As a Knicks fan, I’ve been carefully following reports that Knicks GM Donnie Walsh is “in love” with Morehead State’s Kenneth Faried. Should the Knicks draft Faried, he would be the 4th dreadlocked player chosen by NY this decade. This worries me. Lets take a look at the unhappy history of dreadlocked players in the NBA:
Pervis “Never Nervous” Ellison
The 6’9″ Ellison was first overall pick of the 1989 draft. Unfortunately his career was stricken by injury, a common malady of the dreadlocked NBA player. And, really, it makes sense when you consider the player in question is running around with the added weight of his matted, tangled hair swinging from his cranium.
One of my childhood heroes, Oak grew dreads shortly after being traded to Toronto, his production declined and he became notable for regularly calling out his team’s signature star’s toughness in the press. Coincidence?
A solid player at 6’9″ and a notable member of the 1999-2000 Portland team that choked away a 15 point lead in the 4th quarter to the soon to be champion Lakers. Averaging 10 points and 7 rebounds for his career he signed a truly amazing 7 year, $86 million contract with Miami in 2000. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2009, He is my wife’s second favorite player because of his Bob Marley tattoo.
The 7 foot Moore played for 9 teams averaging 5.8 points and 3.9 rebounds for his career. Mikki looked really cool dunking.
Troy made his name like many marginal Western Conference guards of the 2000′s: By busting Derek Fisher in the playoffs. He averaged 23.5 points per game in Minny’s 1st round series vs The Lakers, leading the team in scoring though the TWolves would fall in 6 games. He then signed a 6 year, $37 million extension with the TWolves and proceeded to get injured. Somewhere along the way he managed to record the rap masterpiece “Undrafted” which went wicker its first week after release, racking up worldwide sales of 78.
My personal favorite, Marquis is a solid player, putting up 13.8 points per 36 on 46% from the floor, the problem once again is injury. 5 out of his 8 years in the NBA he hasn’t cracked 60 games played. What separates Marquis from the other players on this list is his jaw-dropping 14 karat, 2.9 pound, piece of meta-jewelry: a diamond-encrusted mini-Marquis head. Lets check back on Marquis in 5 years when he’s challenging Eddy Curry for the fastest post career bankruptcy record.
Drafted by deranged mastermind Isiah Thomas with the 20th pick in 2006, my reaction to this pick while watching on TV was “WTFFFFFF”. The immortal Balkman holds scintillating career averages of 4.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 5.5 blunts per game. Last seen on the Knicks bench during the playoffs, clad in suit I have described on Twitter as “Crip Prom.”
Drafted 7th in 2002 by the Knicks, Nene was immediately traded to the Nuggets for Antonio McDyess, who’s kneecap promptly shattered into a million pieces before playing a single regular season game. Nene is powerful player with a surly streak holding career averages of 12.3 points and 6.9 rebounds. Largely healthy in recent seasons, a ACL injury suffered on opening night in 2005 cost him the entire year and the 2007-2008 season was cut short when a cancerous tumor was discovered in his balls.
The last (hopefully) of the triumvirate of dreadlocked Knicks draft picks, Jordan’s per 36 numbers hint at potential: 13.4 points and 9.9 rebounds. After languishing on the Knicks bench he was traded (along with Jared Jeffries and draft picks) during his rookie year to The Rockets for Tracy McGrady’s crudely reanimated cadaver. In Houston he’s been in and out of Rick Adelman’s finely crafted doghouse due to issues of focus and effort.
I’d rather play video games and red light green light and peek-a-boo
I like to sing happy songs and skip rocks in ponds
But in the world of grown ups
Unsafe sex causes viruses to be passed liked batons
Child molesters caught on tape can avoid convictions
And continue making platinum selling records
- from “Toys R Us Kid” by Etan Thomas
The best player on this list, the exception that proves the rule. During his dreadlock years he was a bona fide 20-10 threat. Sans locks, he is now the most maligned NBA player in recent memory.
So what do we have?
Draft busts, dreadlock enhanced fake hustle, disease ridden junk, vertebrae buckling jewelry, careers shortened by injuries, contract year fool’s gold, focus problems, marijuana use, teammate ripping and a single maligned All-Star with a parody video.
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