Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The NBA Loose Cannons

Like all sports, basketball requires mental toughness and keeping your head in the game. Many people assume basketball is based on one's physical skills, but the mental component is also a huge factor.

I've noticed that certain players are more susceptible to mentally wandering off during a game than others. The mental breakdown spectrum ranges from 1) Being easily distracted 2) Having frequent mental slip ups 3) Not being able to control one's emotions 4) Being just plain crazy 5) Achieving complete head case/train wreck status.

In sports like MMA, football, and wrestling, it might be beneficial for a participant to have a reputation as someone who barks at the moon and is a little crazy, but it appears some of these personalities are also in the NBA. Below I have listed some players who have had interesting moments, mental breakdowns, or completely lost it at times during their career.

Dennis Rodman- He set the standard for craziness. Despite his flamboyant looks, controversial behavior, and lack of opening up to teammates, he still somehow got the job done. It makes me wonder what he could have been capable of if he was willing to conform with his team a little bit more.

Ron Artest aka Meta World Peace- The name change speaks volumes on this subject. He's known for hard fouls and never backing down to an opponent, but people really started to question his mental state when he went up in the stands to fight fans at the brawl in Detroit.

Javale McGee-I like watching this talented leaper, but he is full of surprises and regularly does some funny stuff that makes me wonder if he is even paying attention during games. Sometimes I think he has the attention span and maturity of a little kid.

Latrell Spreewell- He was one of the most talented scorers during his days in the NBA, but choking out your coach is a sure fire way to get you on the list of loose cannons.

JR Smith- Is an exciting player with great athletic ability, but doesn't like to conform. He's know for run ins with coaches. He recently came back from playing in China and supposedly accrued 1 million dollars in fees for breaking team rules.

Nate Robinson- I like Nate, but he's a little too intense. He has a flare for showboating and it makes me wonder if he can make wise decisions at the right time. Things like nearly scoring on the wrong basket and almost injuring himself while jumping on his own players while celebrating come to mind.

Andrew Bynum- He's been playing great this year, but I could have sworn he was heading for a meltdown at the end of last season after the cheap shots and suspension he got during the playoffs. Anytime I see a player rip of his jersey and walk of the court it makes me wonder how stable he is.

Chris "The Birdman" Anderson- I haven't seen any mental meltdowns from Anderson and I admit I'm judging him by his appearance, but you gotta wonder whats going through the guys head. He looks more like a Hells Angels leader than an athlete.

Honorary mentions to John "headbutt" Starks, Michael Beesley, Drew Gooden, Delonte West, Stephon Marbury, Gilbert Arenas, Scot Pollard, and Stephen Jackson.

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