Quirkiest Basketball Failures II

Part two of a three-part series.

July 22, 2008: A bench-clearing fight erupts during the final seconds of a WNBA game between the Los Angeles Sparks and Detroit Shock at The Palace at Auburn Hills, site of an infamous brawl between the NBA’s Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers in 2004. During the melee: Detroit assistant coach Rick Mahorn pushes Los Angeles player Lisa Leslie to the floor; and Detroit star Cheryl Ford suffers a knee injury while attempting to restrain a teammate and leaves the floor in a wheelchair.

November 8, 2006: A Securities and Exchange Commission filing reveals that the N.B.A.’s New York Knicks agreed to pay former head coach Larry Brown $18.5 million as a settlement for firing him with four years left on his $51 million five-year contract. Despite an N.B.A.-high $120 million payroll, Brown posted a franchise worst 23-59 record during his only year with the team.

June 30, 2003: The agent for Miami Heat guard Anthony Carter fails to notify the Heat by this date that Carter intends to exercise his contract option for the 2003-04 season. As a result, Carter forfeits his $4.1 million salary and the NBA’s league office declares him a free agent.

August 28, 2004: The men's bronze-medal basketball game at the Athens Olympics is delayed by 48 minutes after both the United States and Lithuanian teams show up wearing “home” white uniforms. An official from USA Basketball averts the crisis by retrieving a set of red uniforms from the team’s hotel.

November 4, 1994: The San Antonio Spurs’ season opening game is delayed 50 minutes when an indoor fireworks display triggers the sprinkler system inside the Alamodome, setting off a large water canon that drenching fans, coaches, and players alike.

November 25, 2008: Loyola (Maryland’s) men’s basketball team holds Stephen Curry (the nation’s leading scorer at 35 ppg) scoreless by utilizing an unorthodox strategy that involves religiously double-teaming the Davidson University star for the duration of a game between the two teams. Curry combats this extreme triangle-and-2 defense by retreating into a corner and then throwing the ball out to his teammates, repeatedly setting up 4-on-3 possessions that lead to an easy 78-48 victory. Davidson University fans boo Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos for employing the bizarre defense, especially after he continues utilizing it long after the outcome had been decided. “We had to play against an NBA player tonight,” explains Patsos after the game. “Anybody else ever hold him scoreless? I’m a history major. Are people going to remember that we held him scoreless or that we lost by 30?”

January 7, 2008: Savannah State’s men’s basketball team sets NCAA records for fewest points (4) and worst field goal percentage (4.3%) in a half during an 85-25 loss to Kansas State at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas.

December 8, 2008: Chicago Bulls rookie guard Derrick Rose rolls over onto a knife while eating an apple in bed and suffers a gash that requires ten stitches. Rose misses a practice but no game time, as he suits up the following evening against the New York Knicks, the NBA team from the Big Apple.

Quirkiest Basketball Failures I
Quirkiest Basketball Failures III