Last night, Kobe Bryant and his Los Angeles Lakers grabbed their 15th championship when they defeated the Orlando Magic in game six of the finals. Shocker? Not so much. If we were owners of the team, we would have had our Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy speech ready after Game 1. But that's just us, we like to stay ever-ready like the batteries. Unfortunately, owner Jerry Buss's son Joey must have thought they were gonna catch an L that night, because when he was handed the trophy, he seemed to be making up his emotionless speech as he went along.
What proceeded was quite possibly one of the most awkward award acceptance speeches in sports history. Granted, Joey is normally relegated to back rooms of his father's empire, so hopefully Papa Buss doesn't feel the urge to put both him back on L.A. Sparks duty. But if he does, maybe he should check out these five other memorable (read: odd) sports award acceptance moments...
MARK MADSEN'S PARADE SPEECH, 2001
• Mark Madsen didn't play much, but that didn't matter to the Standford grad, he was just (a little too) happy to be there, as evidenced by his speech at the Lakers' 2001 championship parade. The odd part wasn't him flipping his speech to Spanish half way through—it is LA, after all. What was odd was the excited hesitation before he went into the Baha Men's most famous chorus. We can almost see him going back and forth with his other Ivy league buddies debating whether or not he should do it or not.
JUAN PIERRE RAPS FOR JOY, 2003
• We'd be understating all the odds held against them if we said no one expected the Marlins to defeat the Yankees. But they did, in six games, at Yankee Stadium no less. The happiest Marlin, by far, was Juan Pierre, who was brought on that year from the Colorado Rockies. The outfielder was so ecstatic that a speech just wouldn't do his emotions justice, so he rapped. Now, we'd once again be understating if we said Pierre's rap was worse than a verse discarded from David Faustino's rhyme book. But yeah, it was that bad.
MANNY RAMERIEZ WINS THE MVP, 2004
• Well, at least he looked at the camera.
MARK CUBAN CRYING OVER DIRK, 2007
• Mark Cuban loves Dirk Nowitzki, this we know. But we had no idea just how much he loved the German-born power forward until he won the MVP award after their crushing lost in the first round of the Playoffs. He was so choked up about Dirk that he barely made it through the speech, which was weird since it was just the MVP trophy and they just got eliminated. We kinda got the same feeling we did when Michael Jackson mistakenly thought he was getting an award for Artist of the Millennium back in '02.
TIM TEBOW WINS HEISMAN TROPHY, 2007
• What was more awkward? The short film that preceded his speech that equated Tim Tebow to the golden child—a gift from the heavens that overcame ever obstacle the great Lord placed in his path? Or, the actual speech where the home-schooled college star seemingly stopped reading from his prepared text and started gushing about the Gators and Jesus?