The NBA season is approaching the All-Star Break and pundits and journalists have been giving out their mid-season awards for MVP, Most Improved Player and Rookie, Coach, and Sixth-Man of the Year.
But there are a number of players who deserve some type of recognition for which no awards exist. So I've decided to recognize them here. I present to you the 16th Annual Chucky Awards, in honor of the much-traveled Chucky Brown.
The Christopher "Kid" Reid Award
This one goes to the player who finally changed his hairstyle long after the old one went out of style. It's named in honor of Christopher Reid of Kid N' Play.
The Chucky goes to the Atlanta Hawks' Tyronn Lue. After years of rocking those braids, Lue finally cut his hair and no longer looks like a lesbian. He finally looks like a basketball player and not one from the WNBA.
Side note: Am I the only one surprised that Lue and Kevin Garnett are best friends? Supposedly, Lue had a lot to do with KG's decision to allow the trade to Boston.
Honorable Mention: Kwame Brown
The Darrick Martin Award
This one gets awarded to the guy you were surprised to find out was still in the league. Past recipients include Cliff Robinson, Dale Ellis and Kevin Willis.
This year was a tie between Lorenzen Wright and Derek Anderson. D.A. is in his second season with the Bobcats. He's averaging 4.4 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. Lorenzen Wright is averaging 0.9 points and 3.3 boards a game for the Hawks.
Honorable Mention: Darrick Martin
The Todd Fuller Award
The Todd Fuller Award is presented to the 7-foot white dude that gets drafted each year and never turns into the player the team thought they were drafting. There's a Fuller winner every other year even though teams never seem to notice they never work out.
Past winners include Chris Mihm, Robert Swift and Curtis Borchardt.
This year's recipient is the Sacramento Kings' Spencer Hawes. Like his predecessors, Hawes has been injury-prone, but when healthy, has shown very little to warrant being the 10th overall pick. Did anybody really think a white guy named Spencer was going to be an NBA baller? White guys named Spencer should either be doing my taxes or working on a cure for cancer.
Honorable Mention: Jason Smith
The Keith Closs Award
This award is given to the player that lights up the summer league and never lives up to the hype once the regular season starts.
This one goes to the Golden State Warriors' Marco Belinelli. The 18th pick in this year's draft, Belinelli lit up the summer league with 60 points in his first two games.
In contrast, he has 51 points so far in 21 games in the regular season.
Honorable Mention: Von Wafer
The Golden Parachute
This one goes out to a player that's lucky enough to be a free agent on a team that needs an additional contract to make a trade. He's then re-signed, traded and waived and gets to spend the season on a paid vacation.
Previous winners of the Golden Parachute are Brian Shaw, Steven Hunter and Joe Kleine.
This year's winner is Aaron McKie who was a volunteer assistant on the 76ers staff when the Lakers needed his salary to acquire Pau Gasol. He was quickly signed to a $750,000 contract and traded.
Honorable Mention: Aaron McKie. Thanks to the Luxury Tax Amnesty Rule, McKie was still under contract with the 76ers for $7,000,000. McKie decided to report to the Grizzlies to serve as a player/assistant. That brings his grand total to $7,750,000 to wear a suit and high-five his teammates.
The Najeh Davenport Award
This one is for the player with the worst off-the-court incident. If you don't know why it's named after the Steelers' running back, just click here and you'll soon find out.
This was a tough one. In the end, I had to give it to Bulls rookie JamesOn Curry. While in Boise, Idaho for the NBDL Showcase, Curry was arrested for urinating in public and resisting arrest.
The urinating in public wasn't that bad. It was the fact that he tried to run from the cop that won him the award. A week later he was recalled by the Bulls. And you wonder why they're 20-29.
Honorable Mention: Smush Parker. Smush was involved in an incident in which he allegedly grabbed a valet attendant who wouldn't give him his keys unless he paid her the $12 fee for parking. Parker claimed he'd paid her the night before. It's $12, buddy! You've probably got $6 in change sitting in the ashtray of the Smushcalade. The incident happened in November of last year. Parker was put on the inactive list and has yet to play a game for the 9-39 Heat.
The T.M.I. Award
The T.M.I. Award is for the player that goes a little too far in providing details and giving us an image that we can't get out of our heads for 18 months. The first T.M.I. went to Shaquille O'Neal who told us about seeing Rick Adelman on television complaining about his stepping over the line on free throws while "trying to take a dump."
Great. Another 18 months of us all having the image of Shaq on the toilet in our heads. Sorry.
This year's T.M.I. goes to Gilbert Arenas, who told us in an interview with Men's Journal that he once used his girlfriend's rusty razor to shave his privates and developed something called keloids. And you thought that image of Shaq was bad.
The Charles Oakley Award
The Oak is given to the player that I'd much rather be friends with than enemies with. Oakley was famous for "incidents" he'd had with Tyrone Hill and Jeff McInnis. Look them up if you don't know what I'm talking about. He's also MJ's best friend and you know MJ doesn't roll with chumps.
I can't imagine anybody I'd rather have my back in the NBA than this year's winner, Stephen Jackson. Dude was ready to take on 19,000 at the Palace by himself. I have a feeling there aren't a lot of opposing players throwing insults about his mama at him.
Honorable Mention: Ron Artest
The Cameron Diaz Award
The Cameron Diaz Award is for the NBA's most overrated player. This season's winner is Charlotte Bobcats' center Emeka Okafor. Now in his fourth season, Okafor is actually averaging fewer points this season than he did his rookie year.
Although he's consistent, it looks like Okafor has already reached his maximum potential. It's funny to think that some people thought the Magic should have drafted Okafor over Dwight Howard before the draft. Okafor turned down a five-year, $65 million extension before the season started. He'd be lucky to get the same offer this summer.
Honorable Mention: Lamar Odom
The Ad Nauseum Award
Every year there's one commercial with an NBA player that runs on TV so many times that it not only doesn't make you want to buy the product, it actually makes you hostile towards the product. The first recipient of the Ad Nauseum was Kobe Bryant for his McDonald's commercial where he joins some kid’s team for the championship game and the little kid tells him not to blow it. It's easy to forget about this one because it was one of the last Kobe commercials that ran before he was accused of rape and lost all his endorsements.
The Ad Nauseum for 2008 goes to the Charles Barkley/Dwyane Wade "Whose In Your Five?" T-Mobile commercials. This commercial keeps getting shoved down our throats. It'll be a cold day in hell before I become a T-Mobile customer. Hey, Pookie. Stop spending all of your free time with Barkley. Your team is 9-39. How's about getting in the gym and working on that 3-point shot everybody's been waiting for since you came in the league?
Honorable Mention: "Where Amazing Happens"
The Jack Glasscock Award
This one's named for the former Major League baseball player and is awarded to the NBA player, that no matter how good he is, I'm never buying his jersey. For the second straight year the award goes to the Grizzlies' Rudy Gay. Something tells me the award will one day be named after him.
Honorable Mention: Chris Wilcox and Dan Dickau