Joffe: Betting the NBA Playoffs Is Tough When You Hate Half the Players

Joffe: Betting the NBA Playoffs Is Tough When You Hate Half the Players article feature image

Troy Taormina – USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: James Harden. 

The Highlights

  • My personal disdain for certain NBA players makes betting a little tough.
  • For years, I couldn’t gamble on Joakim Noah’s Bulls teams because he cost me a crap-ton of money in a March Madness pool.
  • And then there’s James Harden. Three negatives: He went to ASU, he has a disgusting beard and he’s a big baby.

The playoffs are basically the only time of year I watch the NBA these days. The regular season just doesn’t do it for me anymore, and I’m way too busy sweating Arizona hoops games to worry about January NBA action. Plus, much like other sports, my personal disdain for certain NBA players tends to make betting a little … complicated.

I passed up plenty of Bulls bets in the past thanks to Joakim Noah (also Carlos Boozer … vomit). In 2006 Noah and the Gators screwed me by winning the NCAA title game over UCLA. I was set to win a huge bracket pool but NOOOOOOO, Joakim and his stupid bouncy man bun sauntered in and killed my dreams.

I clearly never forgave him because years later when I saw him at a party, I almost lost it. I say almost because I’m all talk and most likely would never say anything to anyone, let alone a guy who towers over me. But my friend who I went with could see my ire and gave me the “Imma kill you if you open your mouth” look.

I didn’t say anything and got a couple (four) shots instead, and yada yada yada, I had to remove her parents’ home number from my phone because APPARENTLY I called them at 5 a.m. looking for her despite, you know, her being right next to me. (Off topic but I have a terrible habit of calling the MOST inappropriate people — usually parents, including mine — when I’ve had a few too many. … It’s a problem.) Of course, Noah isn’t on the Bulls anymore and is just chillin’ on vacay while living the good life courtesy of the Knicks. I think that actually makes me respect him a little.

There are other NBA players who I can’t stand, and I don’t have the best of reasons. Case in point: Kevin Durant. I’ve never been a fan. Those burner accounts and him running to the Warriors solidified my hatred. If it means I can’t bet on the best NBA team of this generation, then so be it.

Everyone loves Anthony Davis, but I don’t see it. I think it traces back to his unibrow, which is petty, but I’ve been known to dislike people/teams for much dumber reasons. I won’t lie, though: I did make a small bet on the Pelicans to beat the Warriors, which I felt good about … until I remembered that The Brow played for New Orleans. I need a Google Spreadsheet to keep all of my grudges straight.

Then there’s James Harden. I remember sitting courtside at Staples watching him play in the Pac-10 conference tournament. He was the best player on that team (which honestly tells you absolutely nothing) but I vividly remember hating him — and it wasn’t just because he played for the Sun Devils (Bear Down). Facial hair is not my thing and that beard … disgusting. He’s also a big soft baby, which is forever enshrined in one of my all-time favorite Vines:

Needless to say, I bet on the Jazz to win their series vs. the Rockets.

Needless to say, I regret nothing.


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