Modern NBA All-Dirty Team

Bill Laimbeer
Rick Mahorn
Karl Malone
Dennis Rodman
John Stockton
John Starks
Kermit Washington

Karl Malone? He’s broken more noses and bones and caused more bleeding than anyone else I’ve ever seen play.

This team would be pretty vulnerable to the fast break and have a hard time breaking a press or scoring points, but what defense and rebounding.

I keep hearing Johnny Most’s voice in my head calling Laimbeer a “gutless coward” during a playoff game back in the 80’s.

And the debate centres on what?

Moderator’s Note: And the debate centers on, “What forum will MEBuckner move this thread to?”

Looks like all of y’all who had “IMHO” win the pool.

Don’t forget Charles Oakley. Although not that dirty I would want Anthony Mason as well, just to be an enforcer and to protect my other dirty players (cept Oak, he cant protect himself). hehe

err… CAN protect himself.

I’d add Dikembe Mutumbo, and Rick Fox off the bench.

Kenyon Martin is an up and comer but w/o the history of the other guys

Just two small quibbles: first, though Kermit Washington’s attack on Rudy Tomjanovich was a scary moment (when I first saw the incident on TV, I thought he’d killed Rudy), and he deserved the vilification and lengthy suspension he got, I don’t recall Kermit Washington being a particularly dirty player before that night. He didn’t have a reputation as a thug. And in more recent interviews, he SEEMS like a decent man who genuinely regrets what he did.

Obviously, I COULD be wrong about Kermit Washington’s basic nature. I can’t read his mind. But my feeling is, he wasn’t really a dirty player over the course of his career. If we remember him that way, our memories may be tainted by that one horrible, unforgivable moment.

As for John Stockton… well, I don’t deny that he grabs jerseys and throws elbows, just like most guards in the NBA. He’s no saint. But I think he gets a LITTLE more criticism for being a dirty player than he deserves. I think the real problem is, OFF the court, he seems like such a squeaky-clean, white bread, Christian role model and fine upstanding citizen, it GALLS many fans and players (especially the black ones) to see him getting down and dirty like every other player. In their eyes, it makes him seem hypocritical.

So, while I fully agree that Stockton plays dirty, I don’t think he merits a spot in the top (or, rather, bottom) ten.

Reggie Miller would be a nice as well. In addition to being a scrappy, dirty player, he is one of the league’s premier trash talkers.

Perhaps not dirty in the traditional nose-breaking, elbow-throwing sense, but Vlade Divac is a complete “flopmaster.” He gets within two feet of a big guy (usually Shaq), and somehow the Invisible Elbow of God comes out of nowhere and knocks him on his back, often a drawing baseless foul.

True, true. But look at the other side of the same coin, too. How often does Shaq dish out the punishment on the offensive end, pushing 6’ 10" 270 pounders around like rag dolls and not get called for the foul?

Is it possible to be a dirty player on offense?

I wanted to include some guards. Perhaps Stockton doesn’t compare to others on this thread.

Stockton’s not really dirty. He plays hard, and he’ll push the rules as far as he can to get an advantage, but he’s not the kind of player that’ll hit a guy just to hit a guy. To me that’s the difference between dirty and tough.

For guards, Ron Harper was dirty. Phil Jackson always likes to have a few players that can lay some wood to a guy. In his last few years with the Bulls he had Harper and Rodman, and one of the first things he did when he signed with the Lakers was to bring in one of his old hatchet men. I also think he’s the guy who turned Rick Fox into a bruiser.

And don’t forget Charles Barkley. He could jam a forearm in a guy’s lower back like nobody’s business.