According to NBA Hall of Famer and TNT analyst Charles Barkley, “every team needs a crazy guy”, “they bring some energy, a little toughness, you need a little edge”. I think Charles is right on the money, so let’s take a look at the remaining playoff teams and measure their level of “Crazy”.
To properly measure a players “Crazy”, first we should define it. There’s various types of crazy and every player brings their own unique style to it. For the sake of my analysis I have broken the crazy into three categories.
Category #1) Chippy/Scrappy/Aggressive Crazy
This is the player who plays in attack mode with an intensity that is almost confrontational. They don’t shy away from contact or back down when challenged. They like to play physical and are often prone to engage in trash talking and they like to get into their opponents head.
Old School Examples: Gary Payton, Michael Jordan, Jerry Sloan, Michael Cooper, Danny Ainge, Dennis Rodman, Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer, John Stockton.
Category #2) Intimidating Tough Guy Crazy
Then there are the tough guys that are physically imposing and intimidating with a nasty streak that you don’t want to test. These guys don’t allow easy lay-ups and are fluent in speaking with elbows. These are the “enforcers”, and they have no problem punking the opponent if the situation calls for it.
Old School Examples: Maurice Lucas, Kermit Washington, John Brisker, Charles Oakley, Charles Barkley, Rick Mahorn, Anthony Mason, Xavier McDaniel, Alonzo Mourning, Karl Malone.
Category #3) Really Crazy
These are players that are not acting crazy for the cameras, this is not the guy that is in control and has calculated moments of aggression, knowing the ref’s will break it up before anyone get’s hurt… Nope, not that guy, I’m talking really crazy, you can tell by the look in their eyes that they are not the one to mess with, they will really break their foot off in an opponents backside. If you mess with some of these guys or test them, you do so at your own risk. Not all the “really crazy” guys are “Tough Guys”, some are just a little off their rocker and exhibit strange behavior as well.
Old School Examples: John Brisker, Vernon Maxwell, Latrell Sprewell, Charles Oakley, Dennis Rodman, Rasheed Wallace.
Throughout league history their have been players who have proven to be more than one category of crazy, and a rare few who are all three categories rolled into one powder keg of a player. To measure this all important characteristic I have created a Hollanger-esque new metric called “CICO” (pronounced psycho) (it stands for Chippy/Intense/Crazy/Off The Chain), there is a complicated formula to calculate a players level of CICO…ok not really, I’m just ranking em how I see it, no math here people.
With eight teams left in the playoffs and this new awareness that every team needs a crazy guy (or a few crazy guys). Let’s rank the elite eight based on each teams level of CICO, I think this will help us to predict who will be successful in advancing and ultimately winning this years Championship. Some teams on the list are lacking in the crazy dept. but may compensate with their talent but I do think it helps to have a few players that have a little crazy in them. Let's take a look.