Whether these were the result of too many Mounds bars being consumed or not, here are five of the ghastly, ghoulish and scary NBA performances on Halloween night.
Thurl Bailey (1986): -6.2 Game Score
Bailey would soon emerge as a scoring option on an upstart Jazz team led by John Stockton and Karl Malone but on Halloween night in 1986, Bailey’s performance was downright scary.
The -6.2 Game Score Bailey “achieved” on this night is the worst Game Score for any players with 20+ minutes in a Halloween game since 1983-84. Aided by his 2-of-13 shooting performance, Bailey contributed very little to the Jazz’s 103-77 opening night loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
The game is a perplexing performance from a Jazz team that would end the year with 44 wins. Malone led the team with 12 points (5-of-14), John Stockton went 0-of-6 from the field (3 points).
After Malone’s 12, the next three highest-scoring outputs came from bench players Kelly Tripucka, Rickey Green and Darrell Griffith.
Chris Johnson (2014): -1.2 Game Score
It was hard to #TrustTheProcess on Halloween night in 2014 when Sixers small forward Chris Johnson shot 1-of-11 from the field, missing all of his 2-point attempts (0-of-5) and making only 1-of-6 3-pointers. Johnson may have only scored four but contributed to the game with a stout 8 rebounds.
The Sixers were slaughtered by Milwaukee 93-81, their second loss of the young year. As expected, this would be a trend as Philadelphia ended the year 18-64, their second of three straight years with 60+ losses.
Johnson would last only nine games with Philly that season, inexplicably starting two games for the team before signing 10-day contracts with the Jazz and Bucks.
DeAndre Jordan (2012): 4.9 Game Score
Jordan’s Halloween performance in 2013 was more trick than treat. Sure, Jordan went 6-of-8 from the field, scored 12 points and grabbed 7 rebounds.
The trick? He also turned the ball over nine times, the second highest Halloween night turnover total since 1983-84. Steph Curry’s 11 turnovers on the very same night in 2013 tops the list but Curry has a little more leeway, he scored 38 points.
Gilbert Arenas (2007): 17.0 Game Score
Arenas’ Halloween night performance in 2007 wasn’t all bad. He scored 34 points, pulled down eight rebounds and nearly led his Wizards to an opening-night victory of the Indiana Pacers.
His 1-of-8 shooting from three? Not so great. Arenas shot 10-of-25 overall but the 1-of-8 from downtown really makes us scream.
Unfortunately despite the slick overall scoring output, this was the beginning of the end for Arenas in Washington. Injuries and a litany of other issues would cause Arenas to play only 68 more games for Washington over the next four years before he was sent to Orlando. Arenas would play one more season in the NBA with the Grizzlies before finally departing, leaving behind a career of “What Ifs”.
Michael Olowokandi (2000): -7.1 Game Score
What better way to end this list than an appearance by the Kandi Man himself: Michael Olowokandi.
The Kandi Man shot 0-of-2 from the field, okay, not bad. He had 4 rebounds. 17 minutes, okay, yeah, sounds alright, what’s the catch?
How about six turnovers and five fouls in just 17 minutes?
Yeah, this was brutal. This is one of the 35 times a player has amassed 6+ turnovers and 5+ personal fouls in less than 20 minutes. Bonus points for Delaney Rudd of the 1990 Utah Jazz for having six turnovers and five fouls in only nine minutes.
You probably know how the Olowokandi thing worked out. The former No. 1 overall pick busted out in Los Angeles before both the Timberwolves and Celtics tried to extract something, anything out of the big man.
Hint: they didn’t.
There is also an urban legend that if you say Olowokandi’s name in a mirror five times, he’ll spend 15 seconds trying to back you down before dribbling a basketball off his foot. I cannot confirm nor deny the veracity of this urban legend. As someone who say Olowokandi play in real-time, I’m far too scared to re-live even a single moment of his career.