NBA litness test: 2017's best beefs, clapbacks, trolls, quotes, GIFs and more

Ball Don't Lie
There was no shortage of fun in the NBA in 2017. (AP)
There was no shortage of fun in the NBA in 2017. (AP)

In a special edition of the NBA litness test, we’re honoring the best of what we saw in what’s been an absolutely bonkers 2017. From the best clapbacks to the top Gregg Popovich quote, review the year that was.

Beef of the year

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Charles Oakley vs. James Dolan

Honorable Mentions

Joel Embiid vs. Hassan Whiteside

James Harden vs. Kevin McHale

Shaq vs. JaVale McGee


Reconciliation of the year

Magic Johnson and Isaiah Thomas

Honorable Mentions

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook at the 2017 All-Star game

Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic

OMG Moment of the Year

Kyrie Irving demands a trade away from the Cavaliers

Honorable Mentions

DeMarcus Cousins gets traded to the Pelicans, days after the Kings promised they wouldn’t trade him

Grizzlies coach David Fizdale gets fired after 7-12 start


Clapback of the Year

TIE: CJ McCollum ends Chandler Parsons

TIE: Joel Embiid ethers Jalen Rose

Honorable Mentions

Devin Booker claps back at Jae Crowder

Joel Embiid cooks Karl-Anthony Towns

Troll of the Year

Joel Embiid

Honorable mentions

Reggie Jackson

Patrick Beverley

Tweet of the Year

LeBron James on President Donald Trump un-inviting Stephen Curry and the Warriors to the White House, after Curry already announced he would not attend. 

Put this in the Smithsonian.

Retweet of the Year

Rudy Gobert following the Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas trade

Instagram of the Year

Joel Embiid following his destruction of the Lakers

WHAT A NIGHT !!!!! #TheProcess

A post shared by Joel "The Process" Embiid (@joelembiid) on Nov 15, 2017 at 10:56pm PST

Honorable Mention

LeBron James #MOOD


A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames) on Nov 6, 2017 at 7:07pm PST

Bench Reaction of the Year

The Cavaliers react to Jeff Green’s dunk over Ian Mahinmi

Honorable Mention

The Lakers react to Larry Nance Jr.’s posterization of Kevin Durant

Scuffle of the Year

Russell Westbrook vs. Kevin Durant – Part II

Honorable Mentions

Russell Westbrook vs. Kevin Durant – Part I

Robin Lopez vs. Serge Ibaka

LeBron James vs. Frank Ntilikina and Enes Kanter

Dad Highlight of the Year

Dell Curry nailing a 40-footer

Honorable mention

LaVar Ball speaking it into existence

Disrespectful Moment of the Year

Giannis Antetokounmpo throws down a late dunk over Rudy Gobert

Honorable Mention

Kristaps Porzingis swallows Spencer Dinwiddie’s shot

“Did LeBron really just do that?!” Moment of the Year

Throwing it off the backboard for himself IN THE NBA FINALS

Honorable Mentions

Hitting a circus-shot game-winner against the Wizards

Throwing the an inbounds pass off of Giannis Antetokounmpo, then hitting a 3-pointer

Backfire of the Year

KD trying to respond to an internet troll, but forgetting to use his burner Twitter account, thus getting exposed for having a burner Twitter account

Honorable Mentions

Bradley Beal and John Wall saying the Cavs ducked them in the 2017 playoffs

Were LeBron and the Cavs dodging the Wizards?

A post shared by NBA on ESPN (@nbaonespn) on Nov 3, 2017 at 3:36pm PDT

Yeah, about that.

Nick Young’s old tweets coming back to haunt him

Celebrity Fan of the Year


Honorable Mentions



it's that time…

A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on Oct 18, 2017 at 7:00am PDT



A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on Jun 13, 2017 at 4:08am PDT


Conspiracy of the Year

Did Stephen Curry pretend to defecate in celebration?

Honorable Mentions

The Draymond Green technical foul that wasn’t

Did Rajon Rondo try to trip Jae Crowder?

(via @espn)

A post shared by NBA on ESPN (@nbaonespn) on Apr 21, 2017 at 7:37pm PDT

Finesse of the Year

Eric Bledsoe getting himself off the Suns with one tweet

NBA Rap Reference of the Year

“Tables turned, lesson learned, my best look

You jumped sides on me, now you ’bout to meet Westbrook

Go celebrate with your team and let victory vouch you

Just know, the next game played I might slap the [expletive] out you.”

Kendrick Lamar – “The Heart Part 4”

Honorable Mentions

“And the truck behind me got arms

Yeah, longer than LeBron”

Rihanna and N*E*R*D – “Lemon”


“Y’all wanna ball, I’m Stan Van Gundy”

Big Sean and Metro Boomin – “Pull Up n Wreck”

GIF of the Year

Gregg Popovich tries to avoid the cameras

Honorable Mentions

Draymond Green pumps up Kevin Durant

Jimmy Butler reacts to Taj Gibson’s full-court heave

Quote of the Year

Jordan Clarkson on Brandon Ingram’s game-winner against the 76ers

Honorable Mentions

Michael Beasley on his 32-point performance against the Celtics at Madison Square Garden

Dion Waiters on his confidence: “That’s just that Philly cheese swag.”

Gregg Popovich Quote of the Year

On Manu Ginobili: “I’m going to use him like a bar of soap until there’s nothing left for his family or anybody else in the world.”

Honorable Mentions

On LeBron James:

On his strategy against the Warriors:

On being one win away from tying Phil Jackson for most wins of all time: “It’s the most important thing in my life. My grandchildren can take a hike.”

On Tim Duncan: “Tim can’t help us a lick. He can’t play dead anymore. He just comes for the free lunch.”

Team Account Tweet of the Year

@PelicansNBA following the team’s stunning trade for DeMarcus Cousins:

Honorable Mentions

Moment of the Year

Michael Beasley gets MVP chants at Madison Square Garden

Honorable Mentions

5-foot-9 Isaiah Thomas and 5-foot-9 Tyler Ulis go against each other for a jump ball

Nate Robinson goes through the legs in the G-League


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