The 25 Biggest Fails Of The NBA Season

Monster dunks. Nothing-but-net threes. Alley-oops. All are wonderful moments we’ve witnessed so far this season. There have been plenty of good moments: KD‘s recent scoring outburst, ‘Melo‘s record-breaking game, and Greg Oden‘s return… none of which you’ll see on this list. This is dedicated to the bad and the ugly, the plays that left you thinking WTF was that, what were they thinking? This season has been one of the most competitive and fun seasons to watch in recent memory, but it’s only right we have some fun at the halfway point.

Without further ado, the biggest fails of season.

*** *** ***

25. Shaq Falls on TNT
Some of these videos on the list come from various TNT segments titled “Shaqtin’ A Fool”, in which Shaq picks the worst of the worst from the past week. Well, it’s only right we give credit where credit is due. The one-day Hall Of Famer had his own epic fail on TNT earlier this season, and the guys proceeded to bash him the rest of the broadcast. Great stuff from an always-funny telecast. But it’s only right we start off by giving the Big Diesel a dose of his own medicine.

24. Swaggy P Volume 1
Nick Young, AKA Swaggy P, has been, dare I say, reliable this season for Los Angeles (has the word reliable and Nick Young ever been in the same sentence before?). Young is carrying the grunt of the Lakers scoring load this season, and averages 16.9 PPG. But, he’s also Swaggy P: Co-King of the “WTF was he thinking throne” (J.R. has to get some love here to). Case and point at one point this season where he gave us the worst travel ever. He just got trapped along the baseline, gave up his dribble and… gives up completely and falls to the floor. It’s a fail.

23. Gerald Henderson‘s Accurate Pass into the Stands
Henderson has been pretty solid for the Bobcats this season, averaging 15.1 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 2.7 APG. Not sure if he was aiming for the woman all along, or if he thinks Josh McRoberts has stretchable arms. Either way it’s just awful. Speaking of awful, why did Henderson shave his head bald? He looks like a young Steve Harvey. Then again, when you get the Macklemore haircut, do you really have any room to talk? Fails on the pass and our hairstyles.

22. The Knicks are Unaware of the Time
The Knicks whole season has been a fail up to this point, and you’ll see them appear on this list a few more times. Two times this season a Knickerbocker has taken an ill-advised shot with time running out and the Knicks in the lead. I’ll let you guess which two. One time I can understand, but did they just never talk about clock management afterwards? Did they pretend it never happened after the first time?

21. Kendrick Perkins is not a point guard
Perkins is in the midst of his worst individual season. Father Time has caught up to him athletically, and his already limited offensive game is now nonexistent. Here, the Thunder decides to try Perkins out in a new role: entry passer. The result is probably what you expected.

20. Swaggy P Volume 2
The first one was probably easier to swallow for Coach Mike D’Antoni than this one is. You take the good with the bad when it comes down to Swaggy. Can’t really say I know what he was thinking here, probably could have laid this one in without the 360° part.

19. Al Jefferson‘s Sky-Hook
Big Al has been well, big, for the Charlotte Bobcats this year. He might even be a long shot selection for the All-Star Game. Jefferson is averaging 18.9 PPG and 10.5 RBG this season, but on this play he looks more like Jackie Moon from Semi Pro. His “My hands were slippery guys!” reaction just adds to embarrassment.

18. Enes Kanter Gets Confused
Kanter, the young center for the Utah Jazz, is young, raw, and still learning how to play. With the Jazz in the midst of a full-blown rebuilding season, their young core (Burke, Burks, Favors, and Kanter) is playing major minutes. Play so many young guys so many minutes, and you’re bound to have some hiccups along the way. Give Kanter some time before we call him a failure. However, this pass is a fail.

17. Kendrick Perkins #NoNewFriends
Poor Kendrick. Maybe Durant was still upset about that entry pass from earlier. You can picture Perk’s face when he saw this photo pop up (then again he only has one facial expression: the mean mug). His response is real; this is an awkward moment. Take a look at Perkins’ Instagram: it’s full of depressing quote photos like “If I don’t text you after January 1st, that mean I left your *** in 2013!”. It hasn’t been a fun year for the Thunder center.


