The NBA's Terrell Owens

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 2:36 pm
The NBA's Terrell Owens: A Thought Process By #32
With TO creating so much turmoil and anarchy in the NFL, it only seems natural for other sports to start looking around for their own version of #81. In the NBA, there are several featured bad boys on many different teams, but only one of them screams out to me as the basketball incarnation of Terrell Owens. First, let's get some obvious names out of the way:

Ron Artest

People seem to believe that Artest is a troubled child (which he is, there’s no doubt about it), but the only damage he does to the Pacer’s franchise is tarnish it’s image. Artest (according to his teammates) is a favorite in the locker room, he’s liked by his peers, and he’s had no record problems occurring with his coach. While his image remains that of a “bad boy”, I would hesitate to call Artest a TO; here’s why: Owens’ problems all stem from selfishness. TO thinks he’s bigger than any franchise he plays for, he blames the loss of any game he’s in squarely on the quarterback for not feeding him the ball, and he creates controversy in the media by mouthing off about his team. Ron Artest suffers from an anger disorder that stems from a chemical imbalance in his brain. While Artest has gone through several years of anger management therapy, I can’t say the same about Owens and his obsessive compulsive disorder with “me, me, and me.”

Zach Randolph

Zach Randolf cannot be the NBA’s Terrell Owens for two reasons: one, he hasn’t created many problems for his team aside from (like Artest) tarnishing their image and, two, he’s not a franchise altering player for any team accept (at the moment) the Trail Blazers. Smoking weed and getting caught for it is something that happens at a high school prom, therefore Randolph’s offenses can’t be considered too extreme (while they are incredibly juvenile). Unfortunately (perhaps most for the Blazers), Randolph isn’t good enough to be put on the same stage as Terrell Owens. The team would have no hesitation of trading #50 if he ever created half the controversy that Owens has started. There’s no debate about trading Randolph because he, quite frankly, just isn’t that great.

Vince Carter

Vince might be the most logical case out of the mistakenly accused because the similarities are there; he was frustrated with his franchise, he demanded a trade, he held his breath and stuck out his tongue, and was finally gratified by being dealt to Jersey in exchange for a handful of nobodies. The reason I scratch Carter’s name off the list is because I doubt it’ll happen again. Owens moved on to Philadelphia and to say that they welcomed him with open arms is an understatement. While it wasn’t quite the parade in the streets that Shaquille O’Neal received in Miami, Owens was treated like royalty and became, undoubtably, the new face of the Philadelphia Eagles (even surpassing star quarterback Donovan McNabb). In sports, every player gets a second chance and the Eagles were content on being the team to give Owens his second shot. Per highest risk versus highest reward, it was a chance worth taking. Unfortunately, in the end, Owens disappointed and the Eagles felt it would be better for the franchise, as a whole, to simply release Owens and take baby steps from there. You will never hear about the Nets doing the same thing to Carter, (not because of basketball players meaning more to their teams than football players, but) quite frankly, because he won’t give them a reason to. Vince Carter got what he wanted; an out of a losing franchise and is now in the hunt for an NBA Title. In regards to Terrell Owens, I don’t believe what he truly wanted was “an out” from the 49ers; Owens needed to be the star of a winning team. Upon his initial arrival in Philly, it seemed as though that was going to happen. When he went down with an injury, however, the star power resorted quickly back to Donovan McNabb and I believe Owens had an extremely hard time sharing the limelight with his quarterback (hence, the insults and attitudes). If Owens lands in Denver, he’ll likely blame the defense (led by Champ Bailey) for their losses; not because they deserve it, but simply because Bailey is the team’s other star. Carter has no problem sharing the light with Kidd or Jefferson and has openly embraced playing alongside them as a Big Three in the East. Vince Carter is just an athlete getting his second chance in his league. Owens has already blown that and, until Carter does the same, Vince won’t be put in the same regard.

Therefore, ladies and gentleman, I give you the real Terrell Owens of the NBA:

Kobe Bryant

Before I’m bombarded with arguments, I’ll explain my position. Kobe Bryant has brought bad press to Los Angeles in just about every aspect of the Lakers organization. He was the instigating motive behind the trade of Shaquille O’Neal (clearly, still the league’s most dominant player). He was the whining child that eliminated, arguably, the NBA’s current best coach from the Laker’s roster (Phil Jackson). He was involved in an off-court, dramatic trial that nearly engulfed his career (and team) in the ordeal. Kobe Bryant has taken the Los Angeles Lakers down the Donner Trail, basically, and there is seemingly no way out. One could argue that Carter and Bryant are on the same page, basically, but here’s the defining factor: the Lakers were forced to return Jackson to the bench. Now, with the coach that popular belief says Kobe Bryant got fired, calling the shots for the next 3 years, Bryant is going to have to keep his cool and stay quiet, despite his opinion of Phil. Another fall-out could spell the end of Kobe Bryant’s waning reputation as a league baby face. The defining factor that places Kobe above Carter in this article? Kobe’s been given an opportunity to fail.

