With just over three minutes to play against the Lakers on April 3rd and the Nuggets up 89-83, the two teams were coming back onto the court after an L.A. timeout. I said aloud at the time, "Watch out for a Derek Fisher three-pointer from the corner here." Sure enough: Fisher found his way to the corner, the ball found him, he was wide-open - but he did something he rarely does versus Denver in that type of situation ... he missed! Nonetheless, that play reminded me that Fisher really gets under my skin.
The rage that boiled in my bloodstream after watching Fisher shove Ty Lawson, have no whistle blown and see Fish bury a three along with his corner-three really got me thinking about all the players across the league that I just can't stand. Sure, we could go the easy route and toss guys like Kobe Bryant on a list and Chris Paul for his general pouting as well as Tim Duncan's bulging eyeballs. But those guys seem to get on the last nerve of a lot of fans. I want this list to include some of the under the radar type of guys that when the Nuggets play I sort of fear because they tend to have good games against Denver and we know they shouldn't be having them. The one trick pony type of players that just frustrate you because you can't figure out how their one move or one shot works time and again. So, without further ado - let's get to my Top 10 list of the NBA's Most Irritating Players.
Deron Williams vs. Denver this season he averages 21.5 points and 9 assists. He doesn't make the list because he's no longer in Utah and the Nuggets don't have to see him four times a year anymore! If this guy sings with the Lakers, my head may explode.
Andre Miller vs. Denver 13.5 points, 7.5 assists and 5.5 rebounds. I never realized how much of a whiner 'Dre is and he really pours it on against the Nuggets. Miller keeps the Blazers in a lot of games and saves some of his best all-around work for Denver.
DeAndre Jordan vs. Denver 7.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks. Jordan got under my skin this season with his block party in L.A. against Denver. He feeds off what his athletic freak teammate and friend Blake Griffin does and wants to shine just as bright. He's not worse than JaVale McGee, but Jordan is in the Western Conference and needs to work harder on his game and less on his bragging abilities.
- Manu Ginobili vs. Denver 19 points and 4.8 assists. Too big of a star to make my official list, but his constant nose wiping (booger ball) and left-handed drives are oh so irritating. Do guys not remember he's left handed? How does he slip that lefty layup past Kenyon Martin, Chris Andersen and Nene so easily?!?
Kendrick Perkins vs. Denver (with OKC) 4 points, 14 rebounds and 1 technical. The guy plays with unbelievable swagger and carries himself like a mixed martial artist fighter. You can put the air-lats down Mr. Perkins - nobody is scared of you. As we saw in last night's game, Perk protects his team's defensive glass and he's learned well from Kevin Garnett how to aggitate. only issue - Nene plays better angry.
The List Top 10 NBA's Most Irritating Players:
The following stats are the players splits against the Denver Nuggets this season.
10.) Shannon Brown, Los Angeles Lakers, vs. Denver: 9 points and 1.7 rebounds. There was a time when I wanted the Nuggets to ink Brown and turn him into the speedster the team needed off the bench to go along with Chauncey Billups. Thank goodness the Nuggets drafted Ty Lawson. Brown typically comes up with a big three-point shot or breakaway dunk to ignite the obnoxious L.A. crowds and I have turned my back on the kid I liked coming out of Michigan State.
9.) Gary Neal, San Antonio Spurs, vs. Denver: 16.8 points, 4 rebounds and 60% 3-pt shooting. There was a time when I thought Gary Forbes was the steal of the off-season trash-heap, but the Spurs have done it again with Neal. This kid shoots lights out and just killed the Nuggets this season. He should be a mainstay of the Spur team and that just chaps my hide. Does this clown ever miss a shot? Not against the Nuggets! Also, could the 26 year-old rookie look less like a basketball player? He's the dude who comes into the gym and nobody is scared - then he starts sinking buckets.
8.) Jose Juan Barea, Dallas Mavericks, vs. Denver: 9.3 points and 47% shooting. It's Earl Boykins' Puerto Rican twin! The (generously listed) 6'0'' backup point guard somehow slips layups in over Chris Andersen at an incredible rate. Sometimes I wish Birdman would send Barea into the cameramen never to return, but seriously - how does this little guy weave through the redwoods? I bet I could take this guy one-on-one to 11 (no I don't).
7.) Kevin Martin, Houston Rockets, vs. Denver: 19.8 points and 4.3 assists. You put your left flop in. You put your right flop in. You put your whole body flop in and you shake it all about. You do the Kevin Martin and that's what his And-1 plays are all aboooouuutttt! I don't like his high-and-tight haircut. I don't like his 103 pound frame. I don't appreciate his herky-jerky shot. I do not like this version of fake K-Mart. What I do like is Scott Hastings calling him out every time the Nuggets play his teams for being a flopping idiot.
