Thursday, December 02, 2010

50 Most Wanted NBA Jerseys

A few items to consider as you peruse this list:

1. I've never worn an NBA jersey in my life (the only sports jersey I've ever worn outside the field of play is a Soviet hockey jersey my dad got for me when he visited Moscow).  If I were to actually acquire these jerseys, I would just dress my (future, as-of-now-nonexistent) kid in them everyday until he or she is 18 and runs as far away from me as possible. 
2. I have no apparel lust for a.)current jerseys, and b.)star player jerseys, unless its a former star players jersey chasing money and/or a ring on a team other than the one they were a star for.  Buying a Kobe jersey or a Jordan 45 jersey is just sad; buying a Jordan Washington Wizards jersey is...well, actually, it's still pretty sad, but for completely different reasons.
3. I am fully aware that this has probably been done at least 20 other times on the Internet, with 19 of those times being superior to this one (and the other being a spam site).  This is more for me than it is for you, so just deal with it, I guess.

And now, in no particular order, I proudly present 1-10 of the Diminishing Skills 50 Most Wanted NBA Jerseys.

1. Dan Majerle, Cleveland Cavaliers, 1995-96
On March 5, 1996, in a thrilling double-OT 107-101 (76 possessions in a double-OT game!  NOBODY misses the mid-90s style of play, except maybe Terrell Brandon) loss to the eventual Western Conference champion Seattle Supersonics, Majerle played an astounding 58 minutes, scoring 24 points on 7-19 shooting (but 6-13 from three), with 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals, a block and ZERO turnovers thrown in for good measure.  I seem to remember Majerle missing a 3 at the buzzer in regulation that would have won the game for the Cavs, but I could be wrong.  This is my only memory of Majerle in a Cavs' uniform before he signed with the Miami Heat the following summer.  Thunder Dan, Cleveland barely knew ye.

2. Bryant "Big Country" Reeves, Vancouver Grizzles, 1997-98
For a playing career that included 395 games spanning 6 seasons, Big Country was paid over $55 million, including nearly $25 million during the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons.  Total games Reeves appeared in over that span: 0.  (BONUS!!!  For some reason, this exists.  We are all better for it.)

3. Hakeem Olajuwon, Toronto Raptors, 2001-02/4. Patrick Ewing, Orlando Magic, 2001-02
Both aging centers chased money before they both thankfully realized the jig was up and called it quits following the season. 

5. Kobe Bryant, Charlotte Hornets, Draft Day 1996/6. Steve Francis, Vancouver Grizzlies, Draft Day 1999
Neither of these guys ended up ever wearing the jerseys listed above, and I'm not even sure they ever existed.  How crazy is it that Stevie Franchise was drafted 3 years after Kobe? 

Other draft day jerseys include:
7. Antawn Jamison, Toronto Raptors/8. Vince Carter, Golden State Warriors
9. Ray Allen, Minnesota Timberwolves
Allen was swapped for Stephon Marbury, but who would ever want a Milwaukee Bucks Steph Marbury jersey?  Also, I wonder if KG and RayRay would have been as successful in Minnesota as they ended up being together in Boston.

10. Nick Anderson, Cleveland Cavaliers, 2002-03
Another jersey that probably never existed, since Anderson never appeared in a game for the Cavs before being waived.  Acquired strictly for salary purposes, Anderson was traded to the Cavs along with Matt Barnes (!), who was also waived before playing a game for the Cavs.  Barnes, of course, joined the long list of free agents to spurn Cleveland this past offseason.

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