NBA Players I Hate Most--The Top Ten

Best of the Worst--or Worst of the Best???


The NBA, an organization represented by a vast and diverse collection of individuals, boasts many likeable players that have historically endeared themselves to the public. Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal and LeBron James have massive fan followings, and numerous charismatic players carry themselves in a way that just forces people to like them. There will always be players that are disliked, however. Wilt Chamberlain, for example, lamented during his playing days that “nobody roots for Goliath”. Such players may do nothing to earn the ire of fans, but will always be booed on the road—and sometimes at home, also. Like most NBA fans, there are players I like and some I despise. This is my list of players that I never liked—and why.


NBA's Villains, Or Just Misunderstood?

Zeke
Zeke
Half-man, Half-Effort--uh, I mean Half-Amazing
Half-man, Half-Effort--uh, I mean Half-Amazing
High School Player that didn't want to play with high school players
High School Player that didn't want to play with high school players
About to get pumped
About to get pumped
Looking for a fight?  Nah, just had one
Looking for a fight? Nah, just had one
21 million was an insult to this guy
21 million was an insult to this guy
Birdman
Birdman
Three teams removed from making a solid contribution
Three teams removed from making a solid contribution
"Starbury"
"Starbury"
What will happen first?  Will he knock Bird down, or fall down himself?
What will happen first? Will he knock Bird down, or fall down himself?

My List of NBA Players I Can't Stand


1. Isiah Thomas: Thomas was one of the Pistons’ “Bad Boys”, and lived up to the name. In 1987 he asserted Larry Bird would be “just another good player” if he were black instead of hyped as the best player in the NBA; he later claimed he was kidding. In the playoffs that year he hot-dogged with the ball, fired up the Celtics and blew a lead for his team. In another game his inbounds pass was stolen by Larry Bird, and his blunder cost Detroit the series. In the finals a year later, he scored 25 fourth-quarter points against the Lakers, despite a sprained ankle. I wondered if he was faking the injury, as he hobbled on defense but looked fine when he had the ball. Thomas was accused of freezing out Michael Jordan in the 1985 All-Star Game, and when Jordan’s Bulls defeated the Pistons in the playoffs, Thomas and the Bad Boys left the bench and game before its conclusion without congratulating the victors.

2. Vince Carter: Carter has been labeled “Half-Man, Half-Amazing” but will never be called a winner. He has the talent to rival great players like Paul Pierce or Carmelo Anthony and compete with the upper echelon of wing players. Rather than give a complete effort and help his team win games, he contents himself with gambling at steals for breakaway dunks or jump shots and plays for statistics. Famous for attending his college graduation ceremony on the day of a game 7 playoff matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers, Carter shot 6-18 that afternoon and missed a game-winning shot with 2 seconds remaining. After being traded to New Jersey, he admitted to not always playing hard—and while the admission was claimed to be a “misrepresentation” of what he meant, the statement seems accurate.

3. Tracy McGrady: McGrady represents everything I dislike about players going pro out of high school. He originally played for Toronto, coming off the bench for two years before maturing enough to team with 3rd cousin Vince Carter in the starting lineup. This potent scoring duo led the team to the playoffs but was swept in the first round. Toronto got little return for their investment in McGrady because he bolted to Orlando after his rookie contract expired. In Orlando he complained of needing more help, but balked at the Magic drafting high school players, not wanting to wait for them to develop. Like his cousin Vince Carter, he admitted to giving less than 100% effort before his trade to Houston. Injuries plagued McGrady as a Rocket, and at one point he announced on his web site he would have surgery on his knee and miss the remainder of the 2009 season. Coach Rick Adelman found out about it by reading the newspapers.

4. Rasheed Wallace: I won’t claim the Detroit Pistons won an NBA title in spite of Wallace, but the record-setting emotional outbursts and subsequent technical fouls didn’t help, either—nor did they help the Portland Trailblazers before he was shipped off to Detroit via Atlanta. His constant whining after every call isn’t the only reason I dislike him, however; a finesse game featuring an outrageous number of three point attempts for a big man doesn’t endear him to me, either. One almost gets the feeling Rasheed would like to see the NBA completely devoid of contact, since he complains about nearly every call made. It might make for a more beautiful game, but it’s not what you want out of a big man.

5. Ron Artest: Someone so volatile, always on the verge of losing his cool, shouldn’t be playing professional basketball. His participation in a 2004 brawl in Detroit with players and fans is enough reason to dislike Artest. After the fight, he asked the Indiana Pacers to trade him. When Sacramento made an offer, it was reported he didn’t want to go—that his trade request was only made in anger. He helped the Kings but was suspended during the 2006 playoffs for an elbow to the head of Spurs guard Manu Ginobli. He was eventually traded to the Houston Rockets. There he was quoted as saying his violent past actions were a reflection of his “ghetto culture”, but no one should accept that as a rationale for his antics.

2012 UPDATE: Artest might have changed his name to "Meta World Peace", but he remains a dangerous person who should not be allowed on a basketball court. His vicious blow to the head of James Harden in April 2012 earned him a 7-game suspension. Artest/Peace got off too easy. He has moved to the top of my "most hated" list, and has proven he cannot be trusted to control himself. David Stern should ban him from the NBA for life.

