One Moment Every NBA Franchise Would Like to Forget
As sports fans, we love to remember the good times and try our absolute best to push the bad times out of our memories entirely.
Unfortunately, the NBA has its fair share of bad memories for every one of the 30 franchises that currently exist.
Some (see above picture) are more obvious than others, but there exists one moment for each franchise that stands out above the rest. These are the moments that NBA fans would absolutely love to forget ever happened.
Read on to see what they are. But take note, you may want to skip over your team's slide so you don't feel that pain once more.
Atlanta Hawks: Drafting Marvin Williams
I am still unbelievably bitter about this draft, one in which I ended up literally throwing my remote at the television screen.
The Atlanta Hawks, desperately in need of a franchise point guard, overlooked both Chris Paul and Deron Williams to draft a sixth-man from North Carolina, Marvin Williams.
Boston Celtics: Len Bias Overdoses
Len Bias had all the potential in the world after a stellar collegiate career at Maryland. The Boston Celtics made him the No. 2 pick of the 1986 NBA Draft, but just days after he was selected, he tragically died from a cocaine overdose.
Bias' death was a truly staggering moment for both Boston fans and NBA fans around the country. It really helped to put everything in perspective for at least a brief time.
Celtics fans definitely wish this moment had never happened for many reasons.
Charlotte Bobcats: Future Contraction
The Charlotte Bobcats haven't been around for too long and in their brief history, they haven't exactly had much success.
Because they haven't had many peaks, it's hard to feel bad about the valleys.
As a result, I'm making the moment they'd like to forget the possible future contraction of the team. It's only hypothetical, though.
Chicago Bulls: Michael Jordan's First Retirement
Let's run through a hypothetical scenario here:
The Chicago Bulls are fresh off their first three-peat and Michael Jordan decides not to retire right during the middle of his prime.
Now the team hasn't lost any momentum and stays at the top of the class. Instead of the Houston Rockets winning back-to-back championships behind Hakeem Olajuwon, the Bulls add two more titles and make it five in a row.
Then, as you may remember, they actually put together another three-peat.
Is it possible that this one moment prevented a Boston Celtics-like eight championships in a row?
Cleveland Cavaliers: Duh
On a previous article, I had a Bleacher Report member named Ja'Ron Carter comment, "Can we please eliminate LeBron from the Cavs history? I seriously would agree to go through a surgery that could remove those memories from my brain."
I don't understand why Cleveland fans wish to completely forget all the glory that LeBron brought the franchise, but that does seem to be the predominant wish.
Dallas Mavericks: 2006 NBA Finals
Whether it was Dwyane Wade's epic last four games or the referees' awful performance throughout the series, this NBA Finals series couldn't help but swing in the direction of the Miami Heat despite the great start of the Dallas Mavericks.
Sure, the Mavs got redemption during this past season in a big way, but they'd still like to erase this memory.
Denver Nuggets: 1997-1998 Season
The look to the left sums up the entire season for the Denver Nuggets.
Denver went a stellar 11-71 during the 1997-1998 regular season. Needless to say, they didn't exactly advance to the postseason.
The team even tied the record (at the time) for the longest losing streak in NBA history at 23 games.
Detroit Pistons: The Larry Bird Steal
In Game 5 of the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals at the Boston Garden, the Detroit Pistons held a 107-106 lead with just five seconds left.
All Isiah Thomas had to do was inbound the ball correctly and the Pistons would hold a 3-2 series lead. But instead, he allowed the pass to be intercepted by Larry Bird, who passed the ball to Dennis Johnson for the game-winning layup.
The Celtics would go on to win the series and advance to the NBA Finals.
Golden State Warriors: Latrell Sprewell Chokes His Coach
It's never a good idea to choke anybody, for any reason.
It's even worse when a star player like Latrell Sprewell chokes a head coach like P.J. Carlesimo during practice and creates a media firestorm.
Houston Rockets: Rudy Tomjanovich Punched
(The actual punch comes at 1:50 in the video)
While Kermit Washington was involved in a brawl at midcourt, Rudy Tomjanovich ran up to the confrontation and was absolutely decked by Washington in one of the most brutal sucker punches of all time.
Tomjanovich was sidelined for five months of action and nearly died on the court.
The sheer brutality of the moment makes Rockets fans want to erase it from their memories.
Indiana Pacers: Malice at the Palace
Other than Tim Donaghy's scandal, the Malice at the Palace is possibly the biggest black mark in the history of the NBA.
