December 29, 1997
In an effort to stall the high-powered Chicago Bulls offense led by Michael Jordan, Dallas Mavericks head coach Don Nelson decided that it would be best to utilize a strange strategy that would eventually become known as Hack-a-Shaq (or Hack-a-Jordan). It was his idea to intentionally foul sub-40% free throw shooting Dennis Rodman that sparked this mind-numbing basketball strategy and Nelson tabbed a rookie small forward out of Austin Peay State University named Bubba Wells for this NBA kamikaze mission. What resulted was NBA history. Wells fouled out of the game in just three minutes of “action” and to this day still holds the honorable distinction of fouling out of a NBA game faster than anybody in history.
It failed miserably as Rodman made 9 out of 12 free throws and the Bulls ended up winning the game 111-105. The best part of the video may be Bulls broadcaster Johnny “Red” Kerr’s assertion at the 7:20 mark that “the rules committee might have to look into this.” Only took them about 20 years. Mind you that this was the only way to stop MJ and the Bulls. You sent in some guy named Bubba who had probably played like 12 minutes all season to just foul out as quickly as possible.
As for Bubba Wells, the Usain Bolt of fouling if you will, he only played 39 career games with the Mavericks in 1997-98. In addition to his dubious record of fouling out faster than anybody in history, Wells was also involved in a 1998 trade that saw Wells, Pat Garrity, mid-air basketball card shi**er Martin Muursepp, and a 1999 1st round pick (Shawn Marion) sent to the Phoenix Suns for two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash. Of course, Nash would win both of those MVP awards with the Suns as he returned to Phoenix in 2004. Neither Wells nor Muursepp ever played another game in the NBA, Shawn Marion turned out to be pretty good, and Pat Garrity was, well, … Pat Garrity.
So that’s pretty much all you need to know about Bubba Wells’ NBA career. Fouling Dennis Rodman faster than anybody ever and being traded for Steve Nash. Keep hacking, Bubba.
(P.S. Dennis Rodman had 22 rebounds at the end of the third quarter in this game. 22 REBOUNDS!)