Thursday, September 16, 2010

Worst NBA Champions: Brian Scalabrine and Scott Pollard

Sorry it's been a few days since the last post in this series.

I also apologize for skipping the 2006-07 San Antonio Spurs. There just wasn't anybody in that group who really stood out as a Worst NBA Champion. And I spent literally minutes thinking about it. You know, between reading picking out bellybutton lint and Googling "Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus."

So since I copped out on naming the worst winner from the '07 Spurs, I am handing out the ultra-rare co-Worst NBA Champion award to Brian Scalabrine and Scot Pollard. Because we hear at Basketbawful take our quotas very seriously.

These fine examples of the inequites of human life appeared in a grand total of 70 games for the 2007-08 Boston Celtics (22 for Samurai Scot and 48 for the Ginger Ninja). Scal logged more minutes (517 to 173) but Pollard was the better shooter (52% to 30%). And although the raw numbers put Brian (1.8 PPG, 1.6 RPG) and Scot (1.8 PPG, 1.7 RPG) in a statistical dead heat, Pollard had the higher PER (8.7 to 5.7). They both finished the season with 0.6 Win Shares.

But enough about the regular season. With all due respect to Jim Mora, let's talk about playoffs. And that's where these two men have something in common. You know, besides their stunning whiteness and strangely similar Wikipedia pictures. They both logged exactly zero postseason minutes for the '08 Celtics.

Zero. Zilch. Nada.

"But Basketbawful," you say, "Didn't the Celtics beat the Lakers by 39 points in the series clincher? Surely Brian and Scot made at least a cameo appearance."

Nope. They were both left off Boston's playoff roster.

Of course, that didn't stop Scalabrine from showing off his ring with impunity:

Ring count: Brian Scalabrine 1. Charles Barkley, Dominique Wilkins,
Elgin Baylor, John Stockton, Karl Malone and Patrick Ewing 0.

Ditto for Pollard. Warning: Don't look too closely at Craig Sager's freaky thumbnail:

But I'm gonna go ahead and give Scal and Pollard 1a. and 1b. status, respectively. Brian earned it. With this post-championship press conference:

When Brian Scalabrine becomes the voice of victory, something has gone horribly wrong.

Anyway, Pollard went out on top, retiring after his one and only title. Scalabrine hung on for a couple seasons, but the summer of 2010 -- during which Darko "Manna From Heaven" Milicic got a $20 million contract -- left Brian jobless.

And here we are.

Pollard is best known for bad hair, telling kids to do drugs on live TV, and inciting Cheryl Miller into her infamous "ballahz around the world" speech. Meanwhile, according to ESPN's Tom Haberstroh, Scalabrine is the worst player in Celtics history.

But they have rings.

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