It's only logical that the Indiana Pacers would wish to forget when Ron Artest went charging into the stands after a fan, regardless of whether he was provoked. He who strikes last is often the one punished, and so it was with Artest.
Los Angeles Clippers: Everything but Blake Griffin
The Los Angeles Clippers have been one of the worst organizations in basketball ever since their move to LA in 1984.
Since that moment, the Clippers have put together just two winning seasons and have advanced to the playoffs just four times, winning only one postseason series.
See why it's hard to pick just one moment?
Los Angeles Lakers: Kobe in Colorado
In 2003, Kobe Bryant flew to Colorado to receive some medical treatment, but all hell broke loose.
Kobe ended up fully embroiled in a rape case thanks to his actions during that trip. Even though the charges were eventually dropped, the initial allegations have still sullied his once-spotless reputation.
Even now, you can read comments on articles and forums about Kobe's alleged actions.
Lakers fans would love to be able to forget about this moment that happened to one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA.
Memphis Grizzlies: Hasheem Thabeet
Hasheem Thabeet was drafted at No. 2 in the 2009 NBA Draft.
Since then, his biggest accomplishment has been becoming the highest-drafted player of all time to get sent down to the D-League.
Now with the Houston Rockets, Thabeet has career averages of 2.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game.
Miami Heat: Not 1...Not 2...
As if The Decision hadn't generated enough controversy, LeBron James had to add fuel to the fire during the Miami Heat's welcoming party, a ceremony more fitting for a post-title celebration than a preseason pep rally.
James boldly predicted that the Miami Heat wouldn't just win one or two championships, but at least eight.
Milwaukee Bucks: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Trade
After Kareem Abdul-Jabbar decided that Milwaukee didn't fit his cultural needs and wanted to be traded away, the Bucks were forced to accept the best offer they got.
That offer came from Los Angeles, and Abdul-Jabbar and Walt Wesley were sent to the Lakers for Elmore Smith, Brian Winters, Dave Myers and Junior Bridgeman.
Abdul-Jabbar won five titles in Los Angeles. Milwaukee didn't win a single one.
Minnesota Timberwolves: David Kahn
Routinely referred to as one of the worst General Managers in the NBA, David Kahn was hired in May 2009 and that moment shortly became one that Minnesota Timberwolves fans would like to erase from their memories.
Kahn immediately drafted three point guards in the 2009 NBA Draft (Ricky Rubio, Jonny Flynn and Ty Lawson) before trading the best of the bunch (Lawson) to the Denver Nuggets.
Then he made a number of questionable moves to the free agency extravaganza in the summer of 2010, most notably signing Darko Milicic to a four-year, $20 million contract.
New Jersey Nets: Too Many
Option No. 1: "Whoop de damn do"
Trying to defend teammate Kenny Anderson for skipping practice, Derrick Coleman uttered the infamous quote that truly defined just how much he cared about playing professional basketball in the midst of the New Jersey Nets' 30-52 campaign in 1994-1995.
Option No. 2: All Alone
Stephon Marbury once wrote "All Alone" on the back of his sneakers to show that his teammates weren't good enough to help him win games. Classy move, Starbury.
Option No. 3: Drazen Petrovic
While this moment is significantly different than the aforementioned two, it still deserves to be mentioned. Drazen Petrovic's tragic car crash is something that everyone wishes had never happened.
Option No. 4: 0-18
The Nets lost the first 18 games of the 2009-2010 season before beating the Charlotte Bobcats at home, setting the all-time record for the most consecutive losses to start a season. They finished the season with a 12-70 record.
New Orleans Hornets: Hurricane Katrina
Everyone in the city of New Orleans wishes to forget the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina.
The Hornets felt a direct effect when they were forced to play their home games in both Oklahoma City and Charlotte as the city recovered from the terrible damage forced upon it by Mother Nature.
New York Knicks: Isiah Thomas Hired in 2003
New York Knicks fans are shaking their heads in agreement right now.
For their sake, I'm not going to talk about how Isiah Thomas managed to destroy the franchise for almost an entire decade.
I'm also worried that Eddy Curry might eat me if I say too many bad things here.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Jim McIlvaine
This may be the worst free agent acquisition in basketball history as Jim McIlvaine was the man who unintentionally brought about the downfall of professional basketball in Seattle.
After the 7'1" center from Marquette was drafted with the fifth pick of the second round of the 1994 NBA Draft by the Washington Bullets, he never really became the shot-blocking presence he was supposed to become.
Then he kind of "broke out" during his sophomore season by averaging 2.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game.
