With Christmas just a couple days away, Santa dishes out his presents for each NBA team for the year.
The Hawks have managed to pull off the difficult task of addition by subtraction. Danny Ferry was hired as the general manager in the offseason, and he wasted no time by trading away both Marvin Williams and star guard Joe Johnson. Without Johnson the Hawks were expected to stumble, but their 15-9 record is good for third in the Eastern Conference. Their gifts are a Fibonacci necklace and a copy of the Big Bang Theory on DVD.
The Celtics are off to another slow start sitting at 13-13, eighth in East. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are showing their age, along with former Sixth Man of the Year Jason Terry. It is hard to say if they are just playing possum until the playoffs get closer, or if they are a team past its time as a contender. My guess is the latter. Their gifts are a bottle of anti-aging cream and a fools gold rock collection.
The Nets have taken hold of the title as the coolest team in the NBA. The combo of a Russian gazillionaire and Jay-Z as owners, a brand new arena and the hearts of New Yorkers is tough to top when it comes to the holidays. Their gift is a new team name. When you say “The Brooklyn Nets” out loud it sounds more like a dance squad then a basketball team. Let’s go with the Brooklyn Coneys.
Ugh… Let’s keep this one easy and give them the No. 1 pick in two of the next three drafts. They deserve it.
Derrick Rose has been a gift to all basketball fans, not just those of the Bulls. However, after the run of Michael Jordan it is still hard to feel sorry for that franchise. Their gift is the cancellation of Scottie Pippen’s new reality show Big Pippen (pun probably intended) before it actually goes on air.
Oh Cleveland, you are the most tortured sports city in the world. How about a copy of Good Will Hunting? It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT!
The good news for the Mavs (12-15) is Dirk Nowitzki is back practicing and should be back soon. If Dirk is unable to get the team back on track, the gift will be Mark Cuban investing in a buddy-buddy cop show featuring Dirk and Chris Kaman called Rebounding the Law.
The Nuggets are entering the record books in all the wrong way. They only made one shot outside the paint, and went 0-22 from three against the Portland Trailblazers on Thursday night in a road loss. Their gifts are a signed copy of Vanilla Ice’s Ice Ice Baby album, and a VHS copy of Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead.
Greg Monroe has been a bright spot on another struggling Pistons team. Their gift is for everyone to forget how bad Isiah Thomas has been since he retired as a player, and to remember how good of a point guard he actually was. Seriously, look it up. He used to be really good.
Golden State Warriors
Kudos to Mark Jackson. He has the Warriors ranked fifth in the Western Conference, and they actually play defense now. Momma there goes that man! Their gift is Andrew Bogut’s health to give them an extra weapon for a playoff run, or at least a case of Fosters and a baby kangaroo (Editor’s note: Been to Australia. Held a panda and petted a kangaroo).
The Rockets are hanging around for playoff contention after an offseason which brought them Jeremy Lin and James Harden. But how amazing would it be if Lin could get a Harden beard?!? The super-natural powers that would ensue would be something the league has never seen before. Their gift is the Beard of Linsanity.
The Pacers are the definition of good but not great. They are in prime position for a five-six seed in the East. Their gift is a Segway for Danny Granger to preserve his legs so they have a chance to go deep in the playoffs.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clips are the new darlings of Tinsel Town. The Lakers are in disarray while the Clippers are perfect for December, winning 12 straight games. Their gift is Phil Jackson. It would be perfect! Not only would it be hilarious, but the Zen Master is the perfect coach to take them to the title.
Los Angeles Lakers
Hollywood loves a good drama. Or is this a comedy? Either way, the script has not gone as planned for the Lake Show this season. Their gift is the first produced bottle of Shaq’s new vodka label, Shaq Luv. Mmmm coconut flavored…
There is no “Crying Me a River” after Justin Timberlake and Ashley Manning became part owners of the No. 3 team in the West. The Grizzlies are 18-6 and John Hollinger left ESPN to take his talents to Graceland. Their gifts are a shaving kit for Marc Gasol and a trampoline for Zach Randolph so he can finally know what it feels like to leave the ground.
