The Worst Player on the Last 20 NBA Championship Teams
This list is in honor of the 2011-2012 NBA season, currently in the ICU at Roosevelt Hospital at 1000 10th Avenue in New York City.
In every sport, there are heroes—MVP, Hall of Fame talents that everybody knows, who get 20 minutes of airtime for every 60 minutes of SportsCenter.
Then there are the guys who are drafted late in the second round and signed to $800,000 contracts; the guys who get rings sitting on the bench for more than half the year and never play in a game whose margin is closer than 30 points.
This list will honor those players, going back through the last 20 NBA championship-winning teams.
1990-1991 Chicago Bulls: Scott Williams
"From the University of North Carolina, Scott Wiiiiiiiiiiilliams!"
Williams managed to hang around long enough to spend 15 years in the league and make over $30 million doing so. Looking at his stats, however, it's a miracle as to how that all happened.
In his 15 seasons in the league, the 6'10" forward/center averaged 16.4 minutes, 5.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 0.6 blocks per game. For someone who went undrafted, those aren't terrible stats.
Still, just because he was available, didn't mean he necessarily needed to be signed. Darrell Armstrong went undrafted the same year Williams did, and he went on to have a much more respectable career.
1991-1992 Chicago Bulls: Bob Hansen
"From the University of Iowa, Bob Haaaaaaaaaaaansen!"
In the 1991-92 playoffs, Hansen averaged 7.7 minutes, 2.4 points, 1.0 rebound and 1.1 assists per game for the Bulls, who beat the Portland Trail Blazers in six games.
1992-1993 Chicago Bulls: Will Perdue
"From Vanderbilt University, Will Perduuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuue!"
Perdue made over $22 million during his playing career, but you would never guess that from his career stats.
In 13 seasons in the league, Perdue averaged 15.6 minutes, 4.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game. During the '92-93 NBA playoffs, Perdue averaged 7.8 minutes, 1.9 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.4 blocks per game for the Bulls, who defeated the Phoenix Suns in six games in the NBA Finals.
1993-1994 Houston Rockets: Chris Jent
"From The Ohio State University, Chris Jeeeeeeeeeeeent!!"
During Jent's two NBA seasons, he played in six regular-season games. He saw almost as much playing time during the 1993-94 playoffs as he did during his entire regular-season NBA career.
During the '94 playoffs, Jent played in 11 games, averaging 5.6 minutes, 1.2 points, 0.8 rebounds and 0.6 assists for the Rockets, who defeated the New York Knicks in seven games in the NBA Finals.
1994-1995 Houston Rockets: Charles Jones
"From Albany State University, Charles Joooooooooooones!!"
For those wondering, Albany State is not located in Albany, New York, but rather Albany, Georgia.
Over a 15-year NBA career that didn't begin until Jones was 26 years old, he averaged 19.4 minutes, 2.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.
During the '95 playoffs, Jones averaged 12.5 minutes, 0.7 points and 2.3 rebounds per game for the Rockets, who swept the Orlando Magic in four games in the Finals.
Also, sorry for the quality of the photo. Quality Charles Jones photos are a rarity to find on the web.
1995-1996 Chicago Bulls: John Salley
"From Georgia Tech University: John Saaaaaaaaaaalleeeeeeeeeeeeey!!"
Salley might be recognizable and popular for his work on such shows as The Best Damn Sports Show Period and I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here, but his work on the court definitely did not earn him his current street cred.
Salley won four NBA titles in his career but averaged 22.1 minutes, 7.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks during his 11-year career.
During the '96 playoffs, Salley averaged 5.3 minutes, 0.9 points, 0.7 rebounds and 0.4 blocks per game for the Bulls, who beat the Seattle SuperSonics (now the Oklahoma City Thunder) in six games in the NBA Finals.
1996-1997 Chicago Bulls: Robert Parish
"From Centenary College of Louisiana, Robert Paaaaaaaaaaarish!!"
Yes, you read that right. Robert Parish might have had a legendary career that ended with him playing in the most games of all time, but as far as the 1996-1997 Bulls are concerned, he was the 43-year-old third-string center who averaged 9.4 minutes, 3.7 points, 2.1 rebounds and 0.4 blocks per game during the regular season.
During the playoffs, Parish played in 9.0 minutes per game, averaging 1.0 point and 2.0 rebounds for Chicago, who beat the Utah Jazz in six games in the Finals.
1997-1998 Chicago Bulls: Randy Brown
"From New Mexico State University, Randy Brooooooooooooooooown!!"
During the Bulls' 62-20 campaign that season, Brown averaged 16.2 minutes, 4.1 points, 1.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 71 games played.
During the playoffs, Brown averaged 5.1 minutes per game, averaging 0.6 points, rebounds and assists in the 14 games in which he saw playing time.
1998-1999 San Antonio Spurs: Gerard King
"From Nicholls State University, Gerard Kiiiiiiiiiiiiing!!"
During the strike-shortened 1998-99 season in which the Spurs went 37-13, King averaged 3.3 minutes, 1.2 points and 0.7 rebounds per game.
During the playoffs, King played in eight games, averaging 1.8 minutes, 0.5 points and rebounds and 0.1 assists per game for San Antonio, who defeated the New York Knicks in five games.
1999-2000 Los Angeles Lakers: John Salley
"Spider" becomes the first man to appear twice on this list.
During the 1999-2000 season, Salley, who had been retired for three seasons, made a comeback and averaged 6.7 minutes, 1.6 points, 1.4 rebounds and 0.6 assists during the regular season.
During the playoffs, Salley played in 18 of the Lakers' 23 games, averaging 4.3 minutes, 0.9 points, 1.2 rebounds and 0.2 assists per game. L.A. beat the Indiana Pacers in six games for its first world championship since 1987-88.
