What Were They Thinking? The 15 Dumbest Plays In NBA History

NBA players are tested continuously throughout each game. The best players are the ones who are able to think on the fly and make the right basketball play even under the incredible pressure they are being put under. Certain players can't stay strong in the crucial points in the game and they start to fall apart. Sometimes players on a national stage made huge mistakes and look stupid just like someone like a player like you or I would. Sometimes it's refreshing to see players make fools of themselves. It takes them off of the pedestal and shows that we are all humans and we are all on the same level. Seeing that the players aren't robots is something that we all need to see to keep our sanity.

The players that make these idiotic plays are usually the ones who don't last long in the league. Other times, in rarer cases, the best players are the ones making these blunders. No one is safe from making them, and when they happen, they are embarrassing. Mistakes happen to the best of us they are just a bit more embarrassing when they are on a court in from of thousands of people.

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15 Nick Young Loses Control of Layup

Nick Young is a flashy player but on this play, he was just going up for a layup like any other layup he has attempted during his life. He got a beautiful outlet pass from John Wall, jumped, uncontested, and it looked like he did a finger roll up over the backboard, but I'm sure it slipped out of his hand. As his momentum carried out him out of bounds he caught the ball. It was funny for everyone but the Wizards. Coincidentally the game was against the Lakers, a team he would later join. Maybe for redemption? Maybe to get the Lakers players off of his back? Probably not, but it does provoke some thought. Swaggy P has enough confidence to overcome this play.

14 Javale McGee Free Throw Line Dunk

Javale McGee has been known for making stupid plays and has been on, "Shaqtin' a fool" more than his fair share. One of his most infamous moments is his free throw line dunk attempt... in game. It's one thing to attempt it in a dunk contest but it's a whole other thing when you are trying to do it within the flow of the game. Needless to say he missed the dunk. What does Javale do next? He tries another one... On someone... What makes him think that if he can't make it on a fast break he will be able to make it with a defender in his face?

He wasn't even close either time and he ended up just throwing the ball at the hoop. McGee wouldn't be such a bad player if he would cut out his idiotic mistakes. He is a great rim protector and can run the floor. He lacks the polish to be an impact player in this league.

13 Nick Young Thinks he Drains a Three...

Nick Young has a lot of swag, maybe a bit too much. Nick Young was turning around before his threes went in before the Warriors made it cool. The only reason Nick Young wasn't the one to make it cool is because he missed the shot. Young prematurely celebrated by putting his arms out to the side with three fingers out on each hand. He started walking back on defensive when he thought something might be up and he saw the ball bouncing away from the rim.

That is straight up humiliating. I would never show my head in that arena ever again. I just don't know how you can come back from that. Thankfully the Warriors have yet to suffer such humiliation as their threes are pretty much automatic.

12 DeMarcus Cousins Throws An Errant Inbound Pass

Let's break down this play. With 0.6 seconds left, down by 2 in the 4th quarter, DeMarcus Cousins is inbounding the ball (for what reason, I don't know) and throws a lob pass across the court, but it ends up going a little too far. Boogie might be a bit stronger than he thought. What a way to end a game. I'm not going to blame the whole play on Cousins however, because who in the right mind would make their best player and scorer, the in bounder? Cousins would obviously have a better chance of catching the pass and dunking it or laying it up than any other player on the Kings. Cousins made a bad play but their coach drew up a dumb play. There's plenty of blame to go around here.

11 Brandon Knight Misses Game Winning Layup

I feel bad for Knight when he gets embarrassed on a nightly basis, because he is such a good player, but this one has to be on the list. Not only did he miss the breakaway layup, but he could have won the game for his team. Instead they had to go to double overtime. Luckily for Knight, the Bucks ended up pulling the game out in the next period.

On this play he intercepted a pass, sprinted all the way down the court, and as the ball rolled off of the rim, the time expired. The bench, who was previously jumping up and down with excitement, couldn't even look. There isn't much you can do at that point so his teammates on the court tried to keep his spirits up.

10 Tony Allen Misses Layup...4 times

Tony Allen is considered one of the premier defenders in the NBA. He has appeared on 5 all defensive teams, 3 times on the first team, and twice on the second team. Never, however has he been one of the best offensive players in the league. If you don't believe me, take this play for example. The first layup was a wide open miss. As if that wasn't funny enough, he got his own rebound, goes up again and either gets blocked or misses, then a teammate gets the rebound passes it back to him, what does he do? Misses again. One more time for good measure, he gets his own rebound and misses for the final time. This play easily takes the cake for dumbest/worst play in NBA history.

9 Byron Mullens Throws Pass off of His Teammate's Head

via nba.com

The Bobcats had plenty of dumb plays and it ended up resulting in the worst season in NBA history back in 2011-12. Byron Mullens was no exception, and this play is representative of the Bobcats in their entirety. In a game against the Heat, Byron Mullens pulls up like he's about to shoot, and then he hesitates, throws a laser off of his teammate's dome and then the ball flies out of bounds. The teammate wasn't expecting it all all. It looked for a moment as if it were going to go in the hoop, but that would be too good to be true, and a little too hard to pull off, especially for the Bobcats. With a team like the Warriors, I would expect nothing less than the ball to bank right in.

