The Top Human Victory Cigars in the NBA
Once upon a time, Darko Milicic was an embarrassingly bad player in the NBA, so bad that he would only get off the bench at the end of an extremely lopsided game. This, of course, earned him the nickname "The Human Victory Cigar."
Ever since his departure from Detroit, Darko has gotten steadily better to the point where he's earned a starting role with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He certainly hasn't lived up to his draft hype, but he's not an absolute bust a la Kwame Brown at this point.
Because of that, we now need a new "Human Victory Cigar" prowling the sidelines.
There are many types of good human victory cigars, and there are plenty of them in the NBA these days.
First, the top of the food chain of human victory cigars are either draft busts or funny-looking veterans who were never great, but were good enough to stay in the NBA. They usually become fan favorites just for stepping on the floor.
Then there are those veterans who were good at one point, but at this point there is little left in the tank and the only reason they're still on a team is because a team needs some veteran presence or an emergency big man in case of an injury.
The bottom-tier human victory cigars are those guys who were never very good in the league, but were never so bad that they were out of the league within their first few years or the guys who are borderline D-Leaguers who could be off the team at any minute.
Players will get bonus human victory cigar points if they are goofy looking, have ridiculous hair, are from another country or have funny names.
15. John Brockman
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For two years, the Sacramento Kings and Milwaukee Bucks used John Brockman from time-to-time to see what he could do, but he never really got the minutes he would need to develop into a good player.
Now that he's deeper on the Milwaukee Bucks bench, Brockman is the last dude off the bench.
This season with Milwaukee, Brockman has played in just five games, three of which were decided by double-digits. He's played a total of 24 minutes so far, scoring just five points.
14. Andres Nocioni
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At this point in time, Andres Nocioni has become nearly useless to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Nocioni's extreme lack of defense is far too big an issue to make up for his decreasing ability to hit a three-pointer, plus they have plenty of depth at the forward spot that he would play.
Because of that, Nocioni has played in just two games this season, which were decided by an average of 29 points, putting up a whopping two points so far this season.
13. Kosta Koufos
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For the past few games with Nene out with a foot injury, Kosta Koufos has actually been starting for the Nuggets, so this distinction for him could actually be waning.
Before Nene went down, Koufos went into just two games, one of which was decided by 22 points, the other by 17.
He may start for a few games and then get some more reserve minutes for a while, but I'm pretty confident that he'll be back to his role as a human victory cigar sooner or later.
12. Larry Hughes
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When I found out that Larry Hughes was still in the league, I think my jaw nearly hit the ground and cracked the ground below it.
Larry Hughes was signed by the Magic a few weeks before the season started, and inexplicably, he made the team.
However, it seems that Hughes is strictly a backup's backup's backup, as he's gotten into just three games so far this season, totaling just 26 minutes.
The closest game he's been a part of was a 16-point victory over the New Jersey Nets.
11. Cole Aldrich
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What do you know? A big white guy on the Oklahoma City Thunder who gets into the game when the stands are starting to empty. And here I thought they were going to miss BJ Mullens.
He has played in just one game so far this season where the score was less than three points apart, playing in five games total, putting up a whopping eight points.
10. Hamed Haddadi
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I think it's pretty obvious why Hamed Haddadi is a good option as a human victory cigar. He meets pretty much every qualification that Darko, did save the immense amount of hype.
The giant Iranian has a clumsy game with an inability to play well on either end of the floor, so when he scores a point or two, it's a victory for everyone on the floor.
The only thing that I'm going to knock him for thus far is that he hasn't played in a game yet, as he just signed with the Grizzlies on Jan. 1.
9. Nikola Pekovic
First, before I get into Nikola Pekovic's human victory cigar-ness, there are two things I need to say.
One, this may be the best basketball-related picture I've seen in years, and two, I find it impossible to say Nikola Pekovic's name without doing it in an extremely Russian accent.
The Timberwolves haven't played in very many blowouts so far this season, but Pekovic has been able to get into two games at this point. He's totaled four minutes, grabbing two rebounds and scoring zero times so far.