The Heat are back in first place, and are the favorites to repeat as NBA champions. LeBron James is showing no signs of becoming complacent after winning his first title, which is terrifying for the rest of the league. Their gifts are a new Galaxy Note phones for all, Rogaine for Men and a DVD of the TV show Dinosaurs, because Chris Bosh jokes never get old.
The Bucks are a pleasant surprise in the NBA with a 14-11 record early into the season. Monta Ellis has played well, averaging 18.8 points and 5.4 assists per game since being traded for. The gift for the Bucks is the Words With Friends board game. The phone app was so much fun so the live game must be great, right? Well for awhile it will be fun, but that fun will soon run out and it will find its place in the back of the closet soon enough.
The Wolves just got Ricky Rubio back, and nobody on this Earth was happier than our own Michael Dunlap (editor’s note: Mr. Dunlap is still high-fiving random people). Rubio may be the most fun player to play with in the league and he will surely provide a spark in Minnesota. Their gift will be free subscription to League Pass, because Rubio is must see television when he’s on the court.
New Orleans Hornets
Brow down to Anthony Davis. This kid is going to be a lot of fun. Their gift is a custom made Kenny Powers Pelicans jersey, a DVD of The Pelican Brief and a copy of The Pelican Brief book. PELICANS!!!
New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony is an MVP candidate, J.R. Smith has allegedly quit drinking and Rasheed Wallace has become a popular player again. What else do you want? Here is a $50 gift card to AMC Theaters, enjoy the show.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Maybe the most underrated story of the season is how seamlessly the Thunder have incorporated Kevin Martin into the system in James Harden’s place. Sam Presti is a genius. Their gifts are lenses for their hipster glasses and all the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movies.
The Magic at 12-14 are better than expected with the departure of Dwight Howard. With four of their next five at home, Orlando could be over .500 entering the new year. For Christmas they get a Lil’ Penny action figure and a new puppy. The puppy will be loyal and never want to leave them.
At least Philly fans are calm and understanding to Andrew Bynum’s situation… The present is more of a party than an actual gift they can open, but the whole city is going to get together for a night of bowling with an 80’s theme so they can all show up with funny haircuts.
It isn’t good when the training staff is more famous than the actual basketball team. Why Brandon Roy didn’t sign with the Suns is one of the great mysteries in this world. Oh well, take advantage of the nice weather with some free golf lessons, and it doesn’t matter who wants it, anybody on the team could be the next quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals.
Portland Trail Blazers
No Michael Jordan and no Kevin Durant, but Damian Lillard looks like a nice little player. He’s a hard charger with a lot of upside. No, that still doesn’t make Portland fans feel better? Well the Trailblazers’ gift is the little thing from Men In Black that makes you forget things. See now those drafts don’t seem so bad, do they?
Well DeMarcus Cousins has been suspended for an unspecified amount of time. Tyreke Evans also appears to be on the way out of town. For their gift, the Kings get to feature Cousins on an episode of Beyond Scared Straight on A&E. Getting Cousins on track may be the only thing that can keep them in Sacramento.
San Antonio Spurs
Ho hum, just another season for the Spurs. They get socks, a boring gift, but useful.
Yes, they are still an NBA team. Seriously, they play in the Atlantic Division. In a parallel universe they are the Spurs. Don’t feel too bad, the Canadian dollar is worth more than the U.S. dollar at this point, even if it does look like funny money. Since there is no NHL, their gift is the Stanley Cup. Nobody else is using it, and that has to be a giant “Eff you!” to Gary Bettman, eh?
Al Jefferson is one of the best big men that nobody is talking about. However, this is another team that should get a name change, maybe they should give instead of receive so New Orleans doesn’t have to be a goofy bird, but I digress. Their gift is Michael Jordan admitting to Byron Russell that he pushed off. It won’t change anything, but the people Utah will feel good about themselves.
Saving the worst for last, well done alphabet. There is a good chance the people of Washington D.C. simply traded the Wizards good fortune for RGIII and the Redskins making the playoffs. Can you prove the contrary? Didn’t think so. Their gift is an actual wizard to undo that spell and get them looking like an actual basketball team again.
Merry Christmas, and happy holidays to you all. Thanks for reading and being a part of Hoops Habit!
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