A few weeks ago, in response to Kobe Bryant's then-debilitating ankle injury and accusations that Dahntay Jones somehow committed a dirty play by cutting under him while he was still in the air, I listed the dirtiest players in the NBA. I tried to take a different look at it and list players that were "dirty" in a number of different ways. I looked at "complainers" and "floppers" as much as the players usually associated with the word (and I egregiously excluded Joakim Noah).
This has me thinking today about who are the dirtiest players in Magic history?
Before diving into things, let me define what I consider "dirty." There are a few things. First and foremost, a "dirty" player is one the opposing team hates playing against. These are the players that do their generous bending of the rules and test the boundaries of rules. Again, players that opponents hate playing against and do everything to get under their skin.
These are also players with a little bit of a mean streak, perhaps. They may not fill the stat sheet, but they are essential to a winning team.
Now, the Magic have an interesting and complicated relationship with players considered "dirty."
Rich DeVos has always stressed bringing quality players and quality people into the organization. I remember when Keon Clark was a free agent in 2002. At that time, Clark was seen as a rising young defender at center and the Magic were a team desperate for a center. He averaged 11.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per game in the season before free agency.
As the Magic were negotiating with him, Clark was arrested for drug possession and the Magic quickly pulled out of the running. It was a good basketball decision as Clark played only two more injury-riddled seasons and failed to live up to expectations. The drug arrest was cited as a key reason for the Magic cooling off on him. DeVos did not want to sign a player that would cause problems off the court.
The same concern arose when J.J. Redick was arrested for a DUI before the Draft.
There are, of course, exceptions. DeVos gave Shawn Kemp a second chance in Orlando after his weight and off-court issues. But largely, Magic history is devoid of any players one might call "mean guys" and so finding dirty players is tough.
I will attempt to do so though. Here are the five "dirtiest" players in Magic history by my strange standards:no comments