Today in The Works: Who sucks, and why. It's very subjective.
The Last Shall Be First
It's very hard to pick the worst player in the league. We have excluded rookies because that's just not fair. Also, contract size was not taken into account, or else this would turn into an exercise in showing off and saying stuff like "imagine him in four years!" about mid-level guys. We are going on pure gut here.
Odd picks are Shoals, evens are Eric Freeman.
1. Sean Marks, Portland Trail Blazers (BS)
Eric Freeman: You're really going to anger the Blazers fans with that one. They love everybody on that team.
Bethlehem Shoals: He has played part of every NBA season for ten years. That makes him like a ghost in "The Ghost Whisperer" who cannot find peace and move into the next world.
EF: He's from New Zealand, though, so I think he spent part of that time acting in "Lord of the Rings."
2. Aaron Gray, New Orleans Hornets (EF)
EF: He is the MVP of big men who I think are from Australia even though I know they aren't.
BS: It is really easy to have a career as a basketball player if you're tall. It's just like the real draft: Height trumps all! Or what's that cliche? If the height isn't right, then say good night!
3. Gerald Henderson, Charlotte Bobcats (BS)
BS: He just plain sucks. Plus symbolically, Duke needs to be represented early and often.
EF: Isn't he basically a rookie, though? Larry Brown barely played him.
BS: Look, he's not better than Gerald Green. And Gerald Green is out of the league. Plus, it's not like he came from high school. He went to college, then spent a year working out with an NBA team.
EF: Plus he doesn't know how to use cupcakes as props.
4. Sasha Pavlovic, Dallas Mavericks (EF)
EF: I'm pretty sure he's only in the league now because he once played on a team with LeBron James.
BS: It's pretty amazing that he's still in the league and Bostjan Nachbar isn't. Or wait, did he go back to Europe on purpose? Here's a weird idea -- that Pavlovic is so crappy he can't even go back to Europe to play.
EF: Nachbar is incidentally really great on Twitter. He seems like a pretty pleasant person.
5. Johan Petro, New Jersey Nets (BS)
BS: Petro, the last of the Rick Sund center still standing.
EF: You have to be pretty bad to be signed to a big contract and then immediately shopped around. Where is Saer Sene, by the way?
BS: I think I heard he went back home to live like a king. Sucks for the Sonics, but all in all, things didn't turn out so badly for him.
6. Shelden Williams, Denver Nuggets (EF)
EF: He isn't even the best player in his own household.
BS: Hard to argue with him being high on this list. Remember when he used to just rule the post in college? I will never forget that. It was like watching a cat write a book.
EF: His nickname was "The Landlord." I think Atlanta drafted him that year because they wanted to take advantage of the housing bubble. So, in a way, Shelden's career is the story of America.
BS: American masculinity has gone down the tubes.
7. B.J. Mullens, Oklahoma City Thunder/Kosta Koufos, Minnesota Timberwolves (BS)
BS: Let's save time and make them one person.
EF: Does he want everyone to call him Byron now because it makes him sound tougher? Because it's worse than BJ.
BS: BJ stops being an acceptable nickname around the time you learn what it means in sex slang.
EF: BJ Raji somehow makes it work.
BS: BJ Raji had the day of his life. Both of those guys should just be sent to the D-League for an entire season. This call up and go back crap gives them all false hope. If BJ Mullens got a triple double, we would respect the BJ.
8. Dan Gadzuric, Golden State Warriors (EF)
EF: He hasn't been relevant since he changed the pronunciation of his name.
BS: You can't change the pronunciation of your name. You can insist people say it correctly. But you can't change your language. Unless Gadzuric, one of the most mysteriously multi-ethnic players in the league, made up his own name and language. That would be groovy.
EF: If he'd really wanted people to pronounce it correctly he would have told everyone at UCLA, when people actually thought he could be a star.
BS: College athletes don't have rights like that. Also, if they get spit on, they have to go wipe off the face of whoever spit at them.
