The NBA employs some of the largest and most athletically gifted human beings in our solar system. While many of its players dazzle with their out of this world athletic feats, others have built their legacy on their looks… or lack thereof. By no means a beauty contest, sports stars are still never far from the lights and cameras of the media. While for some the camera can be a friend, for others (some of whom are highlighted below) cameras are their worst nightmare’.
Now, please understand as you read this, I am a self-aware 6. I am not a prize, nor a trophy or a medal in this game called Life. I’m more of a ‘participant ribbon’, and there's nothing wrong with that. We can't all be George Clooney. Unfortunately, I also have yet to make millions of dollars to offset my mediocrity in the mirror… but there’s still time!
As I continue to devise my plan to rise above my luke-warm looks, let’s take a look at 15 NBA players (some former, some current) who were dealt a bad hand, winding up with faces only a mother could love.
15 Chris Bosh
The former fourth overall pick back in the stacked 2003 draft had his career abruptly put on hold in 2015 due to a blood clot in one of his lungs. He was as dominant a power forward as you’ll find… but he also might be the most "facially challenged". Drafted by the Toronto Raptors, it was the definition of tragedy when he left the NBA’s northern outpost for the warm beaches of Miami.
Despite his health concerns and eerily close resemblance to his first team’s mascot, Bosh continues to make an impact off the court through coaching and his self-named foundation. Bosh aims to promote participation in sports among youth as well as encouraging regular reading. Committing to causes as admirable as those, along with having a successful (yet shortened) NBA career will certainly make a mother proud. We all know his looks certainly won’t.
14 Adam Morrison
A collegiate superstar, Morrison was a complete bust in the NBA, playing only 161 games over 4 seasons (he missed all of 2007-08 with a knee injury). For all his success at Gonzaga, Morrison lacked the acceptable level of athleticism needed to succeed at the professional level, and was largely ineffective as a scorer.
Sporting a flow that I don’t recall ever being in vogue, along with moustache that would make Burt Reynolds die from laughter, teams shied away from Morrison after his failed tenure with the Lakers (after being drafted 3rd overall by Charlotte). His career was over before it ever truly began and now all Morrison has is a mother’s love. You do have to feel for him though, a life sentence as an NBA draft bust is a hard reality to accept and rise above. Also, he supposedly doesn’t believe in marriage!
13 Zaza Pachulia
It’s not all that surprising that somebody named Zaza has a face only a mother could find palatable, as his name matches. Pachulia walks around looking permanently confused, and his play often affirms that suspicion. As a current member of the NBA’s Greatest Team Ever Golden State Warriors, Pachulia’s role involves him grabbing rebounds and setting hard screens to free up the likes of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant to do what they do, that of course being SCORE.
Despite his goofy appearance, Pachulia managed to score out of his league in landing his life-partner Tika Pachulia. The couple has three children, with two sons and a daughter. Let’s hope they all got their looks from their mother and not Zaza.
12 Popeye Jones
Substance abuse will definitely hurt your appearance, and that’s precisely what happened to Popeye Jones. Ronald Jerome ‘Popeye’ Jones played parts of 11 seasons in the NBA, and judging by his photo, is as confused at that fact as we are. In those 11 seasons, Jones would wear 7 different jerseys, as clearly nobody could stand the sight of him for more than 3 seasons. Following his playing career, Jones would move to coaching and presently serves as an assistant coach for the Indiana Pacers. His two sons, Seth and Caleb, play in the NHL with Seth playing for the Columbus Blue Jackets, and Caleb for the Edmonton Oilers. Who could’ve thought somebody so "yucky" could get so lucky? Good for you Popeye, now if only spinach helped improve one’s facial features.
11 Andrei Kirilenko
Don’t stare at the photo too long or you’ll be lost forever, and remember never to go to a Russian barber. Andrei Kirilenko was actually an impactful player for several years, including an all-star appearance in his 3rd season. Known as AK-47, Kirilenko was a defensive terror. Present day, Kirilenko serves as the commissioner of the Russian Basketball Federation and is married with three children. Kirilenko’s wife, Masha, made headlines in a 2006 interview with ESPN where she disclosed that she permits Andrei to cheat on her with other women once per year. Clearly benefitting from an annual allowance most men would kill for, I question whether Andrei is able to get any bites while rocking that atrocious hairdo. Being considered one of the greatest international NBA players of all-time may still not be enough to entice the ladies.
10 Kurt Rambis
Kurt Rambis played 880 games in the NBA and won four titles, all with the LA Lakers of the 1980s. Sporting a pair of goggles that could uglify George Clooney, Rambis served as a solid bench player for a stacked Lakers squad. Following his playing career, the ugly duckling Rambis, like so many others, would transition to coaching spending twelve seasons as a Lakers assistant. Rambis would get into some hot water while serving as interim head coach when his Twitter account liked several postings by well-known adult entertainment accounts. Rambis would claim he was hacked but we all know the real truth. Clearly unable to find real love, Rambis has to resort to watching seductive food delivery and home repair videos.
9 Chris Kaman
I have long found Kaman’s face to bear a slight resemblance to the alien’s human form in the popular movie "Men in Black". Sure it’s not an exact match, but I still feel Kaman could’ve played that role with minimal time in the make-up room. Kaman’s appearance is so shockingly bad that his mom may even have days where she wakes up thinking “I guess he’s still cute”. Kaman has so many BAD photos; you could probably do a list entirely dedicated to him. As a matter of fact, when you’re done reading this, I encourage you to google him and benefit from a laughing abdominal workout like you’ve never before experienced.