8 Andrea Bargnani Tries to Make Poster Dunk

Andrea Bargnani may have been the #1 overall pick, but that doesn't make him a great dunker. He may have overestimated his athletic ability on the play. To start the play, he made a great pump fake to get the defender up in the air, then he attacked his hip and went strong to the hoop but the result just didn't turn out as intended. He ran into a defender as he was up in the air, lost control of his body, missed the dunk miserably, and came crashing down to the ground. The only good part of this play was that he got two foul shots but that doesn't come close to negating the embarrassment he received. The two foul shots are over but this play will forever live on.

7 Brian Scalabrine Passes to No One

Brian Scalabrine might have made the most boneheaded play in NBA history. When his own teammate was standing two feet in front of him, he passed the ball away from him and subsequently, to the other team. Not only did he miss his teammate but it went to the other team. It looked as if it were intentional, but most likely, he was spaced out. Who really knows why he passed it, but it looked ridiculous. It even turned into a basket for the Trail Blazers.

This play is so embarrassing who even knows what he was thinking. Maybe about what he ate the night before or about some off court issue, but there is no doubt that Scal was not all there. He must have been up in the clouds for a moment. Plays like these have made Scal a fan favorite for years.

6 Javale McGee Falling Shot

Javale McGee makes this list again. This time not for his free throw line fails, but for his incredible falling shot. Shaqtin' a fool should be renamed the Javale McGee show for all of his appearances. McGee was playing for the Nuggets at the time and it's not surprising he didn't last long for them. He was constantly making plays like these.

McGee started off this horrible sequence with a behind the back move which looked good until he lost control of the ball, started to stumble, and decided his next best move was to throw the ball at the hoop. Unfortunately he missed the whole hoop and ended up throwing the ball out of bounds from the half court line. An all around terrible play. Who wants their center bringing up the ball?

5 Bulls Forget an Inbounder

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In a game against the Knicks, the Bulls had all five players trying to get open, for the imaginary inbounder to pass in the ball. They didn't even realize that they didn't have an inbounder, until one player walked over looking embarrassed. Tom Thibodeau couldn't do anything but laugh and smile it off. When the greatest players in the world forget how to pass in the ball, it can get quite comical. Seems like something that would happen in a middle school game, not an NBA game. I'm not quite sure whose fault this was, whether it was a player or it was the coach. But somewhere along the way they should have noticed that the ball wasn't going to be passed in by itself. The ref just stood there with the ball in his hand waiting for them to realize.

4 Brandon Knight Throws The Ball Out of Bounds

Brandon Knight could have his own tape of lowlights from what he has accrued over the course of his career. From getting dunked on repeatedly, to getting his ankles broken by Kyrie Irving in the rising stars game, Brandon Knight has truly seen it all. These didn't make the list however because they weren't, "dumb" plays. One dumb play that Knight has made was in a game against the Pacers when he was with the Bucks. Knight jumped in the air and couldn't decide whether to pass or shoot, and he ends up throwing it straight out of bounds.

He changed his mind mid air about 3 times and it ended up looking like he had a seizure. The best part about Knight however, is he continues to lace 'em up every night and is actually a very good player.

3 Lamar Odom Forgets to Pass the Ball In

Many times players are scrutinized for dribbling out of bounds, but that is not the case for Lamar Odom. Actually it is the complete opposite. He dribbled the ball in bounds, which is also results in a turnover. What do I mean by this? He was out of bounds ready to pass the ball in, but instead of doing so, he just dribbles it in himself. The ref quickly stopped him. He probably realized he had made such a simple and stupid mistake. I'm sure he will never do that again though. That's probably a mistake you will only make once. The embarrassment alone would make me remember to pass the ball in. Lamar doesn't have the best health as of now, I wouldn't be surprised if he was on some kind of drugs then as well.

2 Alexey Shved Shoots Over The Backboard

Another unfortunate play, this time by the journeyman Alexey Shved. He seems to just be having a normal drive the the basket, goes up for the layup which sort of looked like a hook shot, and it ended up going about 20 feet over the basket. He was in the lane and I'm not sure where he went wrong but it just looked like he was trying to give a free ball to a fan. That's the only plausible explanation I can think of because that play makes no sense whatsoever. Maybe he was trying to avoid being blocked? You don't have to throw the ball as hard as you can to avoid a shot blocker... Who knows, we might just have to ask Alexey about this one.

1 Tony Parker Airballs Free Throw

Not only did Tony Parker miss the free throw, not only did he airball the free throw, but he must hold the record for shortest foul shot in NBA history. He looked hesitant on the free throw which is incredibly confusing because no one is trying to block it. You know you have to shoot it... The ball ended up landing about 5 feet in front of him which is absurd. Another incredibly confusing play that will only ever be solved by asking the player himself in this case it's Tony Parker.

The most surprising thing about the play is that the play was made by Tony Parker himself. It's rare that such a seasoned veteran would make such a rookie mistake. Heck, it's hard to imagine even a rookie making this kind of blunder.

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