6. Latrell Sprewell: Sprewell is famous for an incident on December 1, 1997 when he choked and later punched Golden State Head Coach P.J. Carlesimo for criticizing his passes in a practice. It wasn’t his first violent act in practice—two years earlier he fought with teammate Jerome Kersey and threatened him with a two-by-four. He was suspended by the league for the rest of the season, and he should have been expelled from the NBA. (Only in pro sports can you choke the boss and eventually resume your career.) While playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves, he rejected a $21 million contract extension, declaring “I have a family to feed.” His concern for his family doesn’t extend to their safety, however; at one point his child was attacked by one of his pit bull dogs, an incident he shrugged off as just “one of those things”.

7. Chris Andersen: “Birdman” has been given some credit for the Denver Nuggets’ success last season with his energetic approach to the game. He is known for his many tattoos, his hairdo, and celebrating a dunk or blocked shot by flapping his arms like a bird, but his resume also includes serving a two-year suspension for violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy. My dislike for this player stems from his receiving notoriety for all the wrong reasons: drug use and self-promotion through his stupid hairdo, equally ridiculous tattoos, and the adoption of the “Birdman” persona which borders on moronic. It is incomprehensible that Andersen’s 6 points and 6 rebounds a game earns a contract worth $26 million.

8. Allen Iverson: Selfish gunner rumored to be considering retirement after leaving the Memphis Grizzlies on “personal” business. One wonders if he joined them hoping a poor team would allow him to hoist up bad shots in a manner Denver and Detroit wouldn’t tolerate. Iverson enjoyed success under Coach Larry Brown, but when Brown criticized him for missing team practices he responded, "We're sitting here, I'm supposed to be the franchise player, and we're talking about practice," and went on a rant that included the word "practice" fourteen times. He has been criticized and/or fined for missing or arriving late for games, skipping public appearances, speaking out against the NBA’s dress code, and publicly criticizing coaches.

9. Stephon Marbury: The epitome of selfishness, every NBA team Marbury played for improved after he left it. His list of accomplishments includes feuding with Coach Larry Brown about needing more freedom (that meant shots), getting into a fistfight on an airplane with Isiah Thomas and threatening to blackmail him, leaving the team after Thomas intended to remove Marbury from the starting lineup and publicly defending Michael Vick and his dog fights—all while proclaiming himself the best point guard in the NBA. “Starbury” is a gifted athlete who understands nothing about the game of basketball, and his actions alienate players, coaches, and fans.

10. Bill Laimbeer: Another member of Detroit’s “Bad Boys” team, Laimbeer mastered both the cheap shot and the flop during the course of his NBA career. His specialty was shoving or elbowing a player during a dead ball, usually after a referee called a foul on someone else. He also mastered the art of throwing himself to the floor when another player drove to the basket—his way of playing defense without speed or quickness. Laimbeer coaxed both Larry Bird and Robert Parrish into attacking him with his antics during Celtics/Pistons games. A good rebounder and passer, Laimbeer was intelligent and could have chosen to play the game the way it was intended, but elected to take cheap shots at opponents instead. He joined Isiah Thomas and the other Pistons in leaving the bench before the end of a game in which the Chicago Bulls eliminated Detroit from the playoffs.

Well, folks, this is my list—the best of the worst. Is there a villain I’ve left out, or a reason the players listed here should be viewed with sympathy? Let me know.


More by this Author


Comments 42 comments

Paul Edmondson profile image

Paul Edmondson 7 years ago from Burlingame, CA

I used to like watching Barron Davis play, but he's been doggin it for the Clippers lately.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Thanks for the comment, Paul. Davis is certainly a candidate for anyone's worst ten with his shoot first point guard mentality.


Truth From Truth profile image

Truth From Truth 7 years ago from Michigan

Your post is so right!!!

I have long said that everything isiah thomas touches turns to crap. He ran the Continental Basketball Association in to the ground just a couple years after he bought it. He ran the pacers to the ground just 1 year after Larry Bird took them to the finals and then retired from coaching. on that same team he destroyed Auston Croshere a power forward that the year before, many teams tried trading for, then after isiah coached him and put him on the end of the bench Austin was never the same . Then Larry Bird came back as GM of the Pacers to fire Isiah. shortly after that he Spent up the New York Knicks salary cap.

with a bunch of under achieveing players that could not win games, many of which the knicks are still stuck with.Not to mention the sexual harassment law suite from a woman that worked for Isiah in New York . Oh and I almost forgot the Toronto raptors mess . I dont remember everything . but I do remember him drafting an under sized point guard that never lived up to his draft spot, with there lottery pick in the draft, becuase he reminded him of himself. And great points on, Artest and Vince Carter. thank you for a great post. Sorry this was too long.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Truth, thanks for your comments and don't feel apologetic for their length. I agree with you completely about Isiah Thomas. In my post I just touched on the things he did as a player. As a coach, an owner, and a general manager his behavior was even worse, and he does seem to ruin everything he touches. It will be interesting to see what happens with him at Florida International.

