Austin Rivers recently announced on Twitter that he will be wearing No. 0 at Duke, and wants to be called ‘SubZero’, solidifying why people everywhere hate Duke and also cold things. It got me thinking, who were the best NBA players to ever wear No. 0? Keep in mind, your stats on this list only count during the seasons that you wore Single Zero.
No. 10: Taurean Green Wait, Who? Green was the point guard on the back-to-back NCAA Champion Florida squads from a few years back. On a team with Horford, Noah, and Brewer, Green was the fourth-most important player on those Gator teams. He also played only 17 NBA games, shooting a LeBronGame4 28% for his career. But he has two NCAA rings (not wearing 0), so he makes the list.
No. 9: Acie Law IV Another guy here for his collegiate success rather than his pro game. Law was a cold-blooded killer for Texas A&M, but never amounted to much as a lottery pick in the NBA. It seemed like every time I logged onto ESPN.com, he had been traded again just to make a deal fit under the salary cap.
No. 8: Mike Bibby Victimized by the non-Zero seasons rule, Bibby’s only applicable stats come from his appearances with the Heat. Bibby isn’t the player he once was, but he has been a marginal contributor to the Heatles run. Bibby, you get 8. Be happy you’re still in the show.
No. 7: Drew Gooden Purely here for the ducktail.
No. 6: Leon Powe Or is it Pau? Phil Jackson never could get it right. Powe was an unsung hero of the Celtics’ 2008 Championship run, dropping 21 points in Game 2 of the Finals. He tore his ACL in the 2009 playoffs, and the Celtics opted not to re-sign him, instead signing Crybaby Davis. Not re-signing Powe is one of the few moves of the Big-3 era that I regret (although they seem to be making more each day, WHY WOULD YOU LET KRSTIC SIGN IN RUSSIA?)
No. 5: Aaron Brooks Purely here for bowtie swag.
No. 4: Shawn Marion It’s a good thing these rankings aren’t based on who has the prettiest shot. The Matrix has only worn 0 with the Mavs, but was a huge contributor for their 2011 Championship run. Marion has averaged about 12 ppg for Dallas, but it’s been his defense that pushes him towards the top of the list. He effectively shut down LeBaby in the Finals, and is a key reason why Dallas are now NBA Champs.
No. 3: Gilbert Arenas Agent Zero grabs the No. 3 spot with some eye-popping numbers during his time with the Wizards. Knee injuries aside, Arenas averaged over 25 points per game in a three year stretch, earning All-star appearances in those seasons. But the aforementioned knee injuries and also his lack of sanity (nearly getting into a wild west shootout with Javaris Crittenton) limited him to just 47 games from 07-08 to 09-10.
No. 2: Russell Westbrook In his mind, he’s the best player on his team. And when you’re an All-Star on a team that made the WCF, you’re usually allowed to think that. However, Russ is not the best player on his team, Durant is. His me-first attitude may or may not have been the reason the Thunder couldn’t reach the Finals, but you still can’t discount the phenomenal season that Westbrook had, averaging nearly 22 ppg and over 8 apg. The tandem of Westbrook and Durant make the Thunder one of the early 2012 favorites.
No. 1: Walter McCarty Or should I say, WALTAHHHHH!!!! Fans of the C’s remember McCarty as announcer Tommy Heinsohn’s all-time favorite Celtics. McCarty regularly led the team in ‘Tommy Points’, a made up statistic from Heinsohn that was usually given to players when they made a heady defensive play, or dove for a loose ball.
I had to turn my TV down when he would make a great play, cause Heinsohn would scream ‘I LOVE WALTAH!!’ after every great McCarty play. A glue guy, he never put up big scoring numbers, but for the joy he gave me and Tommy, he snags the No. 1 spot, just like a 50-50 ball.
No. 0: Monstars If only they hadn’t used Shawn Bradley for Space Jam.