The Most Embarrassing Players in LA Lakers' Past 20 Years

Ehran Khan@@ekhansworldContributor IIIAugust 21, 2013

The Most Embarrassing Players in LA Lakers' Past 20 Years

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    The Los Angeles Lakers are a franchise not normally associated with embarrassment.

    With 16 NBA championship banners hanging in the rafters, as well as the jerseys of some of the greatest players to ever play the game, the Lakers are truly the class of the league.

    But even the vaunted Purple and Gold are not immune to employing substandard basketball players from time to time. 

    For every Magic Johnson, there's a Tyronn Lue. For every Kareem Abdul Jabbar there's a Sam Bowie.

    And it gets worse. In fact, Lue and Bowie didn't even make this list of the five most embarrassing Lakers players of the last 20 years.

    Here's who did.

5. Adam Morrison

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    The No. 3 overall pick in the 2006 NBA draft, Adam Morrison can sleep soundly knowing he was only the second biggest draft bust chosen by Michael Jordan (Sadly, we'll get to who's first a bit later).

    Los Angeles traded Vladimir Radmonovic (another disappointing Laker) for Morrison in February of 2009 with Morrison's teammate Shannon Brown thrown in to make the salaries match. Yet it became clear very quickly that, in reality, it was the other way around.

    Brown became a regular contributor for the Lakers, while Morrison mostly stared sullenly on from the sidelines. 

    The former Gonzaga star appeared in a total of 39 games for the Lakers in a season and a half with the club and played the role of Human Victory Cigar. He hasn't been in the league since 2010 and somehow finished his career with negative win shares.

    You can't fault his timing though. Morrison is the proud owner of two championship rings courtesy of the Lakers, which propelled him to internet stardom as the butt of his teammates' jokes on the post-title late night circuit.

4. Dennis Rodman

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    Did you forget that Dennis Rodman once played for the Lakers? You're not alone.

    Google "Dennis Rodman Lakers" and and scroll to the bottom of the page. The first link under related searches is "did Dennis Rodman play for the Lakers". 

    Well, he did, for seven whole weeks in the lockout-shortened 1999 season.

    In that time he managed to routinely be late for practice (even citing an inability to locate his shoes and socks as a reason for the tardiness), refuse to re-enter games in the second half, tie for the league lead in ejections despite playing less than half the season and taking time off for "personal reasons," only to be spotted partying in Las Vegas during that absence.

    Oh, and he found time to get divorced too.

    But he still somehow pulled down 11 rebounds per contest in less than 30 minutes a night.

    That, ladies and gentleman, is Dennis Rodman's Lakers career in a nutshell.

3. Mark Madsen

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    Mark Madsen's embarrassing moments came mostly off the court, but he didn't light it up on the court either.

    The Mad Dog did have a role on the team as a hustle/energy/rebounding forward. His enthusiasm and commitment were commendable at least.

    Like Morrison, Madsen was also blessed to win titles in his first two Lakers campaigns, but the reason he makes this list is what he did to celebrate those rings.

    Like this.

    And this.

2. Smush Parker

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    You know it's a bad sign when the man goes by the name "Smush."

    And it's an even worse sign when a guy with 82 career games under his belt over three seasons comes in and immediately starts all 82 games. 

    In fact, Smush Parker started all but two games in his two-year stint with the Lakers. That shows you how truly desperate L.A.'s point guard situation was in the middle of the last decade.

    Parker was a net minus on the court–a point guard who averaged fewer than four assists a game and couldn't shoot 70 percent at the foul line.

    He frustrated Phil Jackson so much that the famously rookie-averse head coach was forced to go against his own doctrine and start rookie Jordan Farmar in the 2007 playoffs.

1. Kwame Brown

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    No surprises here. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 NBA draft is the No. 1 most embarrassing Laker of the past two decades.

    Brown was a nightmare manning the middle in L.A. for two and a half seasons. If "dropped passes that hit you right in the hands" were a stat, Brown surely would have led the league.

    An inability to catch the basketball was an especially big problem for Brown considering he couldn't create any offense for himself and relied on his teammates to get shots. And for a guy as big and athletic as he was, Brown was a surprisingly ineffective rebounder and shot-blocker.

    What makes Brown's Lakers stint even worse was that Los Angeles gave up Caron Butler (who would go on to become an All-Star) to get him, just a year after acquiring Butler in the famous Shaquille O'Neal trade.

    Mercifully, Brown was shipped off to Memphis in an equally lopsided transaction that netted the Lakers Pau Gasol and prompted one of the greatest player-bashing rants in television history.

    Stephen A. Smith's words sum up why Kwame Brown tops this list of Lakers embarrassments.