10 NBA Players Who Just Looked Plain Wrong In Certain Jerseys
We've seen it in movies, read it in books and certainly see it in the sports page at the end (and beginning) of each season: the player who can't let go.
In the NBA, a league in which only seven teams have won titles since 1990, many players who were on the cusp of greatness decide, "What the hey...it's cheap ring time" and flock to other teams.
Others far past their prime decide that someone, somewhere wants their service and experience and will dress in whatever goofy costume they are asked to dress in for that one last paycheck.
For some it's glory and for some it's the waning days of respect coupled with diminished talent. But, either way, if that great player is established with another franchise, actions noble or not, the new jersey is the clear indication that "This is wrong, dude!"
Here are 10 players who either went ring-hunting or tried one last go before throwing in the towel...and looked silly doing it.
NOTE: I did not put Michael Jordan on this list. I don't remember his time on the Wizards, nor should anyone else.
Patrick Ewing On The Seattle Supersonics
Remember the Supersonics?
Okay, yes, some of you do. Remember when Patrick Ewing played for them? Yeah, me either.
For a franchise only five years removed from an NBA Finals appearance, Seattle didn't use worldwide exposure to upgrade their uniforms. In loud colors on away nights and large letters and symbols that nearly screamed D-League, Ewing, the man who represented the simplicity of New York Knick design, lowered himself to aesthetic damnation with this get-up.
People in New York knew it didn't look right. And, judging by that picture, so did Patty.
But Ewing, who played one mild 9.6 PPG, 7.4 RPG year in Seattle, wasn't done. He later joined the Orlando Magic (looking only slightly less goofy) before retiring for coaching duties.
Shawn Kemp On The Orlando Magic
From 1989 to 2000, Shawn Kemp was a force to be reckoned with. And while he didn't stay on Seattle for all of his career, he did put in eight excellent seasons (including a few 60-win years and a Western Conference Title).
Even when he moved on to Cleveland, Kemp put up solid numbers and actually looked healthy enough to play (averaging at least 17.8 PPG his three years there).
But any Magic fan, like myself, will tell you that the late '90s/early 2000s uniforms for the Orlando squad were pretty ugly.
Kemp, such an iconic figure in a Seattle uniform, gracing adolescent boys rooms with poster after poster, looked about 9,000 pounds bigger once he threw on the ugly, almost glittery, unflattering Magic blue.
Yes, this is more of an aesthetic complaint (no one really looked good in those jerseys) rather then a historical one, but still...just look at him.
Hakeem Olajuwon On The Toronto Raptors
A mixture of "Man, this is just wrong" and "That is a LOT of purple," Hakeem's brief stint on the Raptors was an interesting one.
The big man exited somewhat gracefully by not being an embarrassing bench warmer for an average Raptors team (they did make the playoffs in Hakeem's one year).
But when you spend 17 years on one franchise—a franchise you brought to the top of the NBA heap for two years straight in the mid-90s—and become, quite easily, the best center of the modern era, you just retire and wait for them to hoist your jersey in the rafters.
One fruitless year in Toronto with a roster containing only three players (besides Hakeem) with eight-plus years of experience seemed like not only a waste of time for Hakeem but a wasteful year for a stellar, nearly flawless career.
Sure, he didn't lose any "legend" status by being a Raptor, but it sure does make you wince a bit thinking about it, doesn't it?
Gary Payton On The Milwaukee Bucks
You can kind of take your pick with this one.
After Payton's "close but no cigar" runs in Seattle, I think he played with every team in the NBA (and maybe even the Washington Generals and New York Liberty) to try to win a ring.
Unlike other ring chasers like one-time teammate Karl Malone, Payton actually got that ring. But on his way to a 2006 NBA Championship with the Heat (which looked wrong, too), he previously played for the Celtics and Lakers.
But even before all that, a trade from Seattle brought him to Milwaukee. Twenty-eight glorious games of 19.7 PPG and seven-dime basketball blessed cold Milwaukee—but that was enough for Payton as Milwaukee was well past its attempted NBA Finals runs and Hollywood called.
