During a brief period last year, we had an arrangement with Royce from Daily Thunder where I wrote a weekly column on his site and he did the same for us. Before that ended, I began a series educating Oklahoma City’s budding NBA fan base on reasons they should root against Thunder opponents. When the arrangement with Royce ended, the series also died.
With the first round of the playoffs in full swing, though, I thought it might be time to bring the schtick out of retirement and focus on the Thunder’s opponent, the Denver Nuggets. So, without further ado, here are five reasons why you should detest the Nuggets:
When rumors swirled near the trade deadline, we as Thunder fans flirted with the idea of having the Brazillian big man as the team’s starting center. I even wrote about it for The Gazette.Instead, the Nuggets chose to hold on to him, Sam Presti made a shocking deal for Kendrick Perkins and now we need to forget every nice thing we ever said about him.
But why hate him? Let’s start with his insistence on being called by one name like he’s a Madonna-level icon. Sure, it’s common for star athletes from his native country to go by a single moniker, but let’s be honest, he’s no Pele.
What he is is an often injured faux tough guy with the hair of a WNBA player. He hasn’t made an NBA all star team and he wants to be treated like a global celebrity? When his name is announced at the OKC Arena, the crowd should add “Hilario.”
I am fairly certain that the Denver Nuggets are sponsored by a tattoo parlor. In a league where players are unhip if they fail to cover their body in ink–like most of the Thunder players–the Nuggets take it to a whole other level.
Most of the team appears to compete to be a carnival’s painted man after retirement more than they try to win on the floor. Chris “Birdman” Andersen has a “Free Bird” tatooed in psychadelic colors around his entire neck. Mexican gangsters would look at that tatoo and say it was too loud.
Then, Kenyon Martin has a bar code on the back of his neck–I guess he’s making a statement about a coming new world order? Maybe…but then what statement does the pair of women’s lips beneath his ear make? It certainly hurts the “tough guy” image he pretends to exude.
Meanwhile, J.R. Smith appears to have let my four year old draw squiggles all over his arm.
By all accounts, Chris Andersen (aka “The Birdman”) is one of the most popular bench players in the league. His admiration-to-ability ratio leads the league.
He was pretty popular when he was playing for the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets, too, and how did he repay us for looking past his faults (i.e. playing basketball)? He smoked up our best meth and then abandoned us for rehab.
4. J.R. Smith
Based on numbers 3 & 4, you might get the idea that Denver is the wayward home for failed NOOKC players. It is. While Andersen was banished from OKC by the NBA for drug violations, J.R. Smith was jettisoned for wasting his talent.
When the Hornets came to OKC, Smith was their one shining hope after a season encompassing only 18 wins. After a promising rookie season, they gave him a fancy nickname (“The Matrix”) and promoted him as the future of the team. Unlike every other player on the team when paired with Chris Paul, Smith actually regressed. It was not hard to figure out why. While living in the 405 he just didn’t give a crap about basketball. During warm-ups, he did “The Cha-Cha” while his teammates honed their game, and when he did touch a basketball it was simply to practice half court heaves. Byron Scott banished him to the the dog house, and no one could blame him.
5. Danilo Gallinari
This boy band wannabe tried to get tough with Kevin Durant?
Honorable Mention: Kenyon Martin grabbing the rim after every made basket; George Karl complaining about the NBA being in OKC; The team’s need for the waaaambulance after a blown goal tending call gave OKC an insurmountable one point lead in game 1; Kenyon Martin for complaining that Serge Ibaka was invited to be a dunk contest participant.