Poets on Sports

A Ranking of Players Currently Wearing #33

By Tyler Gobblepippen

My favorite player of all-time, Scottie Pippen*, wore number 33. A lot of other really rad ballers have donned that number—Kareem, Shaq, Bird, Ewing, Grant Hill, Earl Monroe.** So, I got to wondering, who else, who now? Here’s what I found (as of 11/29/13):

  1. Marc Gasol, Grizzlies – Big Marc gets it, that number one spot. Clapping big mitts down low with Zebo, Gasol—bulky yet agile, aggressive yet smart, and most of all versatile (four assists a game last year!)—has helped the Grizzlies finally forget Vancouver, this Memphis team becoming a real hardass brigade.
  2. Ryan Anderson, Pelicans – Ryan Anderson and I are the same age. Weird. A great third option who can put up a handful of points without a lot of touches. Unfortunately, Anderson, who just began hoofing it on the court again and is without a start, seems to be surrounded by not-first-option players, like Anthony Davis (gonna get his points with hustle, not sets) and the guard trio of Evans/Gordon/Holiday (all majorly combustible, like gobs of points, or combustible, like towel-on-head-end-of-bench-after-brick-fest).
  3. Danny Granger, Pacers – Remember when Danny Granger averaged nearly 26 points per game in 2008-2009? Dude can ball, no doubt. But can he walk? He is either a giant wuss, otherworldly unlucky (a.k.a. follows my beloved Brandon Roy into retirement), or made of paper mache?
  4. Dante Cunningham, Timberwolves – Might just be the first big fella off the bench right now, but if the T-Wolves wanna do anything more than just make the playoffs, he’s gonna have to be a game-changer on the defensive end and in the hustle department come playoff time (now and in the future). Maybe I’m just being extra hopeful since he’s a former Blazer.
  5. Alonzo Gee, Cavaliers – Gee starts the bunch of undrafted players on this here list. Since nabbing the D-League Rookie of the Year award, he’s developed into a starter for the Cavs, averaging about ten points a contest. If you wanna know more about this guy (or just wanna hear the most enthusiastic ROLL TIDE ever), ask Brian Oliu.
  6. Boris Diaw, Spurs – My least favorite player in the NBA. I swear the first time I ever saw him make a shot was last week. Still, he does have that Most Improved Player Award tucked somewhere.
  7. Mirza Teletović, Nets – On a team stacked with former star veterans not living up to the hype, this guy, who played overseas professionally for many years, is following suit when he gets in there—shooting poorly (37%) and not doing much else.
  8. Gal Mekel, Mavericks –Mekel is only the second player Israel to play in the NBA. The other, Omri Casspi of the Rockets, played against Mekel on November 1st, a good showing from both fellas in the Rockets win: Mekel (23 min, 11 pts, 6 asts)/Casspi (21 min, 12 pts, 2 rebs).
  9. Jonas Jerebko, Pistons – After a promising 9 ppg and 6 rpg rookie season with a big hunk of starts, Jerebko has slipped in each of the following years for the Pistons. So, he’s not the next Grant Hill. But he’s only the second player from Sweden ever drafted; no one can take that from you, buddy.
  10. Antawn Jamison, Clippers – Now on team number six, Jamison needs to be a leader for the Clips. When you click “Bio” on his player page on the team’s site, Darren Collison’s info comes up. Uh-oh, disrespecting your elders never helped anything.jamison
  11. Mike Harris, Jazz – Hasn’t managed to do much in the big league, but elsewhere, he’s shown he can ball. Like an MVP award in the D-League in 2010. Like 24 ppg and 11.5 rpg in the Chinese Basketball Association in 07-08. Sadly, this is not the Mike Harris I graduated high school with; in other news, still need a center for my rec league team.
  12. Brendan Haywood, Bobcats – Officially my favorite Brendan (though I loved Mr. Fraser in Encino Man!), this big fella has fallen from his days of double digit rebounds and a couple blocks a night. And there’s this whoops:
  13. Daniel Orton, 76ers –Since entering the league in 2010, he’s been on 3 NBA teams and 2 D-League teams. His averages in his one year at Kentucky (3.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg) are only slightly better than his pro career averages (2.7 ppg, 2.0 rpg) going into this season.

* I don’t remember when it started or why. We share a birthday, so maybe that? I’m from central Indiana, grew up loving Reggie Miller, but obviously, some allure of the Bulls and thus Pippen sunk into my spongehead. I followed him in fandom to the Rockets and Blazers and eventually back to the Bulls. My Pippen basketball card collection, at one point, pushed triple digits. My first cat was named Scattie Pippen. And this list…it continues, the infatuation, I suppose.


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