The 25 Laziest Guys in Sports
Okay, there’s some grade A evisceration going on in this slideshow, so if you’re a parent/friend/acquaintance of a professional athlete I think I’d prefer that you didn’t read this.
Another addendum — I liked a lot of the guys on this list!
If I were a professional athlete, I’m actually not 100 percent certain I wouldn’t be lazy as well.
Heck, this slideshow was due yesterday…these guys are practically my kin.
Just missing the cut were: Mike Williams (of the Bills variety), the steroid users, Calvin Murphy, Travis Henry and Antonio Cromartie (a trio I’d like to dub, “The Fertility Clinic”), Babe Ruth, Tim Thomas, Glenn Robinson, Hal Morris, Miguel Cabrera, and Dmitri Kristich. Basically there were a ton of them so I tried to err on the side of the relatively current/guys I had actually heard of.
25. Butterbean, Boxer
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I’m just going on the name here—Butterbean implies a guy that doesn’t take his conditioning seriously and is not even trying to hide the fact that he’s fat.
Why not call yourself “Big-Boned Boxer?” Or “Fat jeans?”
There are options is all I’m saying.
24. Oliver Miller, C, Phoenix Suns
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Oliver Miller actually modeled his game after Butterbean’s.
23. Shawn Kemp, PF, Cleveland Cavaliers
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Shawn Kemp’s career basically separates into two, uber-distinct chapters.
Pre-lockout Kemp ate his opponents alive, while post-lockout Kemp had subsequently digested everyone he’d eaten over the years and converted them to fat.
22. Allen Iverson, SG, Philadelphia 76ers
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Obviously, Iverson could play, and obviously, he went all out on the court.
But he also went out every night of every season, somehow managed to maintain the body of a 13-year-old boy throughout 14 years of NBA weight training, and was—as you might have heard—not one for practicing.
21. Andruw Jones, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
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I’m gonna be struggling to sneak a few baseball and hockey guys onto this list despite having layman’s knowledge of both baseball and hockey.
Let’s start here: I remember Andruw Jones as one of the more talented guys to enter the league since Ken Griffey, Jr.
So what happened?
Apparently a massive contract in 2008 did, after which he was never the same.
And by never the same, I mean, “hired Cecil Fielder as his conditioning coach.”
20. Hanley Ramirez , SS, Florida Marlins
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This has been going on for a while with Hanley, but for definitive proof of laziness, allow me to direct your attention to the Huffington Post article, “Hanley Ramirez BENCHED for Shockingly Lazy Play.”
Here’s a blurb:
“Hanley Ramirez was benched by Florida Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez for not hustling after a ball during a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night.”
Kudos Hanley Ramirez, for allowing a ground ball to serve as the preeminent microcosm for your career.
19. Matt Lienart, QB, Arizona Cardinals
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“Too fast, too soon.”
That’s either what sabotaged Lienart’s pro football career, or his hot tub activities. Hey now!
18. Petr Nedved, C, New York Rangers
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I’m really trying here. As aforementioned, I wanted this to be an all-inclusive list…and as such, I searched through about 30 NHL message boards looking for lazy hockey-ers.
Two of the most prominent names? Petr Klima and Petr Nedved.
Apparently, “Petr” is Russian for “do I have to?”
17. Vladimir Malakhov, D, Montreal Canadians
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Malakhov was once caught skiing at a Canadian resort while supposedly sitting out an entire season to rehab a knee injury. I think it’s the one instance on this list where I assert a guy lazy for getting up and doing something.
16. Alexei Kovalev, RW, New York Rangers
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The last of my hockey inclusions and another name that was a heavyweight on the message boards, Kovalev is known as one of the more talented players to make his way through the NHL…and one of its greatest underachievers.
I know my hockey.
(Kudos to Jim A for his work in correcting this slide.)
15. Rasheed Wallace, PF, Boston Celtics
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An incredibly talented big man, Rasheed was the consummate teammate both because he wanted to fit in and he had no desire to dominate.
Had the former Tarheel not ended up on some very good teams in the NBA, we may have had a different perspective on his career.
14. Andray Blatche, PF, Washington Wizards
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In fact, Rasheed’s career might’ve looked something like this.
13. Steve Spurrier, coach, Washington Redskins
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When Spurrier came to the pros, I remember him saying (although I’ve not yet been able to find it anywhere) that he would put in a good day’s work…but no overtime.
Which, when compared to every other coach in the league, equates to living in your parent’s basement.
12. Baron Davis, PG, Cleveland Cavaliers
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I love Baron Davis, and to me, he’s perfectly illustrative of a second-type of lazy. One that may not be good, but it’s at the very least endearing (provided you don’t have a vested interest in the team he’s playing for.)
I think Baron has his priorities straight. He seems like a legitimately good dude, a happy person, and a guy with goals and aspirations outside of basketball (most notably, film production). It’s hard not to like him, and for me, it’s hard to find deep fault with his decisions...even if they don’t always put basketball first.
11. Lamar Odom, PF, Los Angeles Lakers
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Again, we’re right back in the Baron Davis category for good dudes who are maybe not giving it their all at times.
