Ah, The NBA. A league that gives it’s fans nonstop entertainment on and off the court. And more than a few laughs as well. Where else will you find mascots dressed as Batman hunting down actual bats that have flown into the arena? How about a coach hanging on for dear life on a players leg during a scrap? This is perhaps the most personal league of any based on player-fan interaction and the most diverse. Where else would you find a Slovenian teenager playing with a German 40-year-old and a seven-foot Tunisian man (The Mavericks when Doncic, Dirk and Mejri are on the floor) playing in the same arena? This variety and personality gives NBA fans nightly laughs and endless memes and gif-able moments.
Social media has truly embraced the league (and vice-versa) and has led to it’s relevance inscreasing every year. NBA Twitter is a veritable gold-mine of comedic material that has literally made random people stars and dominates the 24/7 sports news cycle while also providing everyone involved outlets to interact with others. It’s a beautiful sport that has been defined as “poetry in motion.” However, sometimes poetry can get a little messy and we can all laugh at the culprit. Here are the ten funniest on-court moments of the 2018-19 NBA season.
Taj Gibson might be onto something here
If anyone has played basketball beyond elementary school, at one point you had to try to finish a layup or shot where a coach had an object in their hand. Whether this was a broom to simulate a taller defender closing out or a pad to replicate finishing with contact inside, it was tougher than usual to score. Taj Gibson put on his best Instagram faux-mtrainer imitation in a mid-december game against the Sacramento Kings, guarding Nemanja Bjelica effectively with a shoe in his left hand. The Kings knew Gibson was shoeless, decided Bjelica had the upper hand and proceeded to get his shot SENT by Karl Anthony-Towns with help from Gibson. While this isn’t the funniest thing that’s happened to Bjelica on an NBA court, it probably is the most emasculating.
Mike Scott catches a quick buzz
When going to a sporting event (I guess not The Masters), you expect to take out a second mortgage paying for concessions. Sharing is not caring in this situation and spending 12-20 bucks on one food item and a drink is standard. So if someone were to say, grab your drink without permission to quench their own thirst, annoyance would be the right reaction. What if that person is Sixers forward (and quote machine) Mike Scott? Hard to be mad at someone famous giving you 15 seconds of it by grabbing your whiskey (?) and taking a quick shot. A moment that will live forever on NBA Twitter, Scott not only jumped in the lap of this women but proceeded to take a quick nip from her drink. King moves only.
Rudy Gobert is Cobra Kai
James Harden frustrates a lot of people. Whether it’s broadcasters remarking on the changing game or his peers, Harden’s flopping and iso-ball have drawn the ire of many. You know who else people don’t like most of the time? Refs. You know what frenchmen Rudy Gobert doesn’t seem to like? Water bottles. And bad officiating. And James Harden’s flopping. All of these pieces culminated in one of the more aggressive moves i’ve seen towards an inanimate object since Jennifer Connelly broke her own damn mirror in He’s Just Not That Into You. Gobert treats this water bottle like Rick James treated Charlie Murphy’s face in the infamous Chappelle Show sketch. Dude sent this bottle FLYING and startled some people around him. Gobert hit the weight room after this 1st quarter ejection to let off some steam and train for a potential no holds barred cage match with a thousand water bottles.
Anything Lance Stephenson did this season
The offseason signing of Lance Stephenson for the Lakers should have been a atomic bomb sized warning sign that Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka had no idea what they were doing. Magic defended his decision making by saying they needed “toughness” instead of you know, actual talent, around the newly acquired Lebron James. The result was a wasted year of James’ potentially dwindling career and plenty of laughs at (I guess sometimes with?) the “Meme Team,” comprised of other new additions JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo and Michael Beasley. Lance actually didn’t have a horrendous season, averaging 7.2 points on .426/.371/.685 splits in only 16.5 minutes. But was he a distraction? I’ll let the tape above speak for itself.
Steph Curry is human after all?
Seeing Steph Curry dunk is rare. Rarer than you might think. In fact, he’s only done it 26 times in his career. Alfonzo McKinnie, who has played 1,346 less minutes than Curry has this season, has dunked 33 times this year. Curry only has one dunk this season. So when Curry was given a fastbreak with enough space to fully fall on his butt, get up, maneuver to the three-point line, pass to a teammate, shoot an open jumper and completely whiff on anything resembling a backboard or rim, it was hilarious and memorable.
Batman Coyote > Bat
Bat problems are common at the AT&T Center in San Antonio because 25 miles away from it lives 15 million Mexican free-tailed bats. Seriously. This has led to some hilarious moments for fans of the team and the league. From Manu swiping one away with his hand, to the various net catchings from The Coyote, these bats act as some in-game entertainment from time-to-time. None more laugh-inducing than during a Spurs-Pelicans matchup in early February when The Coyote, in full Batman costume weilding an oversized net, captured one to the roar of the home crowd and players alike. Someone give whomever is under that mascot uniform a raise.
Markelle Fultz doing anything basketball related
Personally, I am still a believer in Markelle Fultz and think that him playing for one of the most ignored teams in the NBA, the Orlando Magic, could jumpstart his career. That and some serious therapy. Or hypnotism. Or maybe deleting his social media handles. What we saw from Fultz this season was a return to the yips that would make Charles Barkley proud and led to his trading to the Sunshine state a year and a half after being the number one pick in the draft. I feel bad for Fultz but it’s hard to not laugh at his free-throw attempts from this season and the Sixers fans Rudy-esque celebrations at his making of a simple jumpshot.
Are these your MVP’s?
A star-on-star crime not seen since 1950 when actor Tom Neal punched Oscar-nominated Franchot Tone into a coma over actress Barbara Payton (yes, I picked the most obscure reference I could but Google it for yourself, it’s a wildly entertaining story), Giannis Antetokounmpo brazenly chucked the pill at James Harden’s noggin to basically tell him that he’s getting the NBA MVP hardware this season. Just as the play was designed, it ended in a three from Ersan Ilyasova at the top of the key and a dazed bearded man in the paint.
Stephen A. Smith runs on court (?), denies it
I have watched this video about 75 times now and I am too blinded by my own hope that it actually would be Stephen A Smith running onto an NBA court to break up a fight to believe anything else. This potential intervening by Smith came a day after reports surfaced he is about to get STUPID paid by ESPN to the tune on $10 million per year so his confidence was at an all-time high. There aren’t many clues (except he was actually at the game, albeit in a different colored suit) pointing to Smith being the perpetrator but his reaction to people believing it was him is an all-timer.
Anthony Davis and Jimmy Butler playing for teams they publicly said they didn’t want to
This would be like changing your Facebook relationship status from “In a Relationship” to “Single” or scrubbing your Instagram feed of your significant other, only to have them post about their love of you, while they are actively swiping on Bumble for other options. In other words a clusterf@#* of emotions and “he said, she said.” After Butler and AD put statements out via their representatives saying that they are requesting trades from their respective franchises, they hilariously still had to play for them. Butler played 10 of the first 13 games for Minnesota before the saga came to an end in a trade to the Philadelphia 76ers, while the Pelicans laughed off trade requests from everyone and continued to swap between playing Davis and sitting him for faux-injuries to save his trade-value. I have no pity for either gentleman as they both make more money combined in a year than some countries entire GDP’s and play a game for a living. I hope for laughs-sake the Pelicans make AD wait until next trade deadline before moving him. That would be something.