I started to read an article about the top 15 signature moves in NBA history. Two of the first few captions were of John Stockton and Jeff Hornacek.
This got my mind thinking about how funny it was that two of the best semi-modern basketball players in NBA history looked less athletic than my middle school math teacher.
Before I receive comments calling me racist, let me preface this with a statement: I am a white guy who does not discriminate against white people.
There ARE cool-looking white players in the NBA (Chris "Birdman" Anderson and Dan "Thunder" Majerle come to mind). These images are not meant to disparage any race, but to give them hope.
Because if players as unathletic-looking as these guys can play in the NBA, then anything's possible.
My list does not include early NBA history. Due to discrimination, period fashion trends, and standard uniform length, almost every NBA player looked dorky until at least the '60s.
This is a list of players that are a throwback to that era. These are guys that if pictured in black and white could be mistaken for players from Dr. James Naismith's first basketball team picture.
Stay tuned for my honorable mention list as soon as I get around to putting more thought into this.
I decided that if I listed every dorky-looking white basketball player in Duke history, it would be a top 50 list and exclude every other dorky-looking player from every other team.
Let me just give you a few noted examples: Bobby Hurley, Christian Laettner, Cherokee Parks, Wojo, J.J. Redick, Greg Paulus.
I know many will get mad that I didn't name their favorite dorky-looking Duke player, but I don't have all day.
Jon Scheyer must be mentioned for carrying on this proud tradition today.
Answer me honestly. If you didn't know Hornacek, and you saw this picture with the Jazz jersey blurred out, would you think "all-time NBA great" or "local church league all-star?"
I have a friend who is 6'4". He told me a funny story once about his high school basketball team. He said they had the same old uniforms with the tight shorts that you see in this picture until a few years ago.
Players got to pick uniforms by seniority, and there were only three pairs of large shorts—so as a 6'2" freshman, he was left with youth medium shorts.
If I didn't know better, I would think that this was McHale's freshman year also.
If you saw this picture and didn't know this was John Stockton, would you think he even had a remote chance of getting this shot off?
Since you know it is Stockton, you are probably thinking this picture was taken seconds before a behind-the-back pass to Karl Malone for a monster jam.
Stockton is probably the best dorky-looking white guy to ever play the game.
What makes him stick out was how long he played and his refusal to wear longer shorts—even five years after every other player in the NBA had knee-length shorts. (Thank you Fab Five; long shorts were your greatest innovation).
Was there ever any doubt?
If I held up a side-by-side comparison of what he looks like now and what he looked like in this caption, you would swear that this photo was of the Lakers' assistant coach.
You would swear that his photo of him coaching was a guy who was injured and couldn't dress out.
Thank god for contacts—and his current hairstylist.