8 Russell Westbrook
Westbrook had a season for the ages in 2016-2017, averaging a triple-double, a feat that was last done in 1961-62 by then superstar Oscar Robertson. An absolute terror on the court, Westbrook is also a terror on the eyes. JUST LOOK AT HIM. Luckily, looks aren’t a pre-requisite for a successful NBA career and Westbrook benefits greatly from that reality. Along with being one of the league’s best players, Westbrook is one of the league’s more fashionable players, routinely sporting some of the loudest and most outrageous pre-game outfits, perhaps to draw attention away from his mug. Much like how he defies the odds with his on-court performances, Westbrook did the same off the court when he married college sweetheart Nina Earl back in 2015. Is she blind or something?
7 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Most will say Michael Jordan is the ‘Greatest of All-Time’ but valid arguments can be made for Kareem. The inventor of the famous Skyhook, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA’s all-time points leader having amassed 38,387 points over a 20-year career. Few, if any, have had careers as decorated and with as many accolades as Kareem had in his.
Now for something that isn’t so decorated? Kareem’s face. While all would call Kareem a beautiful looking basketball player for his play, far fewer would admit to him being a beautiful looking man. It's hard to imagine Kareem having to shake the ladies off of him during his NBA career, or his time at UCLA but perhaps his on-court dominance was enough to attract them to his side. A great man, a all-time great basketball player, Kareem was never blessed with the greatest of looks, making him a worthy candidate for this list.
6 Enes Kanter
Basketball’s Borat, Kanter is hilariously odd looking, mostly caused by his peach fuzz moustache and overall goof troop appearance. Now a member of the New York Knicks (having been dealt there this off-season in the Carmelo Anthony trade), picturing Kanter on the prowl in Manhattan will quickly cause one to burst into hysterics. Again, I’m sure his bi-weekly paycheque helps his cause but even still, money can’t cure ugliness (though many still subscribe to the belief that it does). Off the court, Kanter is actually not welcome back in his native countryor Turkey due to him making negative remarks about current Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. While not optimistic, it looks as though Kanter will be forced to find love abroad, something he may have trouble doing given his homely appearance.
5 Joakim Noah
Noah presently has one of the NBA’s worst contracts. In year 2 of a 4-year, $72,590,000 deal, Noah was suspended 20 games earlier in 2017 for violating the league’s substance program. Having served his suspension, and finally healthy again after a string of injuries, Noah has only appeared in 2 games in the ’17-18 season. With dwindling production and a mammoth contract, he’s virtually untradeable. Factor in his face and it just gets worse. Once thought to be a star in the making, Noah went from NBA All-Star to an unwelcome burden presently tied to the New York Knicks. Finding a suitor for Carmelo Anthony may have been difficult, but they found a willing partner in the Oklahoma City Thunder. Getting a team to take Noah off their hands will prove to be a much tougher task. Is there a state known for the collective ugliness of its population? Perhaps try there.
4 Tyrone Hill
Proof that mummies can play basketball, Tyrone Hill played 16 seasons in the NBA, and holds career averages of 9.4 ppg and 8.6 rpg. As for additional commentary surrounding Hill’s on-court contributions, I have few to add. Instead, I simply recall watching many of Hill’s games throughout his career and being dumbfounded by his appearance, especially when he would get animated with officials. You’d expect most refs to cower in fear if something resembling Hill came charging at them. Owner of the oft used label “lunch pail and hard-hat’ player, Hill would be better served wearing the pail on his head to cover his face. It may be harsh, but it would be for the safety of the fans!
3 Dennis Rodman
A list of ugly NBA’ers wouldn’t be complete without The Worm. Rodman, the US’s unofficial ambassador to North Korea, might one day be the key to saving the planet from nuclear destruction so I should tread lightly in my criticism of his looks. Rodman was a member of the Chicago Bulls teams of the late 90s that would win three consecutive championships. Never a prolific scorer, Rodman founded his career on rebounding dominance and is still to this day considered one of the game’s most accomplished rebounders. As the world creeps closer and closer to nuclear war, let’s all agree that while he’s in no way a sight for sore eyes, Rodman is looking more and more like our only hope for a diplomatic resolution to the growing tensions between the United States and North Korea. Dennis Rodman leading diplomacy… 2017 really has been a strange year.
2 Gheorghe Muresan
I am still trying to figure out just what exactly is protruding from the right side of Muresan’s head (just in front of his ear), do any of you know? The Romanian Giant (7'7", 303 lbs) played 307 games after being drafted 30th overall in 1993 by the Washington Bullets. Apart from being named the NBA’s most improved player for the ’95-96 season, Muresan’s accomplishments were few and far between. His more notable accomplishments would come after his playing days, with him founding the Giant Basketball Academy (GBA), a program designed to teach players of all ages the fundamentals of basketball. I wonder how many kids run for cover the first time they lay eyes on Muresan...
1 Sam Cassell
“ET phone home”. The popular 1982 film telling the story of the unbreakable bond formed between a child and a lost alien was actually about Sam Cassell’s early years before becoming a successful NBA player (in disguise). Widely regarded as the homeliest looking basketball player since... ever, most photos of Cassell are cringe-worthy. His galactic inspired appearance has conceived many Internet memes and few can discuss past and present ugly athletes without mentioning his likeness. Cassell is presently an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers and you have to feel for a player who checks out of a game, only to be subjected to a lengthy conversation with Extra-Terrestrial Sam Cassell. “Sam, I’ll do whatever you want, just please stop looking at me so I can stop looking at you!”