You know why the Lamar Odom trade rumors were quashed last week? Because it was universally considered a certainty that had Odom landed outside Los Angeles, his effort would wane significantly.
That’s Lamar Odom—he likes candy, his wife, and to live in warm weather. And because he’s not on my team, again, I’m finding it tough to fault him for that.
(Maybe I’m just having a good day.)
10. John Daly, Golf
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Substance abuse isn’t something I want to tout or make fun of (that’s one reason why Vin Baker won’t be appearing on this list)…but substance abuse is not the defining trait of John Daly to me.
John Daly is a lifestyle. He’s a counter-culture icon. As talented as Tiger in his prime…but perhaps just a little less driven.
And I doubt we’d like him as much if he was.
9. Albert Haynesworth, DT, Washington Redskins
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Okay, with Haynesworth ends my love-affair with the lazy.
Haynesworth is “bad lazy.” He’s the kind of lazy that gets a $100 million dollar contract, but then complains he’d rather not play in a 3-4.
He’s also the kind of lazy that is subsequently offered two options: A) leave and go play in a 4-3, or B) accept your $21 million roster bonus for 2010 but stop complaining…and then chooses C) accept the bonus under the pretense that you’ll stop complaining, but in actuality sit out the entire season once the bonus is cashed all the while accusing your team of sabotaging your career.
Solid investment Daniel Snyder.
8. Manny Ramirez, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
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Basically every guy from here on out is uber-talented (with the exception of Jerome James)…and just rode that talent for 10-15 years.
Case in point: Manny Ramirez is fat, aloof, and perhaps the best pure hitter I’ve seen in my lifetime.
Here is what I think about when I look at a guy like Manny: Had baseball not existed, what would Manny Ramirez done with his life? What other vocations value smacking things out of the air with a stick over stamina and mobility?
I don’t know.
A defective piñata technician? Some kind of an alternative, anti-western medicine pest control specialist? Maybe he could teach an S&M class to seniors at Bally’s Total Fitness.
Whatever it would be, I’m quite certain it would be a downgrade.
7. Randy Moss, WR, Tennessee Titans
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He’s almost undoubtedly the most talented wide receiver in the history of the NFL…and truth be told, it’s hard to argue with his stats.
Actually, no it isn’t.
While Moss is currently fifth on the list of NFL all-time receiving yards, take a look at his annual rec. yard averages at ages 27-29—what ostensibly should have been the prime of his career:
775 yards per season. That’s just over 55 yards a game.
And while granted, he was playing in less than enviably circumstances at the time, to say he was going full-bore would be…well, it would be lying.
6. Shaquille O’Neal, C, Los Angeles Lakers
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Like Moss, I think Shaq’s success in spite of his ranking says something about the breadth of his talent. But the man who popularized the phrase, “play my way into shape,” will at some level now be defined by it.
He’s too gregarious not to like, but Shaq left something on the court. (Basically a few wins and Chris Dudley.)
5. Derrick Coleman, PF, New Jersey Nets
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Derrick Coleman is Shaq without the accomplishments. This guy was supposed to dominate the league for 10-years.
Instead, he never got in shape, struggled with injuries as a result, and prompted the following write-up from Kelly Dwyer:
“DC enjoyed a 15-year career, averaging a double-double five different times, while making the All-Star team in '94. That's nothing to sneeze at, unless you consider that he did all this while expending the least amount of effort possible, gliding by on an NBA-ready body and a superior touch. He also drove a series of coaches to the unemployment line and to multiple types of therapy. Coleman could have been the best power forward ever; instead he played just well enough to ensure his next paycheck.”
4. Jerome James, C, New York Knicks
We’re now downsizing in talent with each slide, but basically sticking with the same portions.
Jerome James had two (relatively) productive series against the Kings and the Spurs in 2005, was rewarded with a $30 million contract from Isiah Thomas, and then proceeded to eat his way out of the league.
He could have been a ‘serviceable NBA center.’ He chose ‘amateur food critic.’ I’m not sure he made the wrong decision.
3. David Wells, P, New York Yankees
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I tried to do some background research for this one and found that there are actually two Davis Wells-es:
“David Wells - A” is a senior research professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and has written several books on evangelical theology.
“David Wells - B” pitched between drinking, ate between pitches, and rode motorcycles for exercise. He has also written several books on evangelical theology.
2. Eddy Curry, C, New York Knicks
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Did you know…that when he and Jerome James were both on the Knicks, James was known as “the energy guy?”
Also, whilst bench-warming, Eddy Curry once overheated a seat.
Completely seriously, I have no idea how a guy this big (7-0, 300 with a 7-6.5 wingspan) and this talented (he is to this day relatively mobile) has averaged 5.3 rebounds a game in the games that he does play.
Eddy Curry has made more money for doing nothing than perhaps anyone in the history of the NBA.
I hope he continues to do so when he’s signed by the Heat.
1. JaMarcus Russell, QB, Oakland Raiders
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JaMarcus Russell threw his career away.
On the bright side, he threw it 80 yards in a tight spiral.