through my head right now that I can’t from a coherent opening line, so let’s just delve right into this:
Why, on MJ’s shiny, bald head, is Rip Hamilton not playing right now? I get that he came out of his coffin for a bit in Game 4, but where has he been the past month?
This is a question that needs to be answered by someone, because it haunts my dreams. He’s not hurt. He’s not sick. I’m assuming he hasn’t absconded on the Millennium Falcon and left a holographic decoy to take his place on the bench.
So why hasn’t he been freaking playing? Has his plastic mask not come back from the cleaners or something?
Rip’s making five million dollars to start for the Bulls. Yeah, he’s been one constant string of injuries since he got here, but when he’s been healthy, he’s started. They’ve already been playing without Rose all year, and if you’ve watched this team the last few years you know he makes up 90 percent of their offense. Now Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich are out and Chicago’s health bar is blinking. Heck, they could use the Hansbroughs right now.
I don’t get it. Maybe he slept with Thibs’ girlfriend. Maybe he punched his dog. Thibs said Hamilton needs to find his “rhythm”. Seriously? This guy has played in 128 playoffs games, I think he can figure it out. When you’re forced to play a second year guard for literally three straight games, one of which was spent getting run over by LeBron the Choo Choo Train, you think Thibs would forgive Rip for being a little rusty.
With everything going on with the Bulls, Rip has to have either wronged Thibs on a personal level or he died three weeks ago and there’s some Weekend at Bernies type shit going on here.
If so, RIP Rip. Ah, there it is.
Erik is interning with us this summer and is the newest addition to the Bacon Sports team. He loves MMA, has actually received a scar in a bar fight, and once partied with the Milwaukee Bucks. You can follow him on Twitter @erikschmidtmu.
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