Thanks again.


Paul Edmondson profile image

Paul Edmondson 7 years ago from Burlingame, CA

As a player, I liked Isiah. He was tough and a winner. The last few stops have been rough for him as well as the story of how he was kept off the Dream Team. Isiah might be the most disliked player by other NBA players.


directorpaty 7 years ago

Nice post


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Paul, thanks for your comments. I will not dispute Isiah's talent--he was a tough, skilled player. His personal conduct seems to be what draws the ire of other players. Like Magic Johnson, Isiah knew when to flash the smile, and he usually said the right things, but he had a reputation of being two-faced, and thus disliked by other players.

The whole Dream Team thing is distasteful. I don't think players should have any say or influence on who makes an Olympic team. It just seems wrong, no matter who it is. Let coaches pick the roster, and let coaches insist on team play.

Well, thanks again, Paul.


Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 7 years ago from California

Yeah, most of the guys on your list are bad boys. But couldn't Shaq be on here too? He's been quite the jerk at times. Of course, now he's headed for the movies and TV of Hollywood, where they'll love him of course. By the way, in college basketball, I'll take UCLA and those mashin' Bruins. Later!


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Kosmo, I actually considered Shaq but decided I disliked these guys more. I have to admit, a lot of the things Shaq says makes me cringe, and the way he elbows guys in the head with that swing move on his way to the basket doesn't endear him to me, either.

Hollywood will love Shaquille O'Neal.


mewlhouse profile image

mewlhouse 6 years ago from Louisville

I agree with your top ten except for Bill Laimbeer and Rasheed Wallace. I love those two guys, and without them, the Pistons couldn't have won those three championships. Rasheed has gone on to the Celtics and he'll probably keep his poison to a minimum this year, but he won't stay good for long. He had to go. He turned bad for the Bad Boys, as did Chauncey and Rip. But he was gold when we needed him. As for Bill Laimbeer, I believe he has redeemed himself as a radio color man for the Pistons and coach of the WNBA Detroit Shock. He truly is a fine person, very intelligent, who was just doing his job and doing it well as player for the Pistons. I never did like Isaih either because he couldn't spell his name correctly and now we have to do the same because of it.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Thanks for the comments, Mewlhouse. Your comment about Isiah not knowing how to spell his own name gave me a good laugh.

Bill Laimbeer and Rasheed Wallace did help the Pistons win their titles, I will admit that. And, you are absolutely correct, Laimbeer has redeemed himself somewhat as a coach and commentator. My beef with him was that I always thought he was good enough to play the game without the cheap shots. But he is intelligent and knows the game of basketball.

Rasheed? Well............ He's a good player. He will help the Celtics. They probably ought to send him in with his mouth taped shut though, just in case.

Thanks for your comments, it is clear you know the game of basketball well. Stop by any time.


Willie 6 years ago

I love your post i just dnt agree with birdman and A.I i would have put kobe on the list. not the kobe now cuz he has matured but the kobe from 2000-03


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Willie, thanks for your comments. Ever since a young Kobe Bryant waved off a pick by Karl Malone so he could go one-on-one in an all-star game, Kobe has threatened to make my list of most hated players. I went in a different direction because, as you said, he has matured somewhat.

Thanks again.


Dan Druff profile image

Dan Druff 6 years ago

You seem to dislike players based on their selfishness and "bad" conduct. I can't I disagree with you regarding their conduct is, at most times, upsetting. But looking at players in terms of their ability tells a different story. Iverson transformed the point guard position even though some argue he played more of a SG role. T-Mac would have been, arguably, on Kobe's level if it weren't for injuries. Ron Artest is one of the best defenders in the league. That's exactly why the Lakers picked him up this season. I dunno... I don't approve of choking coaches or fighting fans... but these guys can play.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Hey Dan, thanks for commenting.

You are correct, it is usually personal qualities that will get me to dislike a player. You have to like a good player that plays well if he represents himself and his team well, also. Disliking a rotten player is like kicking a puppy--it's mean and fairly pointless, and the tendency is simply to ignore them. It is the good player that does not represent himself or his team well that I dislike.

Ron Artest is a wonderful defender, I will readily admit, but he seems to think it is okay to hurt people. I am not a fan of Allen Iverson's game because I think it is too often selfish, but I don't deny his ability. McGrady had talent, but admitted to not playing hard. It's difficult to embrace a guy that admits to not trying--why should we like him?

I agree with you 100% on the ability of these guys. It truly is how they behave that bugs me.

Thanks for reading, I appreciate your comments and your insights.

Mike


Matt 6 years ago

I understand where you're coming from by saying that these players have selfish mentalities or their personalities aren't quite what would be expected of a "professional" but you must consider where these players are from and the upbringing they've had when passing judgement against them. Players like Isaiah, Iverson, McGrady, Artest and Andersen all grew up in environments and in situations that were traumatic and greatly shaped their personalities. Players like Artest have been effected the most and have developed conditions from growing up in such difficult areas. Those who