NBA characters rankings: No. 8 Mickael Pietrus
Orlando forward Mickael Pietrus reacts to a call by the officials during the Magic's 80-74 loss to the Atlanta Hawks at Amway Center on Dec. 6, 2010 (Gary W. Green, Orlando Sentinel)
This is a measure of characters.
This week, we're ranking the 10 biggest characters in the NBA today.
What, exactly, do we mean when we call someone a "character"? In a word: distinctiveness. A player could be funny. He could be strange. He could be downright weird. All of these traits — either in combination or on their own — might qualify a player for inclusion on this list.
Shaquille O' Neal, Rasheed Wallace, Jason Williams — all of them are characters. Too bad they're now retired.
Think a player's ranking is too high or too low? Voice your opinion by writing in the comments field below.
Characters ranking: 8th
Current team: Phoenix Suns
Age on Nov. 1, 2011: 29
Seasons in NBA: 8
On the court: Pietrus has two specialties. He's a good perimeter defender. And he specializes in shooting 3-pointers, especially corner 3s. Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy often said that Pietrus was his team's most talented perimeter defender, but Van Gundy also added that Pietrus' intensity level on defense waned when he wasn't hitting shots.
What makes him a character: Pietrus almost always seems like he's in a good mood. "I don't have two or three faces," he once told the Orlando Sentinel. "I only got one. That's me. Planet Pietrus. Life's good." And if you want proof of that, just watch this video in which he describes what it was like for him and J.J. Redick to fly from Chicago to Detroit when they were sick during the 2010-11 season. . . . Indeed, Pietrus has a spacey sense of humor. In May 2010, he said he was going to grow his hair until the Magic won the NBA title. "I might even let a fan cut my hair if we win the championship," he said. "No scissors. I can't give anybody scissors. I give them clippers. They can keep my hair if they want it." . . . Pietrus occasionally spun records at local nightclubs as a hobby. . . . He also says he's a great cook.
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