You ever have someone approach you, and start chopping it up with you like they’ve known you for years, yet you have no clue who the hell they are? Leaving you to either a) play it off, or b) attempt to play it off, fail, and then awkwardly try to respond when they come at you with “you don’t remember me, huh?”
… That’s how I feel watching the NBA.
Between the influx of international players, and one and dones, every year there’s hoards of new talent, and I’ve reached the age where instead of them being my peers, they immediately get the “He’s not Mike, Kobe, Shaq, LeBron, Nash, A.I., or K.G….” treatment, and I move along *Kanye Shrug*
Man, as a matter of fact, most of these new dudes aren’t even touching Baron Davis, Arenas, Sheed, or White Chocolate and aren’t coming anywhere near J-Kidd, Webber, Mullin, or Hardaway! I could go on for days, Payton, Stockton, Malone, Olajuwon… Ok, I’ll chill. I’ve still got a cool 30 years before I’m the old, senile guy talking about “back in my day…” so I digress. Back to the point.
Point is, a lot of these new dudes are just new dudes, and the league feels more watered down than a free mixed drink at the casino. However, as a hoop head, I watch, and I’d like to think I know my shit. Yet, I constantly find myself asking “Who’s that guy?!” and by constantly, I mean every single time I watch a game. So, I started taking notes, and came up with…
The NBA’s Top-10 “Who’s that guy?!” having guys teams of the ’16-’17 season
10. Houston Rockets
The Rockets have a few cats that leave me completely clueless – Kyle Wiltjer, Bobby Brown (not Mr. Telephone Man), and Chinanu Onuaku? Who?! And while K.J. McDaniels is nice, absolutely no idea where he came from.
9. Oklahoma City Thunder
On one hand, Russ West leading the Thunder in damn near every statistical category is impressive. On the other, the rest of these jokers on his squad are so wack that the only real impressive part is how he’s somehow managing to make them relevant.
8. Los Angeles Lakers
If Tarik Black walked into your living room, would you know anything about him other than he’s an abnormally large black man? How about Marcelo Huertas? Ivica Zubac, anyone? And sure, the average fan knows who Jordan Clarkson is, but where’d he go to school: A. Illinois, B. UCF, C. Missouri?
7. Brooklyn Nets
Surprisingly, on paper, the Nets have quite a few recognizable names. Then, I watched them play, and realized I had no clue who half of their guys were. Funny how that works.
6. San Antonio Spurs
Don’t be surprised if Nicolas Laprovittola is a widely known name in a couple of years, and some cat named Davis Bertans dropped 21 points, and went 4 of 5 from 3 the other night. I feel like I’ve run this into the ground, but the Spurs are the NBA Patriots. Just give Pop/Belichick smart players with any type of athleticism, then just sit back and watch them flourish.
5. New York Knicks
Remember when Derrick Rose said the Knicks were a super team?! Guess he hadn’t met all of his teammates yet. Good luck figuring out who the hell these dudes are. Better luck pronouncing their names.
4. New Orleans Pelicans
The Reggie Williams I know played with Kerry Kittles, Ed O’Bannon, Vincent Askew, and Chris Gatling – Pretty sure this is a different dude. And while I’m confident I could pick Langston Galloway out of a lineup, that’s about the extent of my knowledge… Oh, and Cheick Diallo sounds like a villain from one of the Rocky movies. This roster is loaded!
3. Dallas Mavericks
Nicolas Brussino, Salah Mejri, Dorian Finney-Smith, Jonathan Gibson, Justin Anderson, Dwight Powell… Nah, this isn’t a NBA D-League roster, but it might as well be. Put all of the Mavs player’s names in a bowl (no pictures, no numbers), mute the TV, draw a name, and try to guess which one he is. Hours of fun.
2. Philadelphia 76ers
Robert Convington balls, but who is he? Dario Saric, and Richaun Holmes sound like the government names of 2 EDM DJs from New Jersey better known as DJ Sharkbite, and DJ Rich Boogie. T.J. McConnell looks like the guy at the gym who only gets picked up because you have 7 and are trying to run 4s. Then you have to wait 20 minutes because he has to stretch, and runs sprints before playing. Trust the process.
1. Memphis Grizzlies
Shoutout to David Fizdale, Mike Conley, and Marc Gasol because this roster is LOADED with “Who the hell is that?!” guys, yet they’re 24-16 and the 5th seed in the West… How, Sway? Deyonta Davis, Jarell Martin, Wade Baldwin IV, JaMychal Green, James Ennis, Troy Daniels, and for bonus points, Toney Douglas is still in the league?! Wow…
Feel free to let me know who I missed, and as always, be sure to check me out on Instagram/Facebook: maximizeyourodds, and Twitter: maxingyourodds or shoot me an email: email@example.com and be sure to subscribe to stay up to date with all of my fantasy advice, and/or betting picks.