Lazy Basketball Plays in Honor of Labor Day

We’re celebrating Labor Day here in the U.S. (and Labour Day in Canada), which means a day off from work.

The U.S. Government created Labor Day back in the late 19th century. Its origins are up for debate. One part of history says the Knights of Labor first held a meeting in New York in 1882, with the Central Labor Union hosting a parade that September.

That parade went well, so CLU secretary Matthew Maguire proposed an annual Labor Day celebration.

Then there’s another historical recounting of the beginning of the holiday — this one beginning in Canada. Peter J. McGuire (look at those similar names!) of the American Federation of Labor saw people in Toronto throwing labor parades back in May of 1882. McGuire was like, “hmm, this seems to be a good idea” and brought it stateside.

McGuire wanted the celebration to start with a parade and end with a picnic. He also chose September in part because it’s about halfway between the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving, and I like that forethought.

Whatever the case, the holiday aims to celebrate the workers of America.

Oregon was the first state to make Labor Day a public holiday, doing so in 1887. By 1894, 30 states had gotten onboard, and on June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed the bill into law.

Look at that! Now you know a fact about Grover Cleveland besides the fact that he’s the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms.

We celebrate Labor Day today in a pretty similar fashion: eating a bunch (maybe grilling instead of picnics) and being merry with other people.

Or maybe you just don’t move all day. That’s still in the spirit of taking it easy.

And in that “taking it easy” vein, here’s about five minutes of NBA players just deciding not to play defense.

I’d argue half of these plays aren’t even lazy, they’re more the result of an unfortunate bounce or a dumb decision. But they’re still delightful to watch.

In fact, the video takes a turn in the final minute when a lack of trying actually BENEFITS the team that’s giving minimal effort.

Consider this stretch of clips:

  • Starting at 4 minutes, Steph Curry lies down during the 2017 All-Star Game to avoid getting posterized by Giannis Antetokounmpo.
  • Andre Drummond neglects to run out to guard a pair of big men shooting and actively waves his hand at Jonas Valančiūnas — a 36% career three-point shooter, which is not bad at all! — as if to say, “Eh, it’s not worth my time.” In both clips, the person Drummond doesn’t defend misses the shot.
  • The Warriors don’t care to guard Blake Griffin, who bricks a three off the side of the backboard. That’s possibly the most embarrassing way to miss a shot.
  • Chris Paul also waves off guarding André Roberson — a career 25% three-point shooter, which is pretty bad — and then gives us a loud “HELL NAW!” after Roberson airballs the shot. It’s truly 😚👌.

I hope your Labor Day is a restful and relaxing one. But if you do have things to do, please just give a tiny bit more effort than these NBA players.