Josh McRoberts last night got T'd up for a throwing an arm bar at LeBron James. McRoberts hasn't been around for very long but he's rapidly building up a reputation as one of the NBA's dirtiest players.
I want to zero in on what I mean by "dirty" here. I mean delivering cheap shots or actually intending to hurt other players. There are other types of players that are sort of "cheaters" but aren't really dirty.
I'm distinguishing form the mere flop artists or exaggerators here. I'm talking about players who actually could intentionally or unintentionally hurt someone through reckless disregard for other players safety by their actions. I'm talking about the dirtiest players.
Kobe Bryant's "follow through" on his shots have been a historic problem for opponents.
He also has a tendency to throw his head back when he's posting players up—a tendency to somewhat violently expand his work space which rarely gets called.
He generates huge amounts of contact for a player who doesn't draw nearly as many fouls as he should. He is considered by his peers as one of the game's dirtiest players.
Chris Paul is not considered by a lot of people to be a dirty player because he's a sneaky dirty player. He gets away with a lot of little things (see: video).
The problem is Paul is not a big dude and sooner or later he's going to get leveled for one of these dirty little incidents.
Josh McRoberts' elbow to the throat of LeBron James was not the first elbow he's thrown. He has a history of doing that.
This shot at Derrick Rose seems to have missed, but that doesn't mean he's not dirty. It just means he's dirty player with bad aim.
Kendrick Perkins' wrestling move here was downright malicious. He could have really hurt Jason Maxiell here.
There's a difference between fouling hard and throwing someone's head into the hardwood.
Perkins needs to learn the difference to make sure no one ever gets their skull cracked on his watch.
Josh McRoberts' former teammate, Jeff Foster, was named by SI Kids as the NBA's dirtiest player.
When SI is telling kids "this is what it means to be a dirty player. Don't be like this," it means you're a dirty player.
Plays like this one underscore that. His foul on Luol Deng here can only be described as a flying elbow drop. It's more pro wrestling than pro basketball and has no business in the game.
When you're known as one of the dirtiest and most violent players in the game and you change your name to World Peace, it's hard to believe that it's meant to be taken any way but ironically.
Fewer fouls like this one, where he looks like he's trying to unscrew Dwyane Wade's face off, don't exactly live up to the name.
Zaza Pachulia goes for the triple head butt in this video. It's about the only way he knows to use his head in a game. Why would you even start something like that during a postseason game?
There's only one: You're a downright dirty player. This wasn't the first incident from Pachulia and it won't be the last. He was sixth on the players' list.
Rajon Rondo is a nasty little gremlin. He's constantly getting away with little underneath sucker punches and digs.
He gets a lot of credit for defense that consists of snapping his head back and flopping to the floor when he gets beat.
Then there's plays like this which are completely and inexplicably uncalled for. How is throwing Kirk Hinrich into the scorers' table not a foul?
He's a dirty, nasty little piece of work. One day he's going to get clocked and there will be cheering in every NBA city outside of Boston.
This hurts me because there was a time when Kevin Garrett was my absolute favorite player in the league. He used to be a guy that had huge heart. Now that heart has turned black.
He's made up for his loss of ability and talent with age and a corresponding increase in nastiness and dirtiness.
The most disturbing thing about this video is not that he just punched Channing Frye in the groin as though it were perfectly acceptable defense.
It's not that he risked great injury to Frye by placing his foot directly under where Frye is coming down.
It's that he did those things and then had the audacity to act like he was the one who was wronged!
Evans isn't just dirty—he's filthy. Let's just say that if he's a fan of ballet, I know what his favorite production is.