Recent NBA Scrubs Who Somehow Have an NBA Championship Ring

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistJune 15, 2013

Recent NBA Scrubs Who Somehow Have an NBA Championship Ring

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    Staring at the end of an NBA bench, one or two guys always seem out of place. Those guys who will be in the league for two seasons, but somehow end up lucky enough to walk away with a chunk of diamond-covered gold encasing a finger.

    Some of the guys are extremely obvious; we're going to be talking about Adam Morrison here in a bit. Yet others fly from the mind never to be thought of again, until you hear their name decades later and laugh; we're looking at you, Travis Knight.

    Scrubs come in every shape and size, but generally you can tell who just doesn't belong. Typically there's a big, slow-footed white guy sitting on the end of the bench who can't shoot three-pointers and isn't 7'6".

    That's the type of player who is signed so he can be big during practice, and maybe fill in and give out five fouls if absolutely necessary.

    Him actually touching the ball, or even shooting, is the rarest of occurrences.

    Now I've got to make it clear here, we're not talking about folks like Brian Scalabrine or Brian Cardinal. As far as I'm concerned, if you spent more than a decade in the NBA, you were there for a reason.

    Players might slip through the cracks for three, four or even five years, but if one keeps getting signed into his 30s, then he's doing something right.

    I'm here to take a look at the absolute bottom of the barrel. Some of these guys weren't even in the league long enough to let their cup of coffee cool, let alone drink it all.

    So here they are, the 10 scrubbiest NBA champions of the past 20 years, all for your amusement, and then the realization that they won a title, while Charles Barkley and John Stockton did not.

10. Travis Knight

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    Career Stats: 371 games played, 3.4 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 0.6 APG

    Big Travis Knight was drafted at the end of the 1996 draft by the Chicago Bulls, but he would never play a game for the reigning champions.

    Knight lasted seven years in the NBA, and in the final five, he failed to register more than 200 points in a single season. In the final three, he didn't drop in more than 98.

    In fact, he fell off in production so quickly that few people will remember him as a moderately productive member of the 1997 and 1999 Lakers, before he became the end-of-the-bench man and barely stood up for more than a celebration.

    Lucky for him, Los Angeles was utterly dominant in the 2000 playoffs, so there were plenty of opportunities for him to see the floor, actually playing in 14 games in those playoffs.

    At this point, Knight might be more famous for being mentioned on an episode of Chappelle's Show than for anything he ever did in the NBA.

9. Josh Powell

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    Career Stats: 315 games played, 3.9 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 0.5 APG

    In six years playing stateside, Josh Powell was traded twice and ended up playing for a whopping six different teams, only lasting on the Lakers for more than a season.

    With a big dude on the end of the bench necessary after Slava Medvedenko didn't pan out (shocker, I know), Powell got the call from the Lakers just a year after getting signed by the Clippers.

    Powell was around for two championships, playing with the Lakers during their win over the Orlando Magic in 2009 and over the Boston Celtics in 2010.

    You'll realize here in a few slides that there's just something about the Lakers and ridiculously useless big men that's given a lot of very tall, very slow men out there a championship ring.

8. Slava Medvedenko

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    Career Stats: 263 games played, 5.3 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 0.5 APG

    If you've ever seen Whoopi Goldberg's basketball classic Eddie, then you've seen Slava Medvedenko play.

    Well, I suppose you've seen some big dude playing what is basically the on-screen version of Slava, Ivan Radovadovitch.

    In Eddie, Ivan is a slow-footed, confused big man who needs coaching on every single play, and very rarely do good things happen for him on the floor.

    The only thing worse is that Slava never got the hang of things like Ivan did.

    Slava Medvedenko may have never panned out for the Los Angeles Lakers, but he did have a game in which he scored 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

    Sure, it came in a game where Shaquille O'Neal and Karl Malone didn't play, so he was left with Horace Grant to compete with for points in the paint, but 26 points is 26 points.

7. Zan Tabak

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    Career Stats: 247 games played, 5.0 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 0.7 APG

    Zan Tabak is not only one of the coolest names of any NBA player of the past 20 years, but he also became the spitting image of Jay Bilas when he started balding in his later days, if Bilas were 7'0" and Croatian.

    Tabak made it to the NBA for two reasons: He was an enormous man and it was the '90s. You could have four total toes and one eye in 1994, but if you were 7'1", some bottom-feeding NBA team would try you out hoping you were the next Will Perdue.

    He reached his peak as a rookie (rather, he experienced his best moment), winning a championship with the Houston Rockets in 1995 as something like the ninth big man off the bench behind Hakeem Olajuwon.

