Mark Blount: Worst. Celtic. Ever.

The Sultan of Sloth.

Mark Blount, how do I loathe you?  Allow me to quote from Henry IV part 1 (Prince Hal talking about Falstaff the fat thief):

Swearest thou, ungracious boy? henceforth ne'er look on me. Thou art violently carried away from grace: there is a devil haunts thee in the likeness of an old fat man; a tun of man is thy companion. Why dost thou converse with that trunk of humours, that bolting-hutch of beastliness, that swollen parcel of dropsies, that huge bombard of sack, that stuffed cloak-bag of guts, that roasted Manningtree ox with the pudding in his belly, that reverend vice, that grey iniquity, that father ruffian, that vanity in years? Wherein is he good, but to taste sack and drink it? wherein neat and cleanly, but to carve a capon and eat it? wherein cunning, but in craft? wherein crafty, but in villany? wherein villanous, but in all things? wherein worthy, but in nothing?

The Sultan of Sloth.  The Duke of Dumb.  The Wizard of Wasted Talent.  The  Prince of Pathetic Effort.  A proud member of the I Takka Nappa fraternity.

There were less talented Celtics and even less productive ones.  But Mark Blount won the "Worst. Celtic. Ever." award because like the Cowardly Lion, he had no heart.

He was blessed with size and he wasn't just any lumbering seven footer.  He looked the part too.  In his early days his arms were chiseled and he at least looked athletic.  In fact, in one half of a season leading up to his free agency, he looked like a guy developing into a very good player.

That was perhaps the most galling part about any of this.  He proved to everyone that he could be a very good basketball player when he was focused and motivated.  He scored, he set picks, he rebounded with abandon.   Based on that small sample size of on-court productivity, it would have been foolish to let him walk as a free agent.

Then he got is check and effectively checked out.  The Celtics signed him to a 6 year, $40 Million contract and he only lasted another 2 and a half years in Boston.

Rebounding was a thing of the past.  Battling under the boards wasn't really much of an option and his preferred place was at the top of the key where he could loft up soft jumpers.

Once in a while he would have a solid game or make a couple of baskets in a row and flash some of that old potential.  But then he would go right back to giving only a half effort and otherwise making a fool of himself.

Or rather, making a fool of Danny Ainge and all Celtics fans everywhere.  As he ambivalently chewed his gum and sipped from his collection of port, we all chewed on our hats wishing there was some way to rid our team of him.  Eventually we did, trading him for the vastly overpaid Wally Szczerbiack who was later dealt off to the Seattle Sonics for Ray Allen - so this story does have a happy ending.

Still, the underlying bitterness that Blount fostered in Celtics fans still resonates today.  You'd think that all would be forgiven and forgotten now that we won a 17th banner and regained our place among the NBA's nobility.  But we can't let it go.  A few people stand out as symbols of all that went wrong and all we fear could go wrong in the future.  Rick Pitino (spit).  Vin "Gin" Baker.  And Mark stinking Blount.

He's long since gone, but he will not be forgotten.  He'll be a cautionary tale for ages to come.  Beware the 7 footer with one half of a good season leading up to his free agency.  A ghost tale we tell young ballers on Halloween night to scare the Air Melo's off them.

Being a bad basketball player on the Celtics isn't a crime.  But having talent, showing potential, and then collecting a check and coasting for the rest of your career is about as bad as it gets.  And that is why Mark Blount is the worst Celtic ever.

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