16. When Do the Knicks Play Again?
Carmelo is carrying a very discombobulated Knicks team this season. In fact, you can make a case his play (27.1 PPG and 9.0 RPG, a career-high) has been the lone bright spot for the Knickerbockers. (I’d say Tim Hardaway Jr.‘s emergence as a respectable player in just his first season would be another one.) He even broke the MSG scoring record last week (62 points against the Bobcats), so there have been some good moments. This, however, was not one of those moments, as Anthony is caught by complete surprise when he’s told he has yet another game to play the next day. I have some questions though: how don’t you know you play again tomorrow? It’s not even in New York (the Knicks played Charlotte ironically), doesn’t he have to pack a bag? Do rich people not pack their own suitcases? ‘Melo’s disappointment in having to play again is hilarious on its own.

15. The Tumultuous Times of Jason Kidd
Before I go any farther, let me first say that I thought he was a great hire. Former top-tier point guard turned real life head coach? Sign me up. Whoops. But while the Nets have turned it on as of late, much of the early season, Kidd’s first few months at the helm in particular, have been a fail. First he answered his phone while on the sidelines during a summer league game. (“Hey man, sorry can’t talk right now, I told you I’m doing that coaching thing. Yeah Lawrence sucks, I hate that guy, he’s always watching me. Dinner at eight? Ok, I’ll be there.”) Then there was that whole “We have no timeouts, intentionally bump into me and spill my drink so I can draw up a play” thing. I call it SpillGate. That was followed shortly by his demotion of top assistant Lawrence Frank to errand boy, err daily report writer. (Lawrence Frank reminds me of Tobey from The Office, which makes J-Kidd’s “Sit the … down! I’m the coach of this … team! When you’re on the bench, don’t … move!” rant even more hilarious.) Plus, he doesn’t wear a tie, just a blazer and dress shirt, giving him a fresh, young, and inexperienced vibe. We’ve watched him learn on the run for much of the season; whether they can actually turn it around is TBD.

14. The Pelicans Mascot
Much has been made of the New Orleans new name, logo, and most importantly, the mascot… Pierre, the wonderful. The giant-sized Pelicans mascot looks like he was brought right off the set of a B-level horror movie. Pierre has been terrifying young children at games all year, and the reactions alone are priceless. With New Orleans hosting the All-Star Game this year, there are rumors of a Pierre makeover underworks in an attempt to make him less horrifying for the masses. I personally am a fan of the mannequin-creepy doll from the attic look; the NBA needs more scary mascots like Pierre! Okay, maybe not.

13. Roy Hibbert T.M.I. on Social Media
After beating the Bobcats 99-94 earlier in the year, the leader for Defensive Player of the Year took to social media to explain his strange demeanor during the game. Apparently the Big Fella got a little Bengay where the sun don’t shine. What’s even worse is the reaction from other athletes (check out Pat McAfee and LaMarcus Aldridge‘s reactions). Hibbert, while a star on the defensive end of the court, failed in social media.

12. Tank Busting
Someone didn’t pass along the memo. Three teams with rumored tanking intentions, the Raptors (Riggin’ for the hometown Wiggins), Suns (young and starting over with a new GM and coach to begin the year, plus multiple picks and cap space this summer), and the Bulls (reloading after Derrick Rose‘s second knee injury) are all at this moment in the playoffs (finishing third, sixth and sixth in their respective conferences).

After trading away their best players, the Raptors (Rudy Gay) and Bulls (Luol Deng, best healthy player that is) have gone 17-9 and 8-4 and are surging. The Suns have cooled down from their hot start, due in part to star guard Eric Bledsoe tearing his meniscus, but are still playing well out West. This is not an insult towards these teams; it’s great to see teams playing hard and competing. But when your ultimate motive was “lose games, acquire star” then technically you’re failing.

11. Gortat‘s Dreamshake Turns into a Nightmare
Marcin Gortat is having a pretty good year since joining the Washington Wizards via trade earlier in the year. The Wizards are also reportedly going to do whatever it takes to re-sign him this offseason. So that’s good. Apparently somewhere along the way, he picked up the Olajuwon-patented Dreamshake. As the video shows, the Polish Hammer still has a ways to go.