2000-2001 and 2001-2002 Los Angeles Lakers: Mark Madsen
"From Stanford University, Mark Maaaaaaaaaaaaaadsen!!"
Just pay close attention to the 42-second mark in this video, as well as the video on the next page, and you'll see why Madsen needs no explanation as to why he takes the worst cake in history two years in a row.
In the 2001 NBA Finals, the Lakers beat the Philadelphia 76ers in five games.
More of Mark Madsen Being Mark Madsen
Mark Madsen speaking to the people of Los Angeles after winning the 2002 NBA championship over the New Jersey Nets in four games.
2002-2003 San Antonio Spurs: Danny Ferry
"From Duke University, Danny Feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerry!!"
Ferry falls under the rather large category of tremendous college players who never rivaled their college success in the NBA.
In 13 seasons with the league, Ferry averaged 19.8 minutes, 7.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. He averaged 9.4 minutes, 1.9 points, 1.2 rebounds and 0.3 assists during the '02-'03 season.
In the playoffs, Ferry played in 16 games, averaging 6.3 minutes, 1.3 points, 1.4 rebounds and 0.4 assists per game for the Spurs, who beat the New Jersey nets in six games.
2003-2004 Detroit Pistons: Darko Milicic
"From Novi Sad, Serbia, Darko Miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilicic!"
One of the most famous recent busts in NBA history, selected ahead of Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh in the 2003 NBA draft, Darko has averaged 18.6 minutes, 6.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game in eight seasons in the league.
In his rookie year, 2003-04, he averaged 4.7 minutes, 1.4 points, 1.3 rebounds and 0.4 blocks per game during the regular season.
During the playoffs, Darko played in eight games, averaging 1.8 minutes, 0.1 points, 0.4 rebounds and 0.1 assists per game for the Pistons, who shocked the Lakers in five games in the NBA Finals.
2004-2005 San Antonio Spurs: Tony Massenburg
"From the University of Maryland, Tony Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaassenburg!!!"
Over Tony Massenburg's 13 seasons in the NBA, he bounced around between 12 different teams, spending no more than one season with all but two of them.
For the Spurs in '04-'05, Massenburg played in 61 games during the regular season, averaging 11.5 minutes, 3.2 points and 2.7 rebounds per game.
During the playoffs, Massenburg played in nine games, averaging 3.1 minutes, 0.3 points and 1.2 rebounds.
2005-2006 Miami Heat: Wayne Simien
"From the University of Kansas, Wayne Siiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiien!!"
Simien had a very good career at Kansas, going to three Elite Eights and two Final Fours in his four years as a Jayhawk, closing out his career as a first-team All-American in 2005. Such success would not repeat itself in the NBA.
Simien played two seasons in the league, both with the Heat. During that time, he averaged 9.9 minutes, 3.3 points and 1.9 rebounds.
During the '06 playoffs, Simien played in two games for seven minutes, where he scored a total of zero points and grabbed a total of one rebound.
2006-2007 San Antonio Spurs: Jacque Vaughn
"From the University of Kansas, Jacque VAUGHN!!!!"
He might be the smartest player on this list (3.72 GPA as a Business Administration major at Kansas), but in the NBA, fans don't care what your GPA is as long as you're a star, and that, Jacque Vaughn was not.
During the '06-'07 campaign, in 64 games, Vaughn averaged 3.0 points, 1.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists.
During the playoffs, Vaughn played in all 20 games, but only averaged 10.4 minutes, 2.1 points, 0.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists, as San Antonio swept LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in four games.
2007-2008 Boston Celtics: P.J. Brown
"From Louisiana Tech University, P.J. Broooooooooooooooooooooown!!!"
Brown had enjoyed a solid NBA career by the time the 2007-08 season came along. He had been named to three NBA All-Defensive second teams, scored over 9,000 points and made almost $70 million.
Unfortunately, the '07-'08 season did not go down like his previous 14 had.
During the season, Brown played in just 18 games, averaging 11.6 minutes, 2.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 0.6 assists per game.
During the playoffs, Brown averaged 13.6 minutes, 2.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 0.5 assists in 25 games for the Celtics, who won their first world championship in 22 years by defeating the rival Los Angeles Lakers in six games
2008-2009 and 2009-2010 Lakers: D.J. Mbenga
"From the Democratic Republic of the Congo, D.J. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMbeeeeeeeeeeeeeenga!!!"
Nobody likes to say something bad about a player from their favorite team, so I won't. Mark Madsen is the exception, for setting back white-boy dancing about 1,000 years in eight seconds.
Instead, on this page and the next, you will see two videos that honor the accomplishments—however few there were—of D.J. Mbenga during his tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers. L.A. beat the Orlando Magic in five games in the 2009 NBA Finals, and the Boston Celtics in seven games in the 2010 NBA Finals.
More D.J. Mbenga
Here's a fun fact about D.J. Mbenga. He speaks five languages: English, French, Portuguese, Lingala and Tshiluba. The last two are spoken in his place of birth, the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
2010-2011 Dallas Mavericks: Brian Cardinal
"From Purdue University, Brian Caaaaaaaaaaardinaaaaaaaaal!!!"
Ever immortalized in Seth Meyers' opening monologue at the 2011 ESPY Awards, Brian Cardinal is the most recent and last "Worst of the Best."
In his 11-year career, split between six teams, Cardinal has averaged 15 minutes, 5.0 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. This season for the Mavs, Cardinal averaged 11 minutes, 2.6 points and 1.1 rebounds in 56 games.
During the playoffs, Cardinal averaged 4.1 minutes, 1.1 points, 0.3 rebounds and 0.2 assists in nine games, as the Mavericks beat the hated Miami Heat in six games.