Ceremonial first pitches in baseball games are only entertaining if they’re a trainwreck of some sort or other, but there’s an added layer of comedy when a pro athlete in another sport can’t fulfill the basic task of throwing a baseball 60 feet, six inches. Let’s laugh together at these NBA ballers who failed at throwing a ball that’s considerably smaller than what they’re used to.
The new Clipper inspired us to make this list with his embarrassing display at a Dodgers game last week. Pierce’s Celtics history (and his distaste for the Lakers) already made him a hard sell at Dodger Stadium, even if he might be the final piece to take the Clippers over the Conference Semis hump. He did not do himself any favors ingratiating himself to L.A. when he bounced his pitch. Listen to those boos! (Best part: The PA announcer’s sarcastic “good job” afterward.)
Of course, this wasn’t the first time Pierce has thrown out the first pitch. He was invited to Fenway after the Celtics’ 2008 title win, and that pitch didn’t go too well, either:
So, he airmailed his first try and shorted his second try. Third time’s the charm, Paul. Maybe try the Angels’ stadium next.
Oh no, Michael. This was from the summer of 1998, after MJ and the Bulls won their sixth title and he retired for the second time. How is it possible that his first pitch was this bad? He played actual baseball in the Minor Leagues for nearly two years!
Sammy Sosa was the catcher who wasn’t tall enough to corral MJ’s pitch, and his presence should bring back memories of that wonderful summer of ’98, when Sosa was chasing McGwire and Jordan rode off into the sunset. This wasn’t either of their finest moments.
Now this… is even worse than MJ’s. This was closer to Mariah Carey’s first pitch than either of the above attempts. There’s only one appropriate response here.
If it wasn’t for Michael Young’s quick reaction, this pitch could have been just as embarrassing for Dirk as it was for Jordan. Dude, we understand that you’re a strong man and you’re juiced to be up there, but see the glove, hit the glove. Respect for the attempted windup, though. It looked better than Pierce’s.
Jo actually redeemed himself by throwing a strike on his second attempt, but in requesting his second attempt, he also lost most of his dignity. Try to imagine a good way to say, “No, gimme the ball back, I got it this time. The baseball game that everyone paid to see can wait. I HAVE TO DO THIS.” No one will remember the good pitch anyway. Noah would have been better off shrugging and laughing like every other poor schmuck on this list.