Top 10 Stories of the 2011-12 NBA Season

Top 10 Stories of the 2011-12 NBA Season

With the lockout-shortened  NBA 2011-12 season coming to a close earlier this week, we here at Comical Absurdity take a look back and reflect on which ten stories earn a spot on our list of the most interesting events of the season.

 

10.  Chris Mullin’s jersey retirement mockery


The ceremony to celebrate Chris Mullin’s jersey retirement was met by an onslaught of boo’s when Warriors co-owner Joe Lacobs took the microphone.  Warriors fans used Mullin’s special occassion to voice their discontent at the team trading away fan favorite Monta Ellis just a week before the jersey retirement.  Mullin remained professional and classy throughout, but Jon Barry took the low road and chastised the crowd, hanging Mullin’s jersey retirement into the infamous rafters of NBA history.

 

9.  Chris Paul to the Lakers denied for “basketball reasons”


Before the start of the season, Chris Paul was in a trade that would send him to the Lakers and Pau Gasol to the Rockets.  The league-owned Hornets has been a hotbed for controversy and this deal caught a lot of flack from owners around the league, leading Commisioner Stern to denying the trade for “basketball reasons“.  But Chris Paul, after threatening to pursue legal action, still found his way to Hollywood and has led the Clippers to their first playoffs birth in six years.  It would have been interesting to see what Chris Paul could have done alongside Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum, but forming ‘Lob City’ with Blake Griffin is a good consolation prize for the NBA fan.

 


8.  Old guys with game

 

Even with the odds stacked against them in a 66 game season loaded with back-to-backs and the even more dreaded back-to-back-to-backs, some of the league’s best players are on the wrong side of 33 years old.  Whether it’s Steve Nash leading the NBA in assists at 38 years old and earning an All-Star nod, longtime power-forward Kevin Garnett providing DPOY-caliber defense at the center spot, Tim Duncan averaging 17 points and 9 boards since the All-Star break and anchoring the Spurs to the top seed in the West, or Kobe Bryant averaging less than half a point away from earning his scoring title over the young Kevin Durant and leading the league in minutes, there have been several older star players whose games continued to shine in the hectic season.

 



7.  Michael Jordan becoming a legendary loser


Michael Jordan, majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, sealed a spot in the pantheon of the pathetic when his team earned the worst win percentage in NBA history.  The Bobcats 7-59 record, .106 win percentage, and 23 game losing streak are numbers that even a Wizards Jordan would shake his head at.  And recent comments from former NBA coach Larry Brown about Jordan’s “network of spies” doesn’t add confidence for Charlotte fans.

 

 

6.  Spurs and Bulls retaining their top seeds from last season


Even with pivotal players like Manu Ginobili and Derek Rose injured for nearly half the season, the two top record holders from last season still managed to overcome their injury obstacles and top the winning charts once again.  Through their quality depth and more importantly being coached by the league’s leading coach of the year candidates in Gregg Popovich and TomThibodeau, these two teams demonstrate what a strong culture can do for an organization.

 

 

5.  Metta World Peace’s elbow against James Harden


Ron Artest’s name change alone could earn him a spot on the list, but Metta World Peace’s reckless elbow against the side of James Harden’s head is what seals his spot.  The timing couldn’t be worse as World Peace will be serving his thirteenth suspension during the Lakers playoffs run, but like it was an event scripted for WWE wrestling, he will be able to return in time for a possible second round match-up against Harden and the OKC Thunder.

 

 

4.  Derek Fisher fishing out Billy Hunter’s nepotism


Metta World Peace isn’t alone when it comes to earning a spot in the last week finish to the shortened season.  Derek Fisher, president of the NBA Players Association, sought an independent audit revealing executive director Billy Hunter paying $4.8 million to family members since 2001, leading Federal prosecutors to issue a subpoena against Hunter.  Hunter’s unethical employment practices and conflicts of interest don’t help his already low image after fumbling the lockout negotiations.  Fisher’s actions were voted unanimously against by the union’s Executive Committee and he was even asked to resign, these turn of events will likely serve as lessons in business ethics.

 

 

3.  Lamar Odom becoming a true Kardashian


If you thought this top 10 didn’t have enough Lakers related stories, then Lamar Odom’s bizarre season is just for you.   After years of trade rumors, the reigning sixth man of the year was finally traded and saw a decline that would rival Gallagher’s.  Odom’s motivation and competitiveness never showed up as he dealt with personal tragedies and clashed with owner Mark Cuban.  Towards the end of the season, Odom reached an agreement where he would remain on the inactive list for the remainder of the season including the playoffs.  In any case, the Candyman has become a true Kardashian after finding a way to get paid millions for doing nothing.

 

 

2.  The rise and fall of ‘Linsanity’


Jeremy Lin, the underdog Asian-American sensation that swept the international sports world, rose to fame after stringing together a 9-3 stretch for the Knicks, averaging 22.5 points and 8.7 assists.  He was the face of magazine covers including two consecutive Sports Illustrated issues, and led the Knicks back into the playoffs race while Carmelo Anthony was sidelined due to injury.  NBA fans around the world have been waiting for another player to fill the giant shoes left by Yao Ming, but we’ll all have to wait until the second round of the playoffs before Lin is cleared to play after undergoing knee surgery in March.

 

 

1.  Breaking and stabbing Superman’s back


In what Dan Patrick called the “ultimate bushleague move”, Stan Van Gundy aired out the Orlando Magic’s dirty laundry when he confirmed a rumor to reporters that Dwight Howard wanted him fired for the past year.  Unbeknownst to Howard, he put his arm around Stan Van Gundy and proceeded to deny the rumors just moments after Stan confirmed them, and you can feel the awkwardness captured in the video footage.  The drama only grew as the ironman Howard underwent season ending back surgery, missing more games this season than in his entire career.  What is most surprising is that Dwight’s drama has made LeBron’s Miami Heat actions look respectable and professional by comparison.