    Apparently he didn't last in Houston long enough to learn the Dream Shake from Hakeem, as he bounced from there to Toronto, Boston and Indiana before hanging it up after six seasons.

6. Adam Morrison

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    Career Stats: 161 games, 7.5 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 1.4 APG

    Adam Morrison's stats are inflated mostly due to stubbornness, but also because he was actually a borderline effective shooter in his rookie season, if you consider 34 percent from the three-point line effective.

    Morrison's career started at the very top, getting drafted third overall by the Charlotte Bobcats and deemed the savior of their franchise.

    It took them less than three years to give up that dream, as they went ahead and shipped him out with Shannon Brown to the Lakers for Vladimir Radmanovic.

    It's a common misconception that Morrison has two championships, given that he was traded to the Lakers in 2009.

    However, he never played a game in the postseason, so he wasn't an NBA champion.

    Luckily for him, Los Angeles made it back a year later, and he got his ring, much to the fury of mustache aficionados everywhere.

5. Gerard King

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    Career Stats: 126 games played, 4.5 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 0.7 APG

    Gerard King was quite possibly the scrubbiest scrub to ever scrub for the San Antonio Spurs, which really isn't that surprising.

    For the most part, San Antonio fills the end of its bench with grizzled veterans like Tracy McGrady this year, or somebody like Kevin Willis.

    So, seeing a fresh-faced young man who was first signed all the way back in 1995, yet didn't play his first game until the Spurs picked him up in 1999, is a bit out of character.

    However, he played all of 19 games for San Antonio that year before being dropped and picked up by the Washington Wizards.

    There are no specific YouTube videos for Gerard King, nor are there many clear pictures of him actually on a basketball court.

    Instead, let's go with this shot of him defending the hell out of Christian Laettner.

4. Terrel Harris

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    Career Stats: 42 games played, 2.3 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 0.8 APG

    What really is there to say about Terrel Harris? Um...he existed and played for the Miami Heat at an opportune time.

    Harris got picked up by the Heat just after the end of last season's lockout, staying on the team throughout the season, playing in four big playoff games and scoring five points.

    For his efforts, Harris got a ring.

    Miami kept him until January of this year before waiving him, at which point the New Orleans Hornets picked him up.

    He's just 25, so he could climb his way off this list with a mediocre career, but odds are he's here to stay, ring and all.

3. Wayne Simien

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    Career Stats: 51 games played, 3.3 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 0.2 APG

    The only thing I know for sure about Wayne Simien is that he played college ball at Kansas. I remember a bit of him there in the early 2000s, but getting drafted was something that totally slipped my mind with regard to Simien.

    He was a big guy who was supposed to be able to space the floor a little bit, only he wasn't that big, and he never could shoot that well.

    Two seasons in the NBA, along with just two playoff games in 2006, and Simien has more NBA championship rings than you or me.

2. Chris Jent

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    Career Stats: 6 games, 6.2 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 1.3 APG

    It's amazing the list of achievements Chris Jent can call on when he looks at what he's done with his career.

    He played in just three games back in 1994 with the Houston Rockets but ended up playing in 11 playoff games. He wouldn't have known it at the time, but he ended up playing more games in the postseason than he did in the regular season.

    After just one more team signed him (the Knicks in 1996), Jent bounced around the world, mostly playing in Italy before coming back to coach.

    He was an assistant on the Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers, Ohio State Buckeyes and now the Sacramento Kings.

    Perhaps his worst claim to fame is being the shooting coach for LeBron James when he worked with the Cavs, a dubious honor, as that was one of the most criticized parts of LeBron's game at the time.

1. D.J. Mbenga

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    Career Stats: 234 games played, 1.8 PPG. 1.4 RPG, 0.2 APG

    Didier Ilunga-Mbenga lasted seven seasons in the NBA. He's the ultimate evidence that if a guy is 7'0" and has some level of experience, he'll make it to the NBA for at least a tryout.

    If you can dribble at that tryout, congratulations, you're on the team.

    Block a shot during your rookie year, and you've got a solid six years ahead of you, whether any actual development happens or not.

    Mbenga scored more than 100 points in a season just once, he never grabbed more than 100 rebounds, and he finished his career with 6.6 fouls per 36 minutes. Perhaps best of all, he topped out at 8.1 fouls per 36 minutes in his rookie season.

    After a few years with Dallas (Mark Cuban loves useless seven-footers like no other), he ended up with the Lakers, where he was able to become two-time NBA champion Didier Ilunga-Mbenga.

    That and $10 million for 414 total points will buy a guy a lot of tacos.