What’s the deal with very tall NBA Basketball players acting very childish? Over the years, the NBA has seen its fair share of players that could use a visit to the Zoltar machine. Anyone remember Officer Olden Polynice? How about that unstoppable phenomenon, Shaq-Fu?
For some reason, this year, NBA big men have have taken childishness to a whole new stratosphere. Here are a few crucial offenders:
10. Blake Griffin – Sure he’s already arguably the most ferocious dunker in NBA history, but Blake’s also got a huge case of the “wa-wa’s.” Whenever a call doesn’t go his way you can find him pouting along the sideline or chasing down Violet Palmer with flailing arms and a whiny grimace.
9. Glenn “Big Baby” Davis – No list of cry babies would be complete without the namesake. Davis is to whining what Jerry West is to basketball logos. Key antics include celebratory drooling, goofy dancing, and rolling around on the floor after flopping.
8. JaVale McGee – He doesn’t do a ton of traditional whining, but boy is he childish. JaVale frequently has no idea which team has possession of the ball on a given play. He thinks dunks are worth 10 points. His look of cherubic befuddlement when trying to operate within a standard offense can only remind one of an infant.
7. Pau Gasol – I love the Lakers but when I watch Pau, I find myself screaming, “Shut up and play” on multiple occasions every game. He frequently quits on plays after he thinks the officials missed a call. He loafs on defense in favor of referee-bating. His awkward and extreme facial expressions look like a baby contorting its face just to see what will happen.
6. Kendrick Perkins – “Grumpy Baby” pouts for literally the entire game. His aggressive play comes off as an overdue response to someone stealing his bicycle as a child. The following clip (which contains slight profanity) is my best guess at the origin of young Kendrick’s anger.
5. DeMarcus Cousins – Cousins is new to the league, but he’s obviously been complaining his entire life. His pained wince is as clear as day, even up in the cheap seats at Arco Arena. Cousins is an equal opportunity complainer. He whines on calls made for him and against him as well as calls made for and against the other team.
4. Tim Duncan – Just because you’re the best 4 man of all time does not give you the right to lower your chin into your chest and hover over the referee with bugged out eyes on every possession that doesn’t go your way. You know who does that? Big babies.
3. Tyson Chandler – A dominant force in the paint with limited offensive game, Chandler seems to find a way to complain on each and every one of his 3.5 shot attempts per game. Like Perkins, his aggressiveness comes across as a bitter response to childhood issues. All’s fair in love and war in the sandlot.
2. Dwight Howard – How do I count the ways? The Little Lord Fauntleroy of the NBA takes preening to another dimension. He racks up techs with constant complaining. He’s more interested in costumes and pre-game handshakes than developing consistent post moves. And thank goodness he got called out for throwing his coach under the short school bus with backhanded comments—the equivalent of tattling on a classmate.
1. Andrew Bynum – Bynumite is his own kryptonite when it comes to complaining. He believes himself to be the only NBA player to be fouled on every single shot attempt during his career. He flops his arms around like a rag doll when he doesn’t get a call. He whines to refs. He mopes. He takes cheap shots at players when he doesn’t get his way. When asked why he’s chosen to start shooting three pointers, his answer was, and I’m paraphrasing here, “Well, Pau did it!” The Lakers even had to try to reel him in by fining him, but what did he do the very next week? That’s right, he got ejected for picking up his second technical by jawing at the Rockets bench after he scored. The rest of these are not in any particular order, but Bynum is by far the number one Big Baby in the NBA right now.