If you knew this, raise your hand. I just found out about this a few minutes ago. He played on the Bucks?
John Starks On The Chicago Bulls
*Just pretend the Bulls player without a face is Starks...all photos of his existence in Chicago have clearly been eradicated and all those who have seen them have been liquidated.
I was talking with my friend Tony about this topic and he said, "Yeah, you should use John Starks when he played on the Bulls." I ignored him because I thought he was joking.
Yes, John Starks, the guy who is known—well, known positively—for dunking on some Bulls once en route to yet another playoff exit at the hands of the Chicago squad, played with his mortal enemy for a brief time.
That's like Brett Favre leaving Green Bay and signing with the Vikings! And that'll never happen!
Shaq On Any Team Other Than The Magic Or Lakers
Note: No one looks good in those throwback Cavs jerseys (except Anthony Parker, for some strange reason...wait, what?)
Shaq was a perfect fit for LA. He was in shape and in his prime (as much as it hurts my little Orlando Magic heart to say that) and, as history making teams tend to do, everything fit there, including Shaq donning the Laker jersey.
But since then, Shaq has taken his Hall-of-Famer-to-be body and moved from Florida to Arizona to Ohio to Massachusetts to play basketball...even as he is slowly declining (and his mass is expanding).
He still has the heart of a competitor and though his "I will bring a ring here" promise died as soon as he said it in Phoenix...and Cleveland...he has become the Gary Payton of the late 2000s: looking for that Kobe-tying ring.
Now he's on the Celtics, which looks wrong on him physically and, formerly being a Laker, just seems wrong emotionally. But it's a darn good Celtics team and ring No. 5 may be on its way...
Charles Oakley On The Toronto Raptors
By the time Oakley got to the Raptors (after spending three years in Chicago and 10 in New York), the physical assassin/enforcer was still, at least from neck up, imposing.
But—bless those Canadians—the cartoon raptor on his chest kind of killed the death stare Oakley could give you.
Oakley would go on to play for the Bulls (again), Wizards and Rockets before retiring. But none of those seem as out of place as Oakley in a Raptors uni (he spent three years there...eventually they changed the design to kind of what it is now).
Dennis Rodman On The Dallas Mavericks
Obviously, when it comes to Rodman, "weird" is relative.
But Rodman, despite playing on four different teams prior to his extremely short stint on Dallas, always looked like he fit into most of the jerseys provided.
You think of Bad Boy Rodman and his Detroit blue. You think of his crazy hair and Oscar to David Robinson's Felix in San Antonio and you think of how it worked.
And, of course, the Bulls.
His Lakers stint was not great and his Mavericks playing days were even worse...and seeing Rodman in the Maverick uniforms just smelled funny. He wasn't past his prime (he still grabbed 171 rebounds in 12 games with the Mavs) but he was certainly past caring, both for the game and for himself physically.
Maybe the Dallas uniform is a metaphor for his personal decline and likability...either way, it ain't pretty to look at.
Robert Parish On The Chicago Bulls
Robert Parish was a four-time NBA Champion who got lots of All-Star votes, scored loads of points, and played in approximately 17,621 games for 85 years.
The guy didn't know when to quit but he was quiet—he was always quiet—and after an illustrious career with Boston, the team he is most known for, he bounced around the league, hoping that a team would need a player filling out AARP documents.
Despite taking a year off after a stint with the Hornets and his increasing age, Parish joined the defending champion Bulls and contributed about 9.5 minutes a game and close to four points a contest in what was a 69-win championship season.
Parish called it quits then after 20 years. Joe Kleine thus got bored on the bench and had no one to talk to the next year. Sad.
Anyone Past Their Prime In a Vancouver Grizzlies Jersey
This means you, Byron Scott! But yeah...can you take anyone seriously with that thing on?
Note: Picture is of Kenny Gattison...I think. According to Basketballreference.com, this alleged player played his last year with the Grizzlies (so he technically applies for this list) and has a 0.000 chance of making the Hall of Fame.
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