Unofficial Stiff List

1. David Stern

Vetoing trades, being generally meddlesome and presiding over the league during an ugly, protracted lockout that, apparently, didn't solve anything: Players still have a ton of leverage to collude and go where they want and owners are still overpaying. Stern's time is up. He needs to go.

2. DeMarcus Cousins

It is real tempting to covet Cousins as a pro basketball player. He's 6'11" and 275 lbs. of muscle and explosiveness and looks like he has a long and productive NBA career ahead of him. Yet teammates and coaches from Kentucky to Sacramento call him coddled and a bully, and the reports of his meltdowns and confrontations do little to dispel those whispers.

3. NBA schedule makers

Just past a week after the start of the regular season and the numbers are coming in: 2012 is looking to be ugly. Who wants to see a team play the third night in a row? Who wants to see bricks heaved up on the tired legs of normally steady shooters? No one. There is no need to have packed 66 games into such a compressed schedule, except to get more home games for the owners so they can make that concession revenue.

4. Tim Tebow / The Denver Broncos

Now, I won't capture in a few sentences the nuanced, media microscope / pressure cooker that Tebow found himself in after that crazy, statistically improbable midseason run. Suffice to say, Tim, and the rest of the Broncos, got into the playoffs in such an ugly manner that Denver sports fans are probably, like me, not excited at all about facing the 12-4 Steelers.

5. The Denver Nuggets from downtown

When you have Danilo Gallinari, Arron Afflalo and Ty Lawson all as notable and solid — if not spectacular — perimeter players and have the best passing big man in Nene to work the in and out game, you are not supposed to be this terrible. Bench player Rudy Fernandez was supposed to be a spark off the bench. Instead he's been dropping bricks. Thank you, Al Harrington, else Denver might be the worst 3-shooting team in the league.

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