During the research/background/blog hate K-hole I found myself falling through as I prepped today’s first post, I really grew to admire the steadfast disgust that Matt McHale of the genius site Basketbawful (and, newly, of By The Horns) has developed for the poor shooting, selfishness and all-around lack of self-awareness of brand new (but not newest) New York Knick Larry Hughes. But because adding his numerous fantastic digs at the embattled shooting guard would have pushed my already obnoxiously long therapy session into the “No Stats All-Star” lengthosphere, I decided to clip ‘n’ save them, then allow you to savor their flavor in a single post.
Mmmm. Tastes like fury.
Dec. 4, 2007: “Fun fact: Larry Hughes, who couldn’t stay healthy if all his human parts were replaced with bionic implants, is out for the next four weeks with a bruised leg. Do you think that Willis Reed ever reads about all these players missing time with bruises and sprained fingers and throws up in his mouth a little?”
Dec. 17, 2007: “Like [LeBron] James, Hughes returned to the Cavs lineup this week and got everybody excited with a 36-point outburst against the Pacers. He then proceeded to shoot 5-for-24 over the next two games, both Cleveland losses.”
Dec. 31, 2007: “And frankly, the game wasn’t really as close as the final margin. Larry Hughes was the team’s biggest loser, scoring 2 points (1-9) and committing 4 turnovers.”
Jan. 23, 2008: “On a night when the rest of his team had it going on, Hughes had one of his typical 2-for-8 shooting nights. And, as noted, one of his two field goals was an uncontested dunk. I can tell you one thing: 33 percent shooting is not what the Cavaliers had in mind when they decided to pay him $12 million a year. Good thing Danny Ferry locked him up through 2009-10!!”
Feb. 19, 2008: “He’s baaaaaack…by which I mean 33 percent shooting (5-for-15).”
Dec. 9, 2008: “Anyway, Drew Gooden scored a season-high 22 points on mostly uncontested shots and Larry Hughes put the Knicks down for good with a dagger three late in the game. Said Hughes: ‘I’m not going to turn them down. It’s going to be one of two things. It’s going to go in or it’s not. As long as it’s a good look and one of my teammates finds me, I’m definitely willing to take the shot.’ So Hughes is willing to take shots?! I can’t believe it! … By the way, [Bulls color commentator Stacy] King is now referring to Hughes as ‘Big Shot Larry.’ Yeah.”
Dec. 14, 2008: “‘Big Shot Larry’ was 3-for-10. Now THAT’S the Larry Hughes we know and mock around here.”
Dec. 29, 2008: “You’ll notice you can’t spell ‘team’ using any combination of the letters in “Larry Hughes.” And with good reason. Hughes was aghast at not starting against the Hawks on Saturday (in place of the injured Luol Deng). Forget the fact that the guy who did start, Thabo Sefolosha, scored 14 points on 6-for-8 shooting to go along with 4 rebounds and 3 assists. That’s not the point. Me, me, me is the point for Hughes. And he let people know about it after the game. ‘I don’t accept it, but I deal with it. I’ve said what I needed to say (to GM John Paxson and coach Vinny Del Negro). Hopefully, it gets better moving forward. If it’s justified, it’s justified. But you can look at whatever you need to look at as far as production. I think it’s in my favor. I’m not a spot-minute guy. I don’t play well in that situation. If you want me to produce, I have to be out there. I can make a difference at both ends if I play.’ Yeah, well, thanks for that, Larry.”
Jan. 14, 2009: “Look who earned himself a DNP-CD last night. So, in the wake of his complaints about PT, Hughes has played seven minutes and zero minutes in back-to-back games. And here’s what Bulls coach Vinny D had to say when asked about the situation after the game: ‘We’ll figure it out as we go. Kirk will be out there. He takes pressure off Derrick [Rose] and puts defensive pressure on the ball. And we always get leadership.’ Notice the conspicuous lack of the words ‘Larry’ and ‘Hughes’ in Vinny’s response? Yeah, me too.”
Jan. 15, 2009: “During last night’s game, NBA Cares decided to highlight Larry Hughes’ charitible work in the Chicago community, leaving the broadcast team in the uncomfortable position of having to explain why Big Shot Larry was rooted firmly to the Bulls bench. Thanks for everything you’ve done for Chicagoland, Larry. I hope you’re as giving in the city you’ll soon be traded to!”
Jan. 20, 2009: “Larry Hughes, team-first me-first machine: When Big Shot Larry found out that John Paxson is desperately seeking to dump his ginormous salary for anything anybody’ll give him, the world’s most unselfish man — just ask him! — had plenty to say about it: ‘That’s fine. I’m ready to play, whether it’s here or somewhere else … [I’ve] played for some good coaches and on some good teams, and I’ve always been out there, so this is new for me. I’m just trying to stay positive. I’m still helping the guys out as far as telling them what I see and what I can help them with. I don’t know how to react to it. At the same time, I’m not selfish. … So I just kind of go along and try to support the guys who are playing, knowing my time is probably coming. It was unfair [because] I only wanted to play to help the team. And I wanted to produce because they’re paying me a lot of money. I feel like I’ve let my team down because I’m not able to produce. That’s what it all boils down to. I don’t want to be looked at as a guy who’s just earning a check and not producing. I just expressed that and, I thought, not in a negative way. But people can take it how they want to take it.'” (emph. mine)