8. DeMarre Carroll
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Everybody loves a dude with dreads, and now that DeMarre Carroll is chilling on the bench next to Kenneth Faried, there's a lot more to love on the Nuggets' bench.
With Carroll coming off the bench, Denver has thrown him into three games so far, giving him 14 entire minutes of work, putting up an impressive eight points in that time.
7. Juwan Howard
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I have a theory when it comes to how Juwan Howard is still in the NBA. It's not the veteran presence that he brings, and it's not his stable mind, it's because he has looked the same ever since he graduated from Michigan.
I picture Howard showing up at a random team's training camp, starts shooting around and ends up getting a contract because some coach thinks he's just 28.
Then the season starts and he starts huffing and puffing after just a few minutes and someone gets fired for not realizing that he's actually 38.
This season, Howard is up to six games played so far this season, totaling 31 minutes.
6. Luke Harangody
At this point with the Cleveland Cavaliers, my day is complete when I see Luke Harangody step onto the floor.
He's basically turning into Brian Scalabrine lite up in Cleveland, as he's a bulky white guy who happens to be a shooter and is just downright goofy looking, as he seems to have the least space between his eyes in NBA history.
He's up to three games played so far, all three times coming in the waning minutes of the game with the outcome more than determined.
5. Hasheem Thabeet
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Hasheem Thabeet is basically the closest thing we have to Darko Milicic since Darko Milicic was in Detroit.
In fact, the only differences between the two are the countries they're from and that I could have told you before the draft that Thabeet would be a bust. This video of DeJuan Blair tearing him apart basically speaks for itself.
Thabeet, now on the Rockets, has played in two blowouts so far and no regular games, totaling 11 minutes and all of six points.
4. Jeremy Lin
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I have no clue what it is, but people just seem to love Asian players so long as they aren't complete draft busts like Yi Jianlian.
Jeremy Lin is loved pretty much everywhere he goes because of this, the fact that he's a Harvard graduate and that he absolutely tears up the D League (18 points, six rebounds and four assists a game).
However, in the NBA, he's no more than an emergency for an injured guy, meaning he's mostly used as a human victory cigar. He's played in four games this season, grabbing 11 minutes and six points in those games.
3. Brian Cardinal
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When you take a pasty-white hard worker, combine that with a pretty loyal following from his college days and an entertaining, interactive twitter account, and you've got one hell of a human victory cigar.
The world is starting to turn upside down on me at this point, because Cardinal has played more than 10 minutes three times already this season, but with an aging team, you should see him on the court a bit more often.
However, he will always be a human victory cigar to me.
2. Luke Walton
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I hear a lot of guff around the Internet that Luke Walton is only in the league because of who his daddy is, but realistically, he's basically an assistant coach on the floor for the Lakers.
Besides the fact that they owe him ungodly amounts of money (for what he does), Walton is basically a coaching intern for the Lakers, even working as a coach for the University of Memphis during the lockout.
So far this year, Luke has gotten into three games, playing 11 minutes and putting up two points in that time.
1. Brian Scalabrine
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If you expected anyone else at this spot, then you spend far too little time on the Internet and even less time watching blowouts in the NBA (it's your decision whether that's a good or bad thing).
In all honesty, there isn't a player in my lifetime who gets more of a round of applause for just stepping on the court, or that will blow the roof off the place every time he touches the ball and sinks a jumper.
Brian Scalabrine is the epitome of human victory cigariness, and he's what everyone behind him on this list should be striving for.
Scalabrine has been called the most useless player in the NBA, but he's a great player in practice, an entertaining guy in the clubhouse, a hard-= worker and just a good guy in general, which, believe it or not, is an important role on a good basketball team.
There's a reason that the Celtics and Bulls went after him to complete their teams; he puts the sprinkles on top of the ice cream that comes along with the icing on the cake.
If you are one of those twitterers, you can follow me @JDorsey33.