10.Tiago Splitter Leaves It Short
Splitter’s minutes are down slightly with the resurgence of the chunky Boris Diaw, but Tiago is still an integral part of the Spurs. But there is nothing to say for him on this play. Other than FAIL, that is.

9. Kris Humphries Vs. Motion
Once upon a time, Humphries was a double-double threat on the court and more importantly, married to Kim Kardashian off it. Two years removed from averaging 13.8 PPG and 11.0 RPG, Humphries has become a bench player for the rebuilding Celtics. He’s actually been effective when he plays, shooting 51.7 percent and averaging 7.7 PPG and 6.0 RPG in only 19.5 minutes. But on this play, we are reminded as to why he spends most of his time without the ball in his hands.

8. J.R. Smith
After being rewarded with a new multiyear contract this past offseason, J.R. Smith spent most of the first half of the season being the thorn in coach Mike Woodson‘s side. From his isolation plays on offense (they all end in him turning the ball over or with an atrocious shot attempt), his typically bad defense (but hey, he admitted it isn’t his area of expertise), his aforementioned shot selection, or his numerous shoe-tying incidents, Smith has regressed from his stellar 2012-2013 campaign. If one player exemplified first half failure, it be hard to argue against Smith taking home the crown.

7. Anthony Bennett‘s Rookie Season
I’m a part of the group of naïve individuals who still believes in the big guy. He scored 15 points Tuesday night against the Pelicans, it’s all coming together! Ok, maybe not. Bennett is putting together a historically awful season for a No. 1 pick, averaging 2.4 PPG and 2.3 RPG on 25.9 percent shooting (14.3 percent from three). Why does Cleveland refuse to send him down to the D-League? Are they trying to remove all of his self-confidence? Cleveland’s season, and Bennett’s in particular, has been a FAIL.

6. Amar’e Stoudemire: Offense
In his defense, he was never known for his passing in the first place. Stoudemire has shown glimpses of his former self this season. You know, the 25.3 PPG and 8.2 RPG 2010-2011-era S.T.A.T. This was not one of those rare occasions.

5. Amar’e Stoudemire: Defense
In his defense, he was never known for his defense in the first place. Plus, he’s in NYC: there are so many sights to see, he’s just trying to take it all in.

4. Tyler Hansbrough Throws the White Flag
The former North Carolina great is all hustle out on the court; he leaves everything he has on the floor. His job is to get in the head of his opponent, and in this case, Psycho-T is ready to brawl…until he sees who’s in the other corner. Hansbrough wisely sacrifices his reputation for his safety and future. Tough guy fail.

3. Enes Kanter is Just Off the Mark
Just another misstep here, nothing more to see, move along. The 5-11 Shane Larkin is coming for the swat, what do you want Kanter to do? Shoot over him? Really though, Kanter is averaging 11.6 PPG and 6.0 RPG in just 25.0 minutes per game. Give him a break!

2. Josh Smith‘s Shot Selection
J-Smoove was once regarded as the second most athletic small forward in the game- a LeBron Lite version if you will. Then the 6-9 forward decided he was a lethal shooter. For the year, the Pistons small forward (playing Smith at small forward has been a major fail on its own) is shooting 41.0 percent from the floor and an incredibly unremarkable 24.1 percent from three! So far Smith has put up 158 three-pointers and has made only 38! The Pistons “big” frontcourt of Monroe, Drummond and Smith has been a total disaster this year, so much so that the team may have to deal either Smith or Monroe at the deadline. Smith’s fondness for chucking surely isn’t helping the cause, especially when he’s shooting 55.8 percent on his close shots. Smith’s shot selection has been a total failure, deserving of the number two spot.

1. Andrea Bargnani Vastly Overestimates His Physical Skills
Say what you want about the Italian Stallion, but I admire him for his self-confidence. It’s refreshing to see a professional try and take off from the free throw line a la Michael Jordan, only to realize they aren’t the chosen one. Bargnani takes off with every intention of slamming this one down, but there’s only one problem…he is absolutely nowhere near the basket. Everything about this season is a FAIL for the Knicks, but this play tops them all.

What was the biggest fail of the season so far?

Follow Ian on Twitter at @Ian_Flick.

Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.

Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.