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This Clippers-Rockets Game 7 is the NBA's Haters' Ball

Lots of basketball fans will be ready to pile on whoever loses. Here's why.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

No matter what happens in Game 7 of the Rockets vs. Clippers series on Sunday (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC), there will be so much schadenfreude. There's a nation full of Silky Johnsons armed with Twitter and a snarl, ready to heap the jokes on top of whichever team loses. To many of them, the perfect result would somehow be both teams getting eliminated and being replaced by the Spurs.

I don't personally hate either team. The distaste is understandable, though. These teams represent, to many fans, some of the worst facets of the current NBA. From flopping to complaining to dirty play to ugly play, it's all there. Let's run through the player-hating that will ensue when Game 7 tips.

Why does everyone hate these guys? (Note: this is not why I hate these guys because I do not hate these guys at all. I hate three humans. They are not professional basketball players, but they know who they are.)

CHRIS PAUL: He flops. Man, he really flops. He punches dudes below the belt. He complains to the refs. He's never been past the second round. He (sort of) forced his way out of New Orleans. He and his so-called twin brother Cliff are constantly on my television. He takes bowling very seriously. Bowling.

JAMES HARDEN: Let's just say it: that beard is grotesque. He dresses like a color-blind serial killer. One of his central priorities on every possession is to draw a foul. Do you know how boring free throws are? He had to be shamed by YouTubers to give an effort on defense. Matt Barnes trash-talked Harden's mom and lived. As such, soft. Also, he's from Los Angeles.

BLAKE GRIFFIN: The kind of bro who thinks this is funny. Flopper extraordinaire. Pushes off on most of his best dunks. Not even good enough to demand the Clippers sign his brother Taylor. Owns the Most Frequently Punked By Zach Randolph Award, despite the fact that Z-Bo once broke a teammate's eye socket.

DWIGHT HOWARD: Take it away, Kobe ...

Let's add some more, for D-12 is a magnet for haters. He entered the league building a brand on his deep and serious faith; he got an Orlando Magic Dancer pregnant shortly thereafter. He had an ongoing Dunk Contest rivalry with &$%*ing Nate Robinson. He got punked by a 5'8 Ron Jeremy look-alike. He picked up a player option costing himself millions because the Magic front office bribed him with candy. At age 26.


JOSH SMITH: This dude was so bad a crappy team paid him his full salary to get rid of him ... and he landed on a contender where he magically became useful again. He is somehow close friends with both grown 8-year-old Dwight Howard and troubled genius Rajon Rondo. What kind of monster manages that? He is guaranteed to take a bad three in Game 7. He will probably make it, because he's the worst.

MATT BARNES: "Can you believe Matt Barnes said that to James Harden's mom?" "Of course I can! It's Matt Barnes. He is the epitome of awful." Even Bruce Bowen is like, "Man, that dude's a dirty player." Pure goon.

PATRICK BEVERLEY: I know he's injured, but that dirty little son-of-a ...

J.J. REDICK: Duke.

DARYL MOREY: Founded the Sloan Conference, which is like the AVN Awards for people who get turned on by spreadsheets. SPEAKING OF WHICH, he has the Creepy Boss sense of humor, including the ol' "man I'd love to be a gynecologist" joke. Tried to be friends with Chandler Parsons; probably very sad that Parsons instead became friends with Mark Cuban. Basically the NBA's Mitt Romney. (And in fact a contributor to Mitt Romney's campaign.)


JASON TERRY: Suspiciously happy.

DOC RIVERS: Traded for his son, who was basically out of the NBA. Serial complainer. Got himself traded away from the Celtics before his aging star players could bail. That's the opposite of a captain going down with the ship. That's like Billy Zane in Titanic stuff.

HAKEEM OLAJUWON: Not officially with the team, but as an icon he's relevant here. So hey, what the hell, Dream? When is one of your summer students actually going to be able to play in the post? Hakeem's School For Unskilled Big Men has 2.4 stars on Yelp. Even that's inflated because Dwight gave it five stars thanks to the giant punch bowl of Skittles in the lobby.

AUSTIN RIVERS: Duke. Nepotism. Goatee. The trifecta of sports hate.

There are also many things to enjoy about this Game 7, such as excellent basketball players playing basketball excellently with very high stakes. Let's all try to find joy in the experience, and share our positive feelings about the players, teams and each other on the Internet!

Or, just hate away.

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