One might argue that Carter (like Owens) was traded away from the initial team he started anarchy with. I’m choosing to ignore the fact that a trade was in place and simply go by “waves of controversy”, in which case Owens has had 2 major phases (the 49ers and the Eagles). While no NBA player is quite that bad yet, Kobe Bryant is a lot closer (and more likely) to have his second wave before Vince Carter. I’d also like to point out that trades in the NBA mean much more than NFL trades to the team. Because one player can contribute in a more meaningful way in basketball than in football, trades are much more dramatic in the aftermath of a team. For example, the Owen’s NFL trade improved the already dangerous Eagles, but didn’t bolster them to NFL Championship status. The Eagles were already a playoff team and the result was simply a deeper run in the playoffs. Shaquille O’Neal’s trade, however, turned the Miami Heat into an Eastern Conference powerhouse instead of a young, aimless team. In conclusion, I believe an Owens trade was easier to make for the 49ers than a Kobe trade would have been for the Lakers and, therefore, Bryant was retained in Los Angeles.

The truth is that Kobe Bryant is also selfish, like Terrell Owens. He was tired of being known as the kid next to Shaquille O’Neal and put management in a position to choose between the two of them (which, of course, meant that they had to take the younger star). He also created such a cloud of hate around Phil Jackson that the team felt obligated to fire Phil (a coach who gave them championships in three out of four years)! In all actuality, there was absolutely zero logical reasons to fire Phil Jackson (other than the fact that the Lakers organization was trying to satisfy an attention craving child). As stated earlier, the main problem with Terrell Owens is selfishness and the need to be the biggest star on the best team. Kobe Bryant knew that with Phil Jackson and Shaquille O’Neal in town, he could never receive 99% of the credit for the Lakers winning the title. In short, I’m taking Kobe Bryant as the league’s Terrell Owens based on the fact that they’d both rather be big fishes in little ponds as long as people are praising them and paying large amounts of attention to them (while they, all the while, receive large amounts of cash). Kobe and Terrell both play the game in search of personal recognition and should therefore be placed as such.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 5:18 pm
it's hard to say..give it up to t.o tho he's been cool w/ off the field issues and he DOES perform

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 7:09 pm
Kobe is no way near as bad as TO. Any team would want Kobe. Not everyteam would want TO.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 10:20 pm
I didn't say he was as bad... I said, on the NBA stage, no one deserves the title more than Kobe Bryant... but make no mistake, NO ONE is as bad as Terrell Owens.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 6:35 am
I can't believe I've read it all...

You forgot to say that TO is the Dennis Rodman of the NFL, well, except the part about wearing women clothes (Ricky Williams covered it, tho)
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:19 am
Hahaha, I dunno... Worm's controversy usually was surrounded by off-court antics (aside from a few missed practices). TO is more of a cancer to his team and, throughout his career (as good as he is) Kobe's actions getting Shaquille and Phil both eliminated from Los Angeles might just screw over the Lakers for the rest of Kobe's career... and maybe even beyond that!
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 3:04 pm
Yeah, but Rodman was also a cancer in San Antonio, he only did well in teams that were winning and had other vocal leaders. Jordan keep him under control in Chicago and Thomas (and his age, as he was much younger) did the same in Detroit.

I'm not going against the Kobe pick, I just think that Rodman is the biggest of them all, even bigger than TO.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 9:16 pm
rodman has tried on more wedding dresses than miss america
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 12:42 pm
Rodman's definately controversial, but I dunno if you could call him a cancer in San Antonio. At least, not the way Kobe and Terrell are for their teams. Dennis' antics were more like problems to be dealt with. Terrell and Kobe seem to be much deeper than that.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 12:50 pm
The problem with Kobe is that he doesn't know how to be a leader, and he tries so hard that hurts more than help. There's some selfishness in it, but I don't think he's an attention whore, while Rodman and TO are.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 4:41 pm
At the bottom of it all, though, is selfishness... and I'd call Kobe WAY more selfish than Dennis. Terrell's controversey all stems from the fact that he's stuck up, loud mouthed, and damn selfish. Kobe may not use his voice, the way Owens does, but his actions sure as hell speak loud enough for me.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2005 1:32 pm
First and foremost, :D to 32. Good hussle!

These are my ideas in the subject.
Is Kobe worse than Artest, Randolf and Carter? Yes. Never the less, I cannot make the link between TO and Kobe for two main reasons.

