Angel Soft: Chris Bosh, Pau Gasol and the 20 Softest Athletes in Sports

Austin SchindelAnalyst IIMay 18, 2011

Angel Soft: Chris Bosh, Pau Gasol and the 20 Softest Athletes in Sports

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    DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 15:  Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat takes a shot against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on November 15, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Heat defeated the Nuggets 98-93. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    There are some guys that will do anything to win. These are the Michael Jordans, Curt Schillings, and Brett Farves of the game. These are the iron men that will go out no matter what the injury may be and no matter how bad they feel. These are the sports warriors.

    Then there are the other guys. The players are afraid to break a nail or get roughed up a little bit. Go get a tough rebound? Nope. Fight for the extra yard? Nope. Play through that nagging injury? No way.

    These are the top 20 softest athletes in sports...

20. Jason Collins

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    ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 22:  Jason Collins #34 of the Atlanta Hawks against the Orlando Magic during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on April 22, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expres
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The next question under the category: “New Jersey Nets Twin Centers from Stanford”.

    Clue: This former member of the Nets, and now current Atlanta Hawks, cannot rebound, shoot, or block shots. He has a propensity to stand around and consistently gets dominated by bigger and stronger opponents.

    Answer: Jason Collins.

19. Yi Jianlian

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    WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 14:  Serge Ibaka #9 of the Oklahoma City Thunder dunks over Yi Jianlian #31 of the Washington Wizards during the first half at the Verizon Center on March 14, 2011 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agr
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    When Yi was selected with the sixth overall pick in the 2007 draft, he did not want to play in Milwaukee because the market was not big enough.

    Now, four years and three teams later, he might need to go there for the witness protection program.

    At 23, Yi has not been able to grow into his seven-foot body yet, and gets thrown around like a rag doll in the NBA. If he does not get tougher, he will find himself in one of the world’s biggest markets: China.

18. Jacoby Ellsbury

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    NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14:  Jacoby Ellsbury #2 of the Boston Red Sox heads to second base against the New York Yankees on May 14, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    During the 2010 season, Ellsbury went on the 15-day DL for a stress fracture in his ribs. After returning for a few games, he went back on the DL for most of the season.

    The team greatly missed him and his critics began to call him soft for not playing through an injury that many believed was not nearly as bad as he thought. 

17. Reggie Bush

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    SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 20:  Patrick Willis #52 of the San Francisco 49er tackles Reggie Bush #25 of the New Orleans Saints during an NFL game at Candlestick Park on September 20, 2010 in San Francisco, California.(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Bush cannot run between the tackles, plain and simple. He was the No. 2-overall pick, and now he has shown us why he is nothing more than a third-down back.

    He always made a living by making people miss. Well, when you get to the NFL, they don’t miss  very often. Bush will never be a featured back in the NFL because he will not get in there and play with the big boys.

16. Randy Moss

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 26:  Receiver Randy Moss #84 of the Tennessee Titans watches from the sidelines during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on December 26, 2010 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Ima
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Moss is a threat unlike any other in the NFL, unless he needs to go over the middle. There are few wide receivers that spend less time in the middle of the field than Randy Moss.

    Maybe it is because he is pretty skinny, or maybe it is because he runs his mouth so much and everyone wants a piece of him.

15. Brook Lopez

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    CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 13: Joakim Noah #13 of the Chicago Bulls blocks a shot by Brook Lopez #11 of the New Jersey Nets as Carlos Boozer #5 reaches for the ball at United Center on April 13, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledge
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    On paper, Lopez looks like a good enough player, right?  Twenty points per game puts him amongst the best scorers in the league and he has the tendency to take over games on the offensive side of the floor.

    What stands out more than anything is his six rebounds per game! Seven-feet tall and six rebounds per game! It looks like he is allergic to the basketball at times.

    When he is forgetting to rebound the ball, he allows this to happen.

14. Anderson Varejao

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    BOSTON - MAY 13:  Glen Davis #11 of the Boston Celtics is called for a loose ball foul on this play as Anderson Varejao #17 of the Cleveland Cavaliers falls to the floor during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2010 NBA playoffs at TD G
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Varejao is a different type of soft. He plays hard and crashes the boards, but very few are as big of fakers as the Cavaliers forward.

    Here, he gets dunked on, with authority, proving that he is not going to stand up to the top dogs. Here, he flops, showing that he is both an actor and a comedian.

    Either he is a faker, or he allowed a point guard to push him over. Either way, he is a marshmallow.   

13. Carl Pavano

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    NEW YORK - APRIL 02:  Starting pitcher Carl Pavano #45 of the New York Yankees talks with catcher Jorge Posada #20 on the mound after pitching against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays during their Opening Day game at Yankee Stadium April 2, 2007 in the Bronx boro
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    The Yankees cannot wait for Pavano to retire so that they can give him a plaque in Monument Park. Pavano signed a four-year, $40 million contract with the Yankees in 2005.

    He would go on to commit grand larceny, taking the Yankees money for nothing in return. Strange injuries began to develop, bringing his teammates to question whether he wanted to be in New York or even pitch at all. He lost all credibility, making up more reasons why he could not pitch.

    He was the epitome of another Yankee free-agent bust.

12. Fernando Torres

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 09:  Fernando Torres of Chelsea reacts following a missed chance during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Wigan Athletic at Stamford Bridge on April 9, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images
    Clive Rose/Getty Images

    Any Spanish or English soccer fan knows that Torres has the propensity to get pushed around. There is no denying his skill, but when the going gets tough, he gets to falling.

