NBA: Favorite Bonehead Moves

September 16th, 2008

By: Preetom Bhattacharya 



NBA players sometimes do the darndest things. Despite multi-million dollar contracts that explicitly state what they can and cannot do, some have still found themselves in a dicey situation with their team after violating their contract. Then there's the others that just plain do silly things and get media attention for rather stupid reasons.

Teams often go ahead and do their part when it comes to their end of the deal, but the players don't always do theirs', and do some very boneheaded things sometimes.

So we decided to take a quick trip down memory lane to some of the moments over the past few years that just made us all ask a simple question: "what was he thinking?"

Space Cadet on the Slopes

Fresh off of signing a five-year, $30-million deal, Phil Jackson's favorite Martian and space cadet, Vladimir Radmanovic, separated his shoulder during the All-Star break, an injury that kept him out of play for two months. He was in Park City, Utah, a well-known ski resort area, but Radmanovic originally claimed he had slipped on a patch of ice after buying some coffee with a friend.

"I had my hands in my pockets," Radmanovic told reporters at the time. "I didn't have time to pull them out when I was falling down. I just fell on my shoulder. It's terrible. We have a lot of injured players. For me, it feels like I'm letting the team down."

Jackson never bought the story. When asked about the injury, he said that the team was getting "Pinkerton on the case," and spoke of how he had to take his players' word for things like this.

Five days after hurting himself and telling the team the "ice" story though, Radmanovic revealed that he had actually fallen while trying to learn how to snowboard.  The Lakers were already disappointed with Radmanovic's poor play (6.9 points and 3.4 rebounds) after signing him to such a big deal, but no NBA team will terminate a contract over issues like this.

Instead, the Lakers fined Radmanovic $500,000.

Rookie Mistake?

So you're about to start your wonderful NBA career and you're at a four-day even the NBA puts on to help you make the transition into the league. What do you do?

Break a rule and get kicked out.

That's exactly what happened to Mario Chalmers and Darrell Arthur last week. Attending the league's rookie symposium, the Kansas Jayhawks teammates were sent home early when security at the resort the event took place found the two in their room with two women. The league clearly expressed a "no guest" policy, so both were sent home and will have to repeat the symposium next year.

Additionally, both were fined $20,000.

Security was likely tipped off and checked in on the players after a scent of marijuana was detected – both players deny using the drug, but that's where this all got started.

The question here, especially against Chalmers who plays point guard and has a shot at starting, is why would you do anything to anger your corporate employer in the very first week of your employment? David Stern, reportedly, was livid with both players' inability to follow the rules, so both have already jeopardized their reputation in the eyes of the Commish.

Ron-Ron Wants to Rap

In November of 2004, Ron Artest was physically very tired. He had a very busy summer due to his commitment to his first rap album, you know, so he told then-Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle that he needed some time off. The album just was taking up too much of his time, especially with the busy promotion schedule.

Carlisle, instead, benched Artest for two games.

Although Artest later clarified that he asked for the time off because his "body [had] been aching" and said that his comments were said in the wrong way. Artest said he wanted a month off to heal his aching body.

"I've been doing a little too much music, just needed the rest," Artest said.

Later, he sounded surprised that the pacers expected him to actually play. "They probably expected a little more; expected me to play every game," Artest told media at a press conference. "Everybody's different. It's early in the season, so I feel like I could take some time off early and be ready for the long stretch."

"I've still got my album coming out November 23," he continued. "After the album comes out, I'm going to make sure all of my time is focused on winning a championship."

Funny, because the Pacers gave Artest a contract so he's always be focused on a championship.

Monta Ellis Severely Hurts His Ankle

The most recent gaffe in player judgment, Monta Ellis suffered a torn deltoid ligament and severe ankle sprain last month and will miss at least the next three months. Ellis had just signed a six-year, $66-million contract with the Golden State Warriors and told the team that he had originally hurt himself while working out in the gym.

A few days later, after a lot of speculation and doubt to how he suffered the injury, the truth came out: Ellis reportedly admitted he lied to the team about how he got hurt. The rumors are still rampant about what exactly Monta was doing (motorcycling has been mentioned as the likely culprit), but the huge blow the Warriors are about to take on the court could have been prevented by Ellis simply following his contract language.

The Warriors have yet to announce any punishment or comment on the recent developments in the saga, but a fine can be expected. Considering how the team completely backed Ellis when giving him the contract, making him their starter and committing to him as their franchise player, this mistake in judgment on Ellis' part still really stings and hasn't moved on to the "funny" part as some of these others have.

It probably never will.