First, he is willing to work with his team. While TO will yell at coaches and other team mates when loosing and take all credit for winning, Kobe (while having done so in the past) has learned to share reponsibility for both circumstances. Also, expecially with the loss of Big Diseal, Kobe realises that he needs help on his team. Accepting his place and situation, which TO fails to be able to do, Kobe has come out and said the he wants to work with Phil and looks for strength in Odem as a fellow team mate. While Kobe has discovered the ideas of a TEAM, TO (after major failings at two teams and an uncertain future, with the only thing gaurantted being drama) has no and still believes he IS the TEAM. As the buddists say, Kobe has reached Satori, or a brief state of enlightenment. This philosopy has to do with the idea that you have to loose yourself to find yourself, well...Kobe has lost his team and now is finding his teams and where he belongs in it. On the other hand, in TO's mind, he IS the team and the prosect of him comming to terms with this idea appears vague.

Secondly, TO not only hurt the team, but also hurt the league. Myself, I am not a stong football fan but have been further turned off to the sport by the babyish TO schnanigans. Conversely, Kobe's relatively silent drama has lead to help the league in ratings. Yes, I know the femist of the US stopped watching the NBA after the rape scandel (by the way, that greedy bitch had it comming to her), but i still believe Kobes on the courth dramatics (50 pts games) and trading of Shaq to the East helped the NBA. Spreading the talent strenghens other teams, and boots ratings all together with the Lakers fans still watching the Lakers and Floridians now taking an interest in their winning Miami team.

So.....Is Kobe the TO of the NBA? No. That comparison would be too unfair to Kobe. In truth, both players are great, but TO is a dirtbag, plain and simple. TO puts up points, but tears teams apart in the locker room. Kobe, while having trouble in the past, now admits he looks forward to the challenege of working with Phil and the team to build it up to the Championship level once again.

I offer no alternative to who the TO of the NBA is because I dont think one exists. TO is uniquely childish and I think its time to send him to the corner for his TO(time out).
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 12:15 pm
Agreed, FurZo. To label somebody "as bad" as Terrell Owens would be misleading because there's no one in sports who can hold a candle to Owens' childish, outlandish, and completely tasteless persona.

However, to say that Kobe Bryant was willing to work with Phil Jackson is simply a press release from the LA Times hoping that sports columns and highlights shows wont hold the Lakers under anymore of a microscope then they already are. Jackson was brought in to fix the Lakers, but the story of Kobe "finally wanting to work with him" is strictly for the birds. I don't believe for one second that Bryant and Jackson have buried the hatchet... and I'm looking for it to surface in the public's eye around New Years.

Likewise, I have to respond to the idea of Kobe Bryant being more willing to work with his teammates than Owens. My response takes form in 3 words: Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal. It wasn't too long ago that Kobe Bryant drove the biggest, baddest, most dominant player in the NBA out of the City of Angels. I doubt that Kobe has reconciled himself to the fact that he needs any help to win. If he has, he sure has a damn good poker face about it. Lamar Odom (the only effective player brought in from the Shaq-trade) is on deck as Kobe's sidekick... but, make no mistake, Kobe's not looking for anybody to carry any part of the load. Reminds me of John Henry, in a way. Sure, he works as hard as anybody in the league, but he's so stubborn about doing it himself, it's killing his career. I'm not sold on the idea of Kobe wanting another great player on his team, because his entire motive while driving Shaq out of Los Angeles was to shake those whispering voices in his ear that were telling him that he couldn't win it all without Shaq. At the moment, those voices sound about right. Shaq is just as close to a title as he was with the Lakers, while Kobe Bryant appears to be sinking deeper and deeper out west.

His attitude is not as vocal as Owens is, but Kobe's mindset is the same. Glory, glory, glory, with a lot of money on the side. At least TO has the integrity to admit it.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 5:44 pm
None of the above is as bad as TO. Remember that MOST NFL teams do not want TO, including some of the worst. Many NBA teams will want any of the given four players, Artest and Kobe included.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 10:35 pm
I'm gonna bold it this time, so nobody gets the wrong idea when reading this:

I DON'T THINK ANY OF THESE PLAYERS ARE AS BAD AS TERRELL OWENS, THEY ARE SIMPLY THE BASKETBALL VERSION OF WHAT HE IS TO FOOTBALL!

Read what I've said before you disagree:

#32 wrote:Agreed, FurZo. To label somebody "as bad" as Terrell Owens would be misleading because there's no one in sports who can hold a candle to Owens' childish, outlandish, and completely tasteless persona.


#32 wrote:I didn't say he was as bad... I said, on the NBA stage, no one deserves the title more than Kobe Bryant... but make no mistake, NO ONE is as bad as Terrell Owens.
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