The 2020/2021 NBA season is far enough along that it’s fair to start working on the yearbook. There are just some things we already know. The Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, and Brooklyn Nets have a shot at the title. You can keep thinking Philadelphia and Milwaukee have a chance all you want. Not happening. Same with Utah. And the poor Minnesota Timberwolves have never recovered from losing about 100 first round picks in the insane Joe Smith “scandal” twenty years ago. Everything about that made no sense. Like fouling a three-point shooter. Or appearing on The Bachelorette.
But I digress.
Let’s talk about Yearbook Superlatives. And we aren’t gonna do the boring ones like Most Popular and Best Player. We want the fun stuff, like Most Likely To Invest In Dogecoin.
Let’s do it!
MOST DISGRUNTLED EMPLOYEE: KYRIE IRVING
Is there another choice? Is Kyrie ever happy about anything? I mean, he did hit a championship-winning shot in Game 7 of an NBA Finals once. Maybe it’s all downhill from there. Kinda hard to top that. Basically he won life early and now doesn’t know what to do with himself. He’s a wild card. He could win you a title or sit out the playoffs to learn the ins and outs of knitting. Good times!
MOST BROKEN: KLAY THOMPSON
Ugh. Aren’t you dying to see what the Golden State Warriors would be like right now with Klay in the mix? They’re a player away. And he’s the player. Meanwhile the runner up here is Gordon Hayward‘s years with the Celtics. He showed up to Boston, immediately broke his leg as gruesomely as possible, and when he finally came back he still kept getting hurt. Then he left for Charlotte. So it all worked out in the end. For no one.
MOST LIKELY TO STEP OUT OF BOUNDS: EVERYONE
It’s all of them. And I scream in horror every time. Trust me, players NEVER used to randomly step out of bounds when they had the ball. Now it happens all the time. You can forgive anything once, but today’s players make this mistake over and over and over. They refuse to learn from it. And no one is doing anything to make them stop. It’s like watching a bunch of Homer Simpsons play professional basketball.
LEAST LIKELY TO SCORE FROM INSIDE: TRISTAN THOMPSON
The guy is a walking brick wall. That may be good for defense but around the rim it just means a lot of bricks. I’ve seen softer hands on a Terminator. Seriously, why does this guy shoot? I guess he thinks he’s helping. We’ve all had that guy on our team before, it’s great fun. At first you’re all excited to pick him up – “Yeah, we’ll take the big guy!”, and then you see why the other team let you have him. Only now you’re stuck with him and it’s gonna be a long day at the park.
MOST ONE-HIT-WONDERS: MIAMI HEAT
Yeah that recent NBA Finals appearance is looking just a wee bit flukey now isn’t it? And they started this season off so well everyone bought into the “No, they’re legit!” narrative. Even if they manage another run this year, I’m here to tell you – they’re not legit. It’s just the eye test. Same with the Celtics. You can see the flaws. Like that first look in the mirror when you wake up that tells you the day has already beaten you. Before breakfast.
LEAST LIKELY TO JOIN A SUPER TEAM: DAMIAN LILLARD
He’s my favorite Portland Trail Blazer ever. This guy would rather lose with whoever than stack the deck for a ring like… like almost every other top player in the league. Have any of LeBron James‘s rings come without a stacked deck team? In a fair fight with even teams, Lillard is good enough to beat anybody. And he knows it. He’s an Avenger who can carry his own movie. Not like Hawkeye. Or JaVale McGee.
WORST BEARD: JAMES HARDEN
You’ve just gotten used to it is all. It’s horrific. He looks like a failed audition for one of the dwarves in The Hobbit. There’s more beard than face. Speaking of poor choices, where are we on tats these days? Is it still cool to cover your body in permanent ink designs that look worse and worse the older you get? I mean, it still sounds cool. Just checking.
MOST LIKELY TO CHOKE IN THE PLAYOFFS: CLIPPERS
Yeah, Harden was a close runner up, but he already got the beard award. Besides, have you paid attention to the Clippers in the post-season? It really doesn’t matter how talented they are or how they showed they can beat the Lakers in the regular season. These are still the Clippers. If they sign Tom Brady let me know, otherwise…
Denver is often competitive in this category, but to really qualify you have to have enough people thinking you might actually win.
THE CONFERENCE FINALS ARE OUR CEILING: CELTICS
Three of the last four, plus another talented team this year. But they have fatal flaws yet again. The Jays (Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum) are playing like All-Stars – except that All-Stars don’t force it so much and turn the ball over so much in such dumb ways at crunch time. They could maybe use some coaching. I wonder if Brad Stevens knows of one…
Although to be fair, anyone in the East besides the Nets (and they’re iffy too) isn’t winning the Finals this year anyway.
MOST LIKELY TO DROP 50 AND CRY: JOEL EMBIID
Crazy talented, love him or hate him kind of player. But he dropped 50 recently and teammate Tobias Harris said “I’ll tell my kids one day that I played with Joel Embiid“. That’s nice and all, but so far Embiid’s playoff appearances have all ended in tears – sometimes literally. He’s not even the first guy to drop 50 this season. It’s like me being proud to tell my kids about my co-worker in marketing who has the talent to maybe someday pitch something great in a Pizza Hut meeting. Because he just came up with an impressive tag line for Campbell’s Chunky Soup. I’m seeing Wilt Chamberlain comparisons now. For real. When Joel (pronounced Jo-El for some reason – apparently he’s from Krypton?) drops 100 and then fights Arnold Schwarzenegger with a mace (Conan The Destroyer anyone?) let me know.
Yeah, that happened. That’s what dropping 100 got him. So good luck Embiid, son of Jor-El!
We didn’t even get to class clown yet. Maybe next time.
As always, thanks for playing!
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