The Seattle SuperSonics decided that McIlvaine was a "Shaq stopper" and offered him a seven-year contract worth $33.6 million. Obviously, McIlvaine took the deal.
Both Seattle fans and Shawn Kemp were upset by this because of the latter's ongoing contract feuds with the team. Kemp, who was assuredly a star at the time, wasn't being given the salary increase he wanted and seeing an unproven center get what he thought of as his money didn't help things.
Chemistry issues then killed the team and eventually Kemp was traded for Vin Baker, who would experience an immediate decline thanks to his problems with alcohol.
Meanwhile, McIlvaine never averaged more than 3.8 points or 4.0 rebounds per game.
Orlando Magic: Game 4 of the 2009 NBA Finals
The Los Angeles Lakers came into Orlando with a 2-1 series lead but were down 87-82 with just 31 seconds left in the game.
Kobe Bryant hit Pau Gasol with a pass and the big man slammed home the ball to cut the lead to three points. Then Dwight Howard was fouled and D12 missed not one, but both free throws. It was still a three-point game.
Derek Fisher, who had gone 0-for-5 from downtown in the game, hit a three-pointer with 4.6 seconds left to send the game to overtime, in which the Lakers won by eight points and took an insurmountable 3-1 series lead.
Philadelphia 76ers: Magic Johnson Plays Center
The Los Angeles Lakers held a 3-2 series lead during the 1980 NBA Finals and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was ruled out of the crucial Game 6.
In stepped Magic Johnson, a rookie point guard, who was somehow going to play center for the Lakers. Surely this would be a victory for the Philadelphia 76ers, or at least so they thought.
Magic, in one of the greatest individual performances of all time, logged 42 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists, three steals and a block and ended the 76ers' title dreams.
Phoenix Suns: John Paxson's Three-Pointer
In Game 6 of the 1993 NBA Finals, the Phoenix Suns were faced with a must-win situation at their home court in Arizona.
They even held a 98-94 lead late in the fourth quarter, but not even that would be enough to hold off the Chicago Bulls.
After Michael Jordan made a layup and Dan Majerle missed a three-pointer, the Bulls had the ball down two points with time running out.
Jordan had scored every single one of the Bulls' points in the fourth quarter, but an unlikely hero, John Paxson, stepped up and drilled a three-pointer with 3.9 seconds left to win the game and the title.
Portland Trail Blazers: The Jail Blazers
Let's take a look at the various Jail Blazers:
Problems with both cocaine and alcohol.
Reportedly committed rape, but claimed consensual sex.
Punched Ruben Patterson during practice and was pulled over and cited with possession of marijuana and two handguns.
Caught in possession of marijuana.
Caught with marijuana multiple times.
Set technical foul records, threatened an official and was caught with marijuana.
Swore at his coach, made obscene gestures to fans, struck and verbally abused officials, trespassed at a downtown club, and said "they [fans] really don't matter to us. They can boo us every day, but they're still going to ask for our autographs if they see us on the street."
Caught with marijuana and found running a dog-fighting ring.
Sacramento Kings: 2002 Western Conference Finals
The entirety of the 2002 Western Conference Finals must sting for Sacramento Kings fans, who lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games.
In addition to the numerous referee scandals, two games were decided by the final shots, the last four games came down to the wire and Game 7 went to overtime.
The series must have left all of Sacramento without any nails left to bite.
San Antonio Spurs: 0.4
With the 2004 Western Conference Semifinals tied at two games apiece, the San Antonio Spurs took a 73-72 lead on the Los Angeles Lakers with just 0.4 seconds left thanks to an absolutely incredible shot by Tim Duncan.
The rest, as you can learn by watching the video, is history.
Toronto Raptors: Any Involving the Dinosaur Jerseys
I have a soft spot in my heart for these Toronto Raptors throwback jerseys, but only because they're so ugly they're endearing.
Who in their right mind came up with the idea for these pinstriped monstrosities? And why is a cartoon velociraptor supposed to be intimidating?
Plus, how can shoes fit over their massive middle claws?
There are so many problems here...
Utah Jazz: Michael Jordan in General
Exhibit A: The Flu Game.
Exhibit B: Jordan's last shot as a Chicago Bull.
Washington Wizards: Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton
Ever since Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton pulled guns on each other in the locker room, things have gone downhill for the two former Washington Wizards.
Arenas underwent a federal trial and served jail time before returning to the league. Crittenton, meanwhile, is in major trouble with the law after allegedly shooting a woman in Atlanta.
It's safe to say that Washington fans would like to forget the disgrace these two brought to the team.