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By Zak Kertesz

Sony Creative Software Inc.


the SportsComplainer presents Close the Gap!

Main | Albert Shamesworth »


Photo by Peter Cohen

----Flimsy and floppy.  Squishy and squashy.  Cushy.  Mushy.  Soft.  Not quite the prerequisite of the National Basketball Association, yet, evidently, it looms over the league.  


But, what’s the correlation between such a random adjective and an NBA player?  More appertaining to the subject at hand, what classifies an NBA player as soft?

Well, an abundance of varying factors can define a player as soft.  Correspondingly, two distinct types of soft emerge: The physical aspect of soft and the mental aspect of soft.  Nevertheless, regardless of the distinction, soft is soft.

An exact definition of soft, in accordance with the current observation, does not exist.  Rather, what does exist, is an assortment of interpreting traits.

Certainly, it should be noted, that a player is deemed to be soft even by just one of the following interpreting traits…

…A soft NBA player is: Consistently injured.  He does not defend.  He does not like contact.  He does not go in the paint.  He does not rebound.  He is not in shape.  He does not hustle.  He is not aggressive.  He is not clutch.  He does not have a killer instinct.  He is not confident.  He is not focused.  He is not emotional.  He is too emotional.  He is soft.

Naturally, such a list could be infinite, as the aforementioned attributes are only a small sampling of what a soft NBA player is comprised of.  Howbeit, the notion is set and the classification of a soft NBA player is understood.

With that in mind, there’s only one logical thing to do at this point: Name names.  Accordingly, I have assembled a team.  The All-Soft-NBA team.  A parody, if you will, of the All-NBA team.

(The All-Soft-NBA team has just one stipulation: Current players only.)

Without further ado, presents…the All-Soft-NBA first team.

Cleveland’s Mo Williams and Indiana’s Mike Dunleavy Jr. at guard; New Orleans’ Peja Stojakovic and Minnesota’s Michael Beasley at forward; and New York’s Eddy Curry at center.

Soft, huh?

Yet, the cast of the All-Soft-NBA first team is not alone in its glory.  There is another cast of characters that is comparably soft.  The characters of Seinfeld.  The sitcom, created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, is saturated with preposterously soft characters.  They are, in fact, the epitome of soft.  Albeit, such saturation is what made the sitcom so brilliantly comedic.  But, in contrast, there is nothing comedic about how soft the All-Soft-NBA first team is.  Well, except for the manner in which they play defense.

Nonetheless, if for some odd reason, Larry and Jerry were to unfeasibly attempt to recast for Seinfeld, the following would ensue:

Mo Williams would read this George Costanza line:  “I’m a great quitter.  It’s one of the few things I do well.  I come from a long line of quitters.  My father was a quitter, my grandfather was a quitter.  I was raised to give up.” (Mo pondered retirement when LeBron James dumped him for Dwyane Wade.)  Soft.

Mike Dunleavy Jr. would read this Jerry Seinfeld line:  “But I’m damaged goods now.” (Mike’s always injured, always, but at least he’s consistent.)  Soft.

Peja Stojakovic would read this Elaine Benes line:  “I’m not a lesbian.  I hate men, but I’m not a lesbian.”  (Peja’s a woman?  Makes sense.)  Soft.

Michael Beasley would read this Cosmo Kramer line:  “Am I?  Or am I so sane that you just blew your mind?  Is it?  Or is it so possible that your head is spinning like a top?  Can it?  Or is your entire world just crashing down all around you?” (Michael’s that spaced out, seriously.)  Soft.

And Eddy Curry would read this Newman line:  “Work?  It’s raining.  I called in sick.  I don’t work in the rain.”  (Eddy doesn’t work, ever.)  Soft.

Ridiculous?  Sure.

But, soft?  Surely.

The classification of the soft label does not solely adhere to the five preceding players.  Rather, it has been constructed in a manner that honors the reserves of the All-Soft-NBA team, as well.

Hence, the All-Soft-NBA second team consists of Cleveland’s Daniel “Boobie” Gibson and Detroit’s Tracy McGrady at guard; Orlando’s Rashard Lewis and Washington’s Yi Jianlian at forward; and Toronto’s Andrea Bargnani at center.

And, the All-Soft-NBA third team consists of Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Los Angeles Lakers’ Sasha Vujacic at guard; Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki and Detroit’s Charlie Villanueva at forward; and Orlando’s Dwight Howard at center.

Flimsy and floppy, huh?

Squishy and squashy, huh?

Cushy, huh?

Mushy, huh?

Soft, huh?