Today’s ESPN 5-on-5 roundtable discussed the five strangest occurrences in the NBA in 2011. The alleged Pistons shootaround boycott in Philly was at the top of my list:
The Pistons boycotting a shootaround. With constant media coverage and PR-mindful players and agents, I’m still dumbfounded that several Pistons allegedly thought boycotting a shootaround in Philly as a vote of no confidence in their overmatched coach was a good idea. It wasn’t, of course, but it did result in Will Bynum playing all 48 minutes in a game, which is just good for the soul.
It wasn’t so much that many players couldn’t stand the coach and were frustrated with the organizational dysfunction and losing. I get all of the things that led to the boycott. I just still can’t believe it happened — as I said in the roundtable, agents and PR people are everywhere nowadays and it’s just hard to fathom that at least one didn’t catch wind of this and get in the ear of a player or two to say, “Hey, this would not make you guys look good.” But hey, it happened and it was weird, but there were plenty of other weird occurrences this year. My other choices were the T-Wolves and their clumsy coaching search, the Celtics trading Kendrick Perkins while they were in first place in the East standings, Kevin Durant playing in every pro-am league he could find and basically everything about JaVale McGee. Feel free to nominate your choices in the comments.