BYU Wins Holy War

BYU Wins Holy War
George, like Collie and Harline before him, is now still open!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Top 10 NBA Players Fans Would Love, IF They Weren't Jerks

The NBA has an image problem. It use to be that you didn't like a player because they would play dirty, Dennis Rodman, or they would play hard, John Stockton. Now you have to worry about a player beating their wife/girlfriend, smacking a coach/fan or just shooting up some place. (Karl Malone has said some pretty dumb things in his life, but one thing he said that make sense is that he is the biggest redneck that played in the NBA, and even he doesn't think it is a good idea to have a gun.) Yet, there is so much talent in the league that is great to watch and cheer on.

Here are ten players that if they weren't for past bad public relations would be stars, or even super stars in the league.

10) Kobe Bryant - Yes, Kobe still makes this list. He should be the one and only top dog in the NBA. The fact he didn't win the MVP last year speaks volumes about his overall popularity and marketability. He is the best talent in the league hands down, but due to past problems in Colorado he isn't the poster child of the league. He has done a great PR job to become acceptable in most NBA homes again, but the scar left from the incident might never be covered up from his image.

9) A.I. - He might be the best small player to ever play in the league. He takes more of a beating than anyone in the NBA. Yet, the sound bite "Practice...we're talking about practice." Reminds everyone what is wrong with the NBA. Fights with coaches and the manner in which he left Philly left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. He doesn't get the respect he deserves, because he is a punk.

8) Carmelo Anthony - Wade, LeBron, and Anthony are connected at the hip through the draft class. Anthony single handedly turned around the Denver franchise, and might have done more with less then the others on this list. Yet, drug use and a sissy succor punch leaves him off the main stream of players. He has worked his way down this list and into the All-Star game, but he should be perceived better than how he currently is.

7) Chris Kaman - He makes this list not as a bad boy, but as a grundgy thug. Many fans knew him only as the guy that looks like a caveman for his first years in the NBA. He has been ripping it up on the stat sheet and was a HUGE snub for not getting an All-Star spot. Now that he cut his hair and looks like an actual human being look for positive public perception to increase for him.

6) Rasheed Wallace - He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. His time with the Portland Trailblazers mixed with his fiery temper on the court got him black ball by the media in the Northwest. That is the same media perception that carried into the national stream. With all of the arrest and problems with the, "Jail Blazers," Rasheed has never been able to shake the stereotype of bad boy. His play on the court and community involvement off the court have him entirely misrepresented.

5) Stephen Marbury - He isn't a franchise player, but he isn't a scrub at the same time. His problem? THE KNICKS and ISAIAH! The day he sign that deal was the day he lost any chance of being anything in the minds of millions of fans.

4) Erick Dampier - Cuban might have been on to something to start promoting Dampier big time. He is a defensive presence in the middle, and border line All-Star. Yet, his history of not caring about the game has influenced perceptions of him.

3)Baron Davis - He might be the best point guard in the Western Conference this season. He has played out of his mind the entire year, but once again past baggage of discontent and injury problems have put him on the back burner. You could make a case that he suffers from fantasy basketball malice. How many teams has Baron ruined in the past? (three of mine)

2)Stephen Jackson - If he would stay out of crowds he would be in great shape. No other player in the league has had as much of an impact on a team than Stephen Jackson. The Warriors were 1-7 without him to start the season and have the best record from the time of his return on in all of basketball. He is a guy you love to hate, but he has huge amounts of talent. He would be on the verge of super stardom if not for past problems.

1)Ron Artest - He is a great player to watch, because when he is on the court it is nothing but business. He gives it his all and plays with heart. That emotion that he plays with is what gets him into trouble on the court. Ejections, Technicals, Brawls...they all seem to follow him where ever he goes in the NBA. Yet, when he is healthy his team is always in contention for the playoffs. He is also one of the few players in the league that has the ability to take control of the game on both sides of the ball for stretches of games. The brawl in Detroit changed everything for his career.

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