Round table: Most WHO? NBA player




A crate full of basketballs sits in front of the podium during the Detroit Pistons 2022 NBA Draft Introductory Press Conference. Photo by Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports.

The NBA is back and it’s filled with all kinds of excitement! You have the coaches, the stars and the “WHO?” players.” This is a term coined by the BroadcastBoys on TikTok, who have an ongoing series where they discuss irrelevant NBA players — the ones that make you say “WHO?” during their discussion. Today, the DC Sports section digs deep to find some of the best such players:

Stratton’s Staff
Associate Sports Editor
he/she/his
[email protected]

Joel Pryzbilla

Not only is Pryzbilla one of the least relevant players to have played 13 full seasons, but he is also the owner of the greatest nickname of all time: the “Vanilla Gorilla”, which rhymes with his first and last name. It literally doesn’t get any better than this. The former Montenegrin and Minnesota Gophers was selected in the top 10 by the Houston Rockets, but was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks on draft night. Pryzbilla has averaged four points and six rebounds in his career, once knocking down 25 boards in a game. One would have hoped that a top-10 pick would have a more successful career, but he had longevity and served as a solid backup throughout his tenure. Overall, the Vanilla Gorilla was a disappointment in the field, but at least his moniker fits the Hall of Fame moniker perfectly.

Evan Rodriguez
Personal editor
He/Him/His
[email protected]

DJ Strawberry

In the 2007 NBA draft, many incredible players were drafted, from current Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant to former Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah. Even the Los Angeles Lakers managed to win the draft steal with Marc Gasol, who was later flipped for his brother Pau. But, with the 59th pick in the draft, the Phoenix Suns selected a man with one of the best names in the entire draft: DJ Strawberry, a defensive guard who consistently led Maryland in steals and assists per game. Although he only played one season for the Suns and eventually entered the international game, he is the son of former New York Mets star Darryl Strawberry and that fact alone makes him an excellent candidate for this week’s question.

Noah Roseau
Campus correspondent
He/Him/His
[email protected]

Wally Szczerbiak

Szczerbiak was the pride of the University of Miami (Ohio). He was the sixth overall pick in the 1999 NBA draft and later made a first-team All-Rookie. Two seasons later, he would make his first and only NBA All-Star Game with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He set the Timberwolves franchise record for points in a game with 44 in a regular season game in 2003, which has since been broken multiple times. Szczerbiak averaged a fine 14.1 PPG over an interesting 10-year career where he played for Minnesota, Boston, Seattle, and then finished in Cleveland. He’s the guy for when you’re doing a quiz night in Boston and they ask who the Celtics gave up on for Ray Allen.

Stefan Cole
Personal editor
He/Him/His
[email protected]

Andy Rautins

It’s focused on a sport I don’t often follow, so I decided to go with a Syracuse University alum because everyone who roots for the UConn Huskies hates them. The Orange have had several big names in the professional leagues, from Carmelo Anthony to Dave Bing, but the most WHO? player they got is Leo Rautins’ son, Andy. While the older Rautins was selected 17th overall in the 1983 draft and averaged 1.5 PPG in 32 games, the younger Rautins was selected in the second round of the 2010 draft and only played only five games in his NBA career. During his time with the New York Knicks, Rautins scored eight points, committed seven turnovers and shot 3-for-7 from the field. The most famous thing he did in his professional career was being traded to the Dallas Mavericks for Tyson Chandler. Being involved in a short-term impact acquisition is a prime example of an existing player playing at least 60 full seconds on an NBA court.