    The best part of the video is that the Man U players are puling him up, because they know he flopped on purpose. Torres does not deny this and holds his hands up like a prisoner surrendering.

    He lost favor in Liverpool, and upon his departure, the team became more successful. Sounds like a real punk to me.

11. Andrea Bargnani

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    DENVER, CO - MARCH 21:  Nene #31 of the Denver Nuggets takes a shot against the defense of Andrea Bargnani #7 of the Toronto Raptors at the Pepsi Center on March 21, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by d
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    If you are looking for a comparison between Dirk and Bargnani, stop immediately. Their height and European origin is where the comparison should begin and end.

    Bargnani loves to sit out on the perimeter and play one-on-one basketball. He is a tough guy from 15 feet and beyond, but once he enters the paint, his knees quiver and the big boys put him back in his place.

    And 4.9 career rebounds is not going to cut it for a seven-foot man.

10. Darko Milicic

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    PHOENIX - DECEMBER 15:  Darko Milicic #31 of the Minnesota Timberwolves gets hit in the face by the ball as Steve Nash #13 of the Phoenix Suns loses control during the NBA game at US Airways Center on December 15, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeat
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    In all fairness, Milicic did not get enough playing time when he first came into the league, stunting his development. When he finally got the chance, it was more of the same.

    For a No. 2-overall pick and a seven footer, he has been highly ineffective on the glass, averaging 4.3 rebounds per game for his career.

    Defensively, he is equally as soft, allowing things like this to happen on a nightly basis. 

9. Glen Davis

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24:  Glen Davis #11 of the Boston Celtics controls a rebound against the New York Knicks in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2011 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Th
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Having a nickname like "Big Baby" immediately puts Glen Davis on a list of softies. He infamously cried after being reprimanded by Kevin Garnett during a timeout. 

    In addition, Davis has never been known as one of the tougher members of the Celtics front line. Garnett and Perkins (before the trade) were the workhorses.

8. Andy Roddick

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    MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 02:  Andy Roddick of USA disscusses a line call with umpire Mohamed Lahyani in his match against Flavio Cipolla of Italy during day three of the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open Tennis on May 2, 2011 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Julian Finn
    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    Roddick has won only one Grand Slam, on a hard court where his fast serve dominates. What he lacks is the killer instinct.

    Roddick fell victim to several first-round knockouts at the US Open and French Open despite high seeds. He has been outdueled by all of the greats, and seems to be outwilled most of the time.

    He has the skill, but is soft when it comes to crushing his opponents.

7. Richard Jefferson

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12:  Richard Jefferson #24 of the San Antonio Spurs argues a foul call during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on April 12, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and ag
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Who would have thought it; here is another former New Jersey Net on this list. Jefferson has potential, and at times he has looked like a prolific scorer.

    But if you look more closely, he has missed countless big free throws, he does not attack the rim, and he cannot grab that big board to take over the game at the defensive side.

    He is always going to be seen as a nice player, but nobody that people will look back on and remember for years.

6. Sidney Crosby

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    UNIONDALE, NY - DECEMBER 29:  Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum on December 29, 2010 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Penguins 2-1 in the shootout.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Sid the Kid is the best player in the NHL. Nobody raises the level of his team quite like the Canadian and he has the proverbial bulls-eye on his back whenever he is on the ice.

    What people criticize most about his game is that he is pretty soft. Most stars are not going to get into stupid fights, but everyone knows that he is one of the most protected men in both the NHL and sports.

    He lets others fight his battles for him: a true warrior.

5. Pau Gasol

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 02:  Tyson Chandler #6 of the Dallas Mavericks pushes Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers from behind and Chandler is called for a technical foul in in the final minutes of the second quarter in Game One of the Western Conference
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Do not confuse lack of skill for softness. Gasol is one of the most-skilled big men in the game, but also gets dominated by more physical centers.

    Having Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom next to him makes his life easier, but throughout his career there has been a glaring hole in his game that everyone can see.

4. Cristiano Ronaldo

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    MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 10:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid grimaces during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Getafe at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on May 10, 2011 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)
    Angel Martinez/Getty Images

    The Portugal and Real Madrid star is what we call a pretty boy. Ronaldo has turned falling down and faking an injury into an art form, lunging to the ground in pain whenever he thinks it will work.

    His skill is undeniable and his free kicks are generally unstoppable; his toughness, though…leaves much to be desired.

2. Jay Cutler

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    CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 23:  Quarterback Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears on the sideline in the third quarter after leaving the game with an injury against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23, 2011 in Chicago
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Ah, Mr. Jay Cutler…where do I start? Who takes themselves out of an NFC championship game with an injury that did not look painful?

    He has had a long track record of being soft towards injuries and having an inability to come back from adversity. He drove himself out of Denver and seems to be doing the same in Chicago.

    Everyone consistently questions his toughness: a trend that will only get worse if he continues his ways.

1. Chris Bosh

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    AUBURN HILLS, MI - MARCH 23: Rodney Stuckey #3 Detroit Pistons gets in for a dunk between Chris Bosh #1 and LeBron James #6 of the  Miami Heat at The Palace of Auburn Hills on March 23, 2011 in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Miami won the game 100-94. NOTE TO US
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Kevin Durant came out and publicly stated that Chris Bosh is one of the "fake tough guys" in the NBA. When your colleagues are challenging your toughness, not only are they personally attacking you, but they don’t even fear that you will retaliate.

    Low blow for Bosh who is the third wheel who could not withstand the pressure of the playoffs and allows this to happen to him. 

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