With only a handful of days separating us from now and the opening night of the NBA season, what shouldn’t you expect from the 2012-13 NBA campaign?
Here are my top ten “NBA Least Likelies.”
JR Smith: Least Likely To Show Up To Practice Everyday
After producing 12.5 ppg off the bench for the New York Knicks last season, JR Smith seemed disappointed to hear that head coach Mike Woodson will not be moving him into the starting lineup for the upcoming NBA season.
Based on Smith’s edgy reputation, this is a bad sign for the coaching staff.
Jason Kidd: Least Likely To Finish an NBA Season Without a DUI
All jokes aside, Jason Kidd‘s propensity to drink and act reckless went embarrassingly public a few months ago when he was convicted for a DUI. The pictures weren’t pretty.
Gregg Popovich: Least Likely Coach to Take Team to Disneyland After Winning the NBA Title
Greg Popovich just doesn’t seem like the Disneyland type. If I had to bet, he’s probably a whiskey on the rocks type of guy rather than a ToonTown enthusiast.
Eric Gordon: Least Likely To Start and End the Season with the Same Team
“Mr. Sarver, Lon Babby, Lance Blanks, the front office staff and Coach Gentry run a first-class organization, and I strongly feel they are the right franchise for me. Phoenix is just where my heart is now,” he said at the time.
Fast forward to today, and Eric has yet to play in a preseason game due to his lingering knee problems, and just recently, coach Monty Williams allowed Gordon to ditch a preseason match-up against the Charlotte Bobcats.
Also, the Hornets have no initial timetable worked out for EG’s return. My gut is starting to say that Gordon and his four-year, $58 million contract may be trade bait.
Greg Stiemsma: Least Likely Player to Have Their Own Rap Record
Now I don’t know Greg Stiemsma personally, but I can only imagine that he’s probably never been a major shareholder in the “street credit” department. That’s going to hurt his chances at signing with Def Jam in the foreseeable future.
Jonas Valanciunas: Least Likely Player to Remember the Words to the Star-Spangled Banner By the End of the Season
Not only was he, born, bred and raised in Lithuania, the 2012-13 season will be Jonas Valuncianas‘ first full year away from Europe. Also, since he was drafted by the Toronto Raptors, most of his NBA evenings will actually be spent in the cozy confines of Canada.
Charlotte Bobcats: Least Likely Team To Sell Out Their Home-Opener
Although the Orlando Magic are arguably the worst team personnel-wise, the Bobcats Nation still has very little to be excited about going into the new NBA season.
They have barely improved their team from a roster perspective (no disrespect to Ben Gordon or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist), and even though they’ll be sporting new uni’s, we are still looking at the same defensively-challenged team that gave up 100+ ppg and lost 59 games.
Charlotte basketball fans can’t be excited for another season like last year. A tleast the Magic can regroup around the “new team/new era” mantra.
Chris Kaman: Least Likely to Win the 2012-13 Dunk Contest
Nothing against Chris Kaman because he’s a good player, but he lacks a certain “grace” when he rumbles towards the basket and attacks the rim.
I, for one, blame his rickety ankles, his spasmatic bac and his rehabilitating foot. But nowadays, if you can’t fly over a car, or jump from behind the backboard, then your dunk chances at winning the Dunk Contest are slim to none. At this point, he’s more likely to win the Skills Competition than the Dunk Contest.
DeMarcus Cousins: Least Likely to End the Season Without a Technical Foul
DeMarcus Cousins is a fiesty player that’s been known to play some of his best basketball when he gets fired up. The problem with players like him is that sometimes those same emotions that spur a fierce dunk or an important rebound are the same emotions that lead to arguments on the bench and cursing at the officials.
Last year, Cousins finished second in the league in total tech’s behind Kendrick Perkins, and since Perkins may be sitting out a few games here and there due to complications with his wrist, I think DeMarcus is a strong contender for the technical foul crown.
Magic vs. Kings: Least Likely NBA Finals Match-Up
Just to be clear, I don’t necessarily think that the Magic and the Kings are the worst teams in their respective conferences, I just think that these franchises are more concerned with the future rather than the present.
While the Magic are looking to rebuild their squad, the Kings are looking to relocate. Clearly, their focus is on other things rather than a title in 2013.