When West took an $11 million pay cut to sign with the Spurs in July, many questioned the rationale. But the grizzled vet wanted to compete for a championship, and no one was going to tell him otherwise.
If you ask peers who the toughest players in the league are, West’s name inevitably comes up. West’s reputation comes from his old school post game — you’ll rarely play against him and come away unbruised — plus the fact that he doesn’t cave for anyone. (His fascination with boxing in the offseason doesn’t hurt)
West is a free thinker and genuine intellectual with his perspective hardened by his experiences. His father brought him to a police protest at six years old, and he played in New Orleans during Katrina. He began sponsoring local families and became much more involved with the community. He loves helping younger players learn the ropes, commanding attention with his stoic dignity. People don’t cross him, but that’s because everyone respects him.
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Pennywise the Clown
We’ve mentioned him a couple times already, but the New Orleans phenom is perhaps the most fearsome player in the NBA. He has limitless potential; he’s a dominant shot blocker and a burgeoning offensive force.
But he makes this list for one reason: According to USA Today, Davis likes to dress in a clown suit and jump out of nowhere to scare his family. Considering he’s 6-10 with a unibrow, what could be scarier than that?
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Back in the autumn of 1997, my worlds collided a bit. With Patrick Ewing still a Knick and Michael Jordan at his peak, I was an absolute basketball fanatic, but I’d also loved Halloween since I was a kid. That year, NBA opening night fell on Oct. 31. As a college freshman with a near-constant fear of missing out, I had a tough decision on my hands.
Ultimately, I decided to stay in, which I didn’t regret. My roommates and I loaded up on food and had a great time watching games all night — in particular, I recall the Knicks beating the Hornets, while Jordan and the Bulls (sans Scottie Pippen) lost to the Celtics in their first game with Rick Pitino as coach.
My priorities have changed over time, in that I realized there’s always another basketball game to watch. If I stay in on Halloween now, it’s generally to watch scary movies with my wife and answer the door for trick or treaters.
But I never forgot how cool it is that the basketball season annually starts on or around Halloween. To their credit, the NBA has embraced it, encouraging fans to show up in costume while running team-themed pumpkin-carving contests. And of course, nobody has topped the 2010 Celtics for getting the absolute most out of the holiday, specifically Rajon Rondo as Tiger Woods.
In the spirit of Halloween, Champs Sports presents a list of the Scariest NBA Players — playing style or otherwise — along with a comparison to a fictional character.
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