NBA Power Rankings: The League's 10 Biggest Babies (Not Named Glen Davis)
The NBA is notorious for its prima donna players. They kick, scream, cry, and complain about almost anything when things aren’t going their way.
On the court, they will act like babies regarding foul calls or non-calls (for that matter), while contradicting themselves on the other end, flopping and flailing away like murder was just committed in order to draw a foul.
Off the court, it’s players complaining about wanting to be traded, not getting enough playing time, or passing the buck onto their teammates when wins don’t show up in the standings.
Whatever the myriad of reasons, the NBA has a deservedly bad rep about its players. That’s why a new set of rules for on-court conduct have been instituted, aiming to limit the players complaints to the referees.
Failure to comply will end up in a technical foul or fine.
That being said, here is a look at the top 10 biggest babies the NBA (not named Glen Davis) who are prime targets for the new NBA policy and then some.
10. Monta Ellis, Golden State Warriors:
I can’t speak much for Monta Ellis’ actions on the court, but back in September 2009 he made a classic cry baby statement about rookie teammate Stephen Curry.
On Media day, before the season started, Ellis was asked about whether or not he could play on the court at the same time as Curry.
His response was “we can’t”.
Ellis was then asked five follow up questions, giving the same vague answer until finally clarifying his thoughts.
The classic stubborn child routine by Ellis proved foolish as he and Curry went on to combine for 42 points per game and over 11 assists…Of course Golden State only won 26 games, so maybe he was right.
9. Stephen Jackson, Charlotte Bobcats:
Stephen Jackson makes the list because of his trade demands and overall attitude. He never seems to fit in wherever he goes and winds up being a pest and a nuisance.
His Indiana welcome was worn out after the notorious Ron Artest crowd brawl, and an off court incident that resulted in Jackson firing a loaded weapon outside a strip club didn’t help him out.
Jackson’s tenure in Golden State saw him put up impressive numbers, but he admittedly never saw “eye to eye with the team”, despite claiming he liked the system he was in.
Jackson is the type of player that there’s no pleasing and it’s his lack of maturity that pushes him into the NBA biggest babies category.
8. Anderson Varejao, Cleveland Cavaliers:
Anderson Varejao is a “quality player” when it comes to the biggest babies in the NBA.
He is constantly instigating confrontations with players, getting all tangled up at the foul line or under the hoop, then pleading the fifth as if nothing happened, leaving his prey caught up in the moment.
He’s deceptively good at this immature little move, just ask the 2009 Boston Celtics.
Varejao also has the dubious distinction of being the poster child at this year’s NBA referees camp on what constitutes a technical under the new decency rules. In the video Varejao is shown jawing the length of the court to the referees in an albeit, calm manor.
Looks like the NBA is latching onto his antics.
7. Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
Dwight Howard has a classic case of poor judgment.
In a 2009 article by ESPN’s John Hollinger, Howard complained about his lack of touches saying “I don't think you're going to win a lot of games when your post player only gets 10 shots.”
Of course the numbers that were supplied in the article, said the exact opposite.
The Magic were 16-7 in 2008-09 when Howard attempted a max of 10 shots. And he attempted virtually the same amount of shots in wins (12.7) as he did losses (12.2).
Howard also fails to recall how he has been among the top 10 in the NBA in turnovers each of the past four seasons, suggesting he may touch the ball too much.
6. Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers
Gasol is the first pure on-court baby on our countdown.
One can argue the exposure the Lakers get on television contributes to Gasol being more in the public eye and therefore unfairly accused of flopping and complaining, but it’s hard to overlook everything he does during games.
Not-so-widely known as “The Llama” for the way he crane’s his neck into the ref’s face after not getting a call, Gasol is a constant complainer who lets his animalistic side come out about over the course of an entire basketball game.
It wasn’t until the Lakers had finally won the championship that Gasol went into hibernation for the summer.
5. Kendrick Perkins, Boston Celtics
Two things come to mind each time I see Kendrick Perkins on the floor after getting a foul called on him. Uncontrollable sweating not being one of them.
The first is that he has a patented move for arguing. Palms up, running in a circular motion, mouth wide open.
And two, he’s been known to sprint the entire length of the court to run off the frustration from a call.
Slow down there big fella! If Perkins would just shrug the foul calls off, he’d be a superstar since he’d have so much more energy to spend grabbing rebounds and putting the ball in the hoop.
4. Hedo Turkoglu, Phoenix Suns
Hedo Turkoglu may not be a baby as much as he is a school yard bully, but he’s still making my list.
While he complains as much as anyone, it’s his dirty play that pushes him into the spotlight.
After any loose ball you can find Hedo throwing elbows, pushing off, and clawing his way around the lane. He makes enemies quickly on the basketball court.
I guess that’s why they call it “dirty work”, but that Turkoglu’s doesn’t seem to think he’s guilty of any wrong doing and tries to come off as a saint doesn’t sit well with me.
He’s the annoying brat that can dish it out, but can’t always take it.
3. LeBron James, Miami Heat
LeBron James is the most talented player in the NBA. Unfortunately for him, his talented repertoire includes crying to the refs.
No one showcases the look of complete shock like LeBron does when a foul is called on him.
If it wasn’t for his ego shinning through, suggesting he should be held to a higher standard than any other player, King James may be lower down on the list, but let’s face it, he no better than anyone else when it comes to being a baby.
2. Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics
Paul Pierce could become an actor when his playing days with the Celtics are over. No one flails better than Pierce. He is a truly gifted comedic actor.
His arms go flying as he soars through the air. The Three Stooges would be proud.
If his flailing wasn’t enough, the flopping pushes him in the upper echelon of cry babies.
Pierce winds up on the ground the majority of the time (it would seem) he is fouled. He makes it look as if he’s narrowly escaped the shrapnel of a grenade, only to pop up back up seconds later.
While the wheelchair incident may not have been Pierce’s fault, it and all the other adventures he has on the court get old really quick and slowly degrade into overly dramatic performances that aren’t Oscar worthy.
1. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
You had to know it was coming.
I can picture it right now. Kobe shaking his head as he walks up the court, nostrils flaring, unconvinced at the foul he’s just been given.
Like most on the list, Kobe is never one to believe he has committed a foul. He gets whistled for his share of offensive fouls not because he’s a victim, but because he deserved them.
Players like Kobe Bryant, the superstars of the NBA, give the league its bad rep for their selfish, self-centered ways.
Hopefully the new rules governing player conduct on the court will translate, both off and on, and aide in reshaping the perception of today’s players.