9. Chris Quinn, San Antonio Spurs (BS)
BS: He couldn't even be Steve Blake.
EF: At some point you're going to have to come to terms with the fact that Steve Blake is pretty solid.
BS: If he's so solid, then why couldn't the Blazers win a championship with him at point guard?
EF: What if the Lakers win this year?
BS: They won't because of him. Actually, the real reason I think he's bad is all personal. One time I tried to break the ice with him by telling a knock-knock joke about Vanna White.
EF: He probably likes that show a lot. I am going to get a bit controversial with my next pick.
10. Keith Bogans, Chicago Bulls (EF)
EF: I know he has started 44 games for the Bulls, and can play some defense, but Thibodeau must be blind.
BS: I had him on a fantasy team at some point, but that might just have been because he was getting minutes in the Stan Van Gundy offense. Actually, he put up some decent numbers in Charlotte. Certainly, he was bad enough that he led scouts to tragically undervalued Jodie Meeks.
EF: He is not actually deserving of placement on this list, but I won't stand for his starting 44 games and must point it out.
BS: Has Keith Bogans ever been mentioned on Twitter?
EF: Only by Bulls fans.
11. Hasheem Thabeet, Memphis Grizzlies (BS)
BS: Caveat: As we've seen with Darko, strange things can happen with young big men. Actually, it is pretty awesome that the Grizzlies drafted Thabeet to replace Darko.
EF: Didn't they also have Kwame Brown at the time?
BS: Yeah, but he's a good post defender.
EF: So was Thabeet, in theory.
BS: No, I mean defender, not shot blocker.
EF: Yes, I understand. I'm not sure the Grizzlies know the difference.
12. Marco Belinelli, New Orleans Hornets (EF)
EF: I had once hoped he would take the NBA by storm. Then my brother ran into him at a doctor's office in San Francisco and he said the NBA was too fast. The end.
BS: He didn't go to a team doctor?
EF: It's unclear why he was there. Maybe he had a crush on the receptionist.
BS: That's very Italian.
13. Solomon Jones, Indiana Pacers (BS)
BS: I kind of used to think he was going to be good. He was for a quarter in 2007.
EF: It was a wonderful moment. I will take another wing who disappointed me.
14. Corey Brewer, Minnesota Timberwolves (EF)
EF: He was my favorite guy on those Florida teams and now he can't even get regular starts for Minnesota.
BS: He gets a lot of steals. He's the steals equivalent of a guy who goes for the blocked shot every time. Like Sene.
EF: Is he the only guy on this list so far who can be marginally valuable for a fantasy team?
BS: I think he's the only guy who gets consistent minutes.
EF: Keith Bogans, too!
15. Brian Scalabrine, Chicago Bulls (BS)
BS: By far the most talked-about terrible player EVER.
EF: Is he even a professional basketball player? I thought he was a doll.
BS: He likes to mountain bike. And play with slugs.
EF: One guy who doesn't do that is my next pick ...
16. Etan Thomas, Atlanta Hawks (EF)
EF: A serious human being concerned with political issues. I don't have many rules, but one of them is that it's bad if you're better known for slam poetry than your basketball skills.
BS: In all fairness, Etan was once a perfectly serviceable back-up center, he's just not good enough to have stayed so with age. On a similar note, I pick both Collins brothers.
17. Jason, Jarron, and Sherron Collins. (BS)
EF: Backup Bears QB Todd Collins counts in that group, too.
BS: Also, as with Thomas, the real Collins brothers -- twins, to be exact -- are well-rounded human beings who will have no problem getting on with their lives when, invariably, they find that eventually time conquers all but the tallest heights.
EF: I think what we're finding now is that a lot of these older players aren't really bad, they're just old. Maybe the league is actually not so full of bad players. Even guys at the end of the bench have something to offer.
BS: And bad young players have their whole lives ahead of them. Amen.
The Works is written by Bethlehem Shoals (@freedarko) and Eric Freeman (@freemaneric), who also contributes regularly to Ball Don't Lie. Their Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History is now available.