6.) Jason Terry, Dallas Mavericks, vs. Denver: 23.7 points and 70.6% 3-pt shooting. Hey look, I made a bit shot - now I'm going to run around like a little kid with my arms out like airplane wings because my full name is Jason Eugene Terry. I don't like his white headband or his tall white socks. He kills the Nuggets from three-point land and somehow there is never anyone guarding him. Why not just tell his defender to never leave his side and he'll be rendered useless. Guy isn't a great defender and is basically a spot up shooter, so don't leave him open! Gaahhh!
5.) Wesley Matthews, Portland Trail Blazers, vs. Denver: 15.3 points and 5.5 rebounds. Nuggets fans got a nice bitter taste of Matthews' game in the playoffs last year when he played for the Utah Jazz. This year he jumped ship to a better team, but he is still in the Nuggets division and looming to hit big shots at any moment. Matthews carries himself with great swagger and he helped create the dumb three-point goggle expression that swept the NCAA tournament.
4.) Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers, vs. Denver: 17.3 points and 15 rebounds. Gasol is know for being as soft as Charmin, but he always kills the Nuggets on the glass. Dude averages 15 boards against the Nuggets. He's always hanging around the rim and when he happens to get a dunk or a weak And-1 play he tries to act like he just pulled off something Blake Griffin would be jealous of. Look, Pau, nobody is impressed by your two-inch miracle hops, your greasy hair, your summer beard (some whiskers are here, some are here), or your overall goofiness. Nothing you do is worthy of a big scream and stare down. Just go shoot your free throws and shut the hell up. We're glad your seven-feet tall with a little coordination, but please don't act like it's anything more than that.
3.) Rudy Fernandez, Portland Trail Blazers, vs. Denver: 10.3 points and 47.6% 3-pt shooting. Another goggle throwing up yahoo who kills the Nuggets from downtown. The best thing that ever happened to Fernandez wasn't a shot he made, but rather when Birdman tattooed the ball off his dome a couple seasons ago (2009). The rivalry that J.R. Smith seems to have with Rudy makes things fun. Both bench players can score a lot of points in a hurry, but it seems like Fernandez saves some of his best work for when his squad faces the Nuggets.
2.) C.J. Miles, Utah Jazz, vs. Denver: 12.3 points and 3.7 rebounds. Miles is another guy that Nuggets fans got enough of last season in the playoffs. For a second-round pick coming out of high school, Miles has been a nice surprise for Utah. Who knows how good he could have been if he would have gone to college to develop his game. Usually a three-point bomber, Miles likes to carve the Nuggets up from anywhere on the floor and is another left-handed player that guys seem to forget is left-handed. Just once, I'd like to see Nenê or Birdman just smash down one of his shots. Why couldn't Utah include Miles in that Williams trade?
1.) Derek Fisher, Los Angeles Lakers, vs. Denver: 5.3 points and 4.3 assists. For reasons like I stated in the opening of this article, Fisher just really irritates me. He tries to act like a classy player, but we all know that the veteran will use any means necessary to try to get the job done. Is Fisher a dirty player? Just ask Rockets forward Luis Scola, remember this play? This longtime Laker has won a lot of championship rings and comes up big time-and-again for L.A., but I for one can't wait until the 36 year-old guard finally hangs up his sneakers and rides off into the sunset. Fisher never met a foul he actually committed and his big time shot making ability just crushes teams.
To the links ...
Video: Mozgov injures knee against Thunder - Royce Young, CBS Sports.com
The awful footage of the Moz going down. This injury really stinks because he was just getting into the rotation with Birdman out and now he probably wont be able to help the Nuggets in the playoffs. But I just hope that Mozgov is alright.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Your Northwest Division Champions - Zargon, Welcome to Loud City
Our SB Nation Thunder blog recaps last night's game and submits a question about the win.
Riley not a shoo-in for Exec of the Year - Brian Windhorst - ESPN.com
Masai Ujiri's name sneaks into the Executive of the Year talk ... heck ya!
NBA CHAT WITH ERIC PINCUS - HOOPSWORLD
Go read a chat you Stiffs! Some playoff questions and 6th Man of the Year questions.
New owner tries to rebuild bridge between Mullin, Warriors - Kurt Helin, NBC Sports
Pretty interesting article. No word yet on if Joe Lacob and Peter Guber will be able to talk Mullin into a different haircut. Chris is hanging on to the Howie Long look tight!
Kings Fans Rally In Downtown Sacramento - David Bienick, KCRA.com
Remember, Sacramento stole the Kings from Kansas City, but it still stinks that a city might be losing a team because the owners can no longer afford to run them in such a small market.
Q&A With Julius Erving - Joe Brescia, The New York Times
Brescia catches up with Dr. J and gets his take on who he thinks will win it all (the Spurs), if any players today remind him of himself and if he actually watches basketball (a lot of former players don't).
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