Kevin Willis, The Greatest Lousy NBA Player

A few years ago, Jon Bois of SBNation did an episode of Chart Party where he talked about Jeff Francoeur, describing him as “my favorite worst baseball player.” The idea was that “Frenchy” had one of the most explosive first months of a career in the history of Major League Baseball, then dropped off a cliff. Go watch it. It’s good. The weird part is despite that, he lasted 12 years in the league, played in over 1400 major league games for his career, and all this despite frequently ending up with negative Wins Above Replacement (for those who don’t …

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The Charlotte Hornets’ No Good November

It is often said of a franchise that after the draft, trading season, and free agency, they have high hopes for the upcoming season. Well, bust out the dankest weed you got, Charlotte Hornets fans, because if you think this team’s got any hope, you must be high. It’s bad enough that the Hornets drafted LaMelo Ball (whom I covered in an earlier draft preview when the rumor mill said he was going to go first overall to the Timberwolves and I pointed out that no good would come of Minnesota drafting him.) Turns out Ball has a chance to …

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2013 NBA Draft: Drafting the Decent

Wrapping up Draft Week, let’s take a look back at 2013, the greatest collection of good-not-great mediocrity ever to go in the first round. Sure, the first round produced three All-Stars—Giannis Antetokounmpo, Rudy Gobert, and Victor Oladipo—but this was otherwise in hindsight a draft that was so beautifully “blah”, so dreary in its mediocrity, and oh by the way included one of the worst first-overall-pick busts in NBA history (Anthony Bennett) that it goes down in history as a special sort of screwed up. There are no second-round salvations to be had in this draft the way there were in …

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2002: The Last NBA Draft Before The Fever Broke

An old saying holds that the darkest hour is just before the dawn. For the NBA, this was certainly true of the 2002 draft. A year before LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, and a slew of journeymen and role players arrived to haul the NBA out of the Dark Ages, the league barfed out one last wretched draft class to ensure that the league wouldn’t emerge from the doldrums until that next draft class came of age. Yao Ming went first overall to the Houston Rockets, and while in theory that’s a great way to start a …

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2000: Possibly the Worst NBA Draft Ever

As the 2020 NBA Draft wraps up and people who actually follow the college game because they mistakenly believe it provides insight into an NBA player’s potential go nuts over their team’s selections, it’s time to take a moment and look back into the past when great players stepped up to the podium as the beginning of their Hall of Fame journey to greatness… …nah, forget all that. It’s time to go ahead and dig a prime example out of the vault of why the college game is stupid, the NBA Draft is stupid, and you can’t tell a single …

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Remembering the 1986 NBA Draft: Coke Is It!

What do you get when you cross Rasheed Wallace with Eric Clapton? You get the 1986 NBA draft. Because ball don’t lie, ball don’t lie, ball don’t lie…cocaine. The ’86 draft represents a low point in what was otherwise a seemingly uninterrupted 19-year run of awesome for the league, from the 1979 draft (where Magic Johnson went first overall and, after Larry Bird finished his senior season at Indiana State, he finally took up the mantle of having been the sixth overall pick a year earlier and joined the Celtics as a rookie) through “The Last Shot” at the end …

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Anatomy of a Fleecing: How NBA Teams Make Bad Trades

As this goes to press, Twitter is exploding with news that the Milwaukee Bucks traded Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, and (get ready, folks) three first-round picks and two future pick swaps to the New Orleans Pelicans for Jrue Holiday. The Bucks are in blatant win-now mode trying to put a Big Three together (and saying in no uncertain terms that Bledsoe is not a Big Three third guy) alongside two-time reigning MVP and 2020 Defensive Player of the Year Giannis Antetokounmpo and two-time All-Star Khris Middleton. But in the process, they’ve pretty much told their fans “if Giannis leaves in …

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The Incredible Longevity of John Havlicek

John Havlicek played for 16 NBA seasons, entering the league in 1962-63 in time to win six championships with Bill Russell, then adding two more titles in 1974 and 1976 as the sidekick to Dave Cowens for which he’s remembered by Celtics fans younger than about 60. He made his first All-Star team in his fourth pro season in 1966, then never missed another until he retired. What’s more, “Hondo” wasn’t coasting on reputation in the mid-to-late ’70s; he averaged 16.1 points per game and still managed 5.1 Win Shares in 1977-78, a year after he was still effective enough …

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The Greatest Draft Day Trade In NBA History

On April 30, 1956, an NBA draft day trade went down that would change the course of basketball history in a way that has rarely been matched since. Sure, there was the Greatest Fleecing in NBA History—when the Boston Celtics snookered the Golden State Warriors out of Robert Parish and Kevin McHale for Joe Barry Carroll in 1980, still the most one-sided draft day trade if not the most one-sided trade, full stop, in NBA history—but a great trade should benefit both teams in either the short or the long term to truly be considered a masterwork of a player …

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What’s the Worst Way to Lose an NBA Game?

The Stockton Kings, G-League affiliate of Sacramento’s NBA team, posed an interesting question on Twitter on Tuesday. This is tough. A or B? 👀 pic.twitter.com/PvJcfB0dEA — Stockton Kings (@StocktonKings) November 11, 2020 Would you rather get crossed over on the game winning play and lose, or miss the game winning free throws? In the red corner, you have guys like Bryon Russell and Craig Ehlo, who will forever be known for getting shook by Michael Jordan on two of His Airness’ most famous plays from a whole career of famous plays. In the blue corner, you have Nick Anderson, a …

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