At least there’s something from 2016 that was slightly positive.
By Kevin Cordon, UC Irvine
Okay, so it’s time for all the end of the year lists that talk about all the best things of the year, but let’s be honest, things this year haven’t been all that great.
Sure, the music has been good and there have been some great highlights, but I think it’s time to move on to 2017. But, with that being said, I believe there should be an end of the year list to put a smile on your face. What better way to do that then to watch professional athletes screw up on live TV?
In basketball, this inexplicably happens a lot, and Shaquille O’Neal dedicates an entire segment of his show to highlighting those screw-ups every week. However, in the spirit of this time of year, I decided to pick out the best ones and compile them into my very own end of the year basketball blooper list.
1. James Harden’s Defense
All basketball fans know that James Harden is a great player. His offensive firepower is pretty much unlimited at this point, and it’s no secret that he carries his Houston Rockets team on his shoulders. However, one thing he doesn’t do for his team is play defense, like at all.
I think he missed that practice as a kid and was just never taught how to follow a man and play basic defense. If somebody is able to put together an 8-minute video of your defensive lapses, maybe it’s time to spend a little more time working on it?
2. Dwyane Wade Flopping
Okay, Dwyane Wade is probably going to be in the Hall of Fame someday, and he’s been an excellent player his entire career. He’s getting older though, and these last few seasons are showing he might be feeling the effects of aging. He just can’t seem to stop flopping and trying to draw fouls.
Maybe it’s because his knees hurt, or his back, or maybe he’s just tired of chasing young whippersnappers like John Wall around the court all night. No matter what it is, he should definitely ask his actress wife Gabrielle Union for some acting tips because flops like this just aren’t going to cut it.
3. Paul George Hits Fan in the Face
With accuracy like this, it’s incredible Paul George didn’t end up being a professional soccer player. He’s tall, strong and great with his feet. He’d make a great soccer player if he wanted to be one.
My question to him would be, What were you expecting to happen? You’re kicking a ball into a crowd that’s not far away from you with a ball that’s made to bounce, and indeed it did, off the poor young lady’s face. Apparently he brought her flowers later, but if I were her, I’d be looking for some free courtside tickets.
4. J.R. Smith Forgets He’s Playing
Whether it’s not wearing a shirt for multiple days after winning the championship or taking the wildest shots anybody has ever seen, basketball fans know J.R. Smith is one hell-of-a-character. He’s always been a very special player, and in the case of this play, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it.
While the ball was in play, he walked over to shake the hand of friend, Jason Terry, on the opposing team, completely leaving his man wide open for an easy dunk. It’s like he completely forgot he was in the game and decided why not go say what’s up to his good buddy on the sideline. We all have brain fart moments, but only J.R Smith could pull off one like that.
5. Sam Dekker Humiliates Himself
In one of my favorite moments of this young NBA season, Sam Dekker decided to trip and fall at the worst possible time. On a breakaway, with just the rim ahead of him, Dekker lost control of the ball, then lost control of his feet and proceeded to stumble and skid to the ground.
He ended up losing the ball out of bounds and humiliated himself in front of the ruthless New York Knicks fans. The worst part? The ball bounced out of bounds off his face. That is one play I don’t think the young guy will ever live down.
6. Spencer Hawes Misses Wide Open Dunk
I’m not tall. If you are over 6’8’’ I have no pity for you missing a dunk, especially a wide open one. If you are a professional basketball player in the 7-foot range, you should not be missing wide open dunks.
However, Spencer Hawes proved even the tall guys miss open dunks sometimes during a game against the Cavaliers, a team you can’t afford to screw up against. Watching the clip back, I just don’t understand what happened in that moment right before he missed.
Was he scared of Mike Dunleavy and Kevin Love behind him? Did he see a hot girl in the crowd? Whatever it was, Spencer Hawes has no excuse to not make that dunk. Congratulations, you played yourself.
7. Javale McGee: The NBA Blooper MVP
Poor Javale McGee. He’s been the victim of Shaq’s jokes for years, but he just does ridiculous stuff that you can’t help but laugh at. Over the course of his career, he’s missed a plethora of open dunks, he’s slipped all over the floor and has committed some of the weirdest plays in NBA history.
For a guy who was the runner-up in the 2011 dunk contest, he misses plenty of them as a 7-footer and has trouble finishing layups as well. Javale McGee is not a bad player by any means. He’s actually really coming to life this season with the Warriors, proving that he can still compete in this league with some of the best. Sometimes, he’s just unlucky or loses track of what team he plays for, like he did the other night trying to inbound the ball for the other team.