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Guest Blogging: All Crazy Team

May 7, 2011

Geoff, a friend of the Yin Seeesters who’s a Lakers fan and because it was too painful to watch last night, felt inspired by the absence of Ron Artest and wrote a guest blog for us about particular ‘crazy’ players in the league:

"I ain't crazy. I'm STARBURY." (Photo Credit: danteross.com)

Riding the Crazy Train

Watching Chris Paul and Z-Bo tear up the playoffs got me thinking about how there are players who are terrifying for different reasons. Some (Paul, LeBron, D-Rose in a shout-out to my hosts) scare you with their talent, their will, their ability to dominate a game on cue. Others scare you for the opposite reason: their ability to mess up at precisely the wrong moments (see Andray Blatche, Andruw Bynum, or Keith Bogans, again a shout-out to my hosts). And others just plain scare you. But the scariest players are the ones you can’t figure out. Maybe they’ll throw up a 35-18 line. Maybe they’ll get you in a headlock. Maybe they’ll show up wearing only one shoe. Basically, these players are the epitome of insanity. Which got me (and Jocelyn) to thinking: who are the craziest players in the league? And what defines crazy?

So in between meetings (well let’s be honest, during meetings) at work this week, I came up with a rubric to define crazy:

  1. Player can’t be a star, but must have talent (unharnessed star potential a plus). This rules out stiffs, hotheads and foul machines (I’m looking at you Zaza).
  2. Player cannot merely be an asshole or cheap player (e.g. KG, Joakim Noah)
  3. Off the court reputation cannot compensate if on the court craziness is lacking (thus, no White Chocolate)

Based on those criteria, I present the 2010-2011 All-Crazy Team:

First team

G- Gilbert Arenas (Where to start with Agent Zero? The nicknames? The hyperbaric sleeping chamber? The game-winners? The guns?)

G- J.R. Smith (Can catch fire. Or throw down a sick dunk. Or take off your head. How George Karl has stayed sane coaching this guy is beyond me.)

F- Ron Artest (Has any player swung more extremely? On any given day, Ron-Ron can be found somewhere between “The Brawl” and his championship-clinching three-pointer. Let’s go with the most recent.)

F- Zach Randolph (The last remaining vestige of the “Jail Blazers,” currently shredding up the Western Conference, after previously trying to make his way through by force.)

C- Chris Kaman (I know Derek Fisher is a tough guy, but I wouldn’t mess with a guy who produced this.)

Second team

G- Nate Robinson (Has any player ever been better known for missing dunks than actually playing?)

G- Stephen Jackson (Won a championship with the Spurs. Provided key backup during “The Brawl.” Helped the Warriors upset the Mavs in 2007. Now hiding in obscurity, I mean Charlotte.)

F- Matt Barnes (Good as an enforcer, bad as a Kobe-baiter.)

F- Kenyon Martin (I mean, you could really have the entire Nuggets team here.)

C- Chris Andersen (“The Birdman” can really fly. Especially when he’s doing some sort of illegal drug.)

But I couldn’t stop there. I’ve been watching basketball ever since Magic Johnson was spinning nightly triple-doubles at the Fabulous Forum (yes I am a Laker fan). Crazy isn’t a new fad in the NBA. Just think of Kermit Washington clocking Rudy Tomjonavich, or Jeff Van Gundy hanging on the leg of Alonzo Mourning. Thus, I had to do a little more digging through my memory, so that I could present my All-Time (i.e. 1990-2010) Crazy team:

Cue “NBA on NBC” theme

First team

G- Latrell Spreewell (Between choking his coach and eeking out a living, managed to drag the Knicks to the Finals.)

G- Vernon Maxwell (The original crowd brawler.)

F- Dennis Rodman (Does The Worm really need an explanation?)

F- Charles Oakley (He plays clean, he swears. Others beg to differ.)

C- Rasheed Wallace (Supposedly the smartest player in the league. Well, except for all those T’s. Bill Simmons sums it up pretty well.)

Second team

G- J.R. Rider (This play pretty much sums it up.)

G- Jerry Stackhouse (Fought on the court. Fought off the court. Went after coaches, even went after Shaq. It didn’t matter.)

F- Ricky Davis (Once shot at his own basket to get the final rebound needed to complete a triple-double.)

F- Antoine Walker (Ah, the Shimmy)

C- Benoit Benjamin (This is based on personal experience. Back in the 90’s, I once sat behind the visiting bench when the former Clipper “legend” was in town with the then-Vancouver Grizzlies. We spent the entire game heckling him to death about his weight, ability, playing for a losing team [ironic coming from Clipper fans], etc. At one point he stood up, pointed to some people, and made this infamous claim: “You pay to watch me play!” As he stood there jawing with us, I remember thinking, he is either going to charge into the stands, or go show us all up by playing his ass off. He did neither; ended up fouling out with a whopping 7 points, before being shipped off to Milwaukee a few weeks later. From that point on I always watched to see when Benoit would finally snap. Never happened…)

Special Mention

Stephon Marbury. There is only one “Starbury”.

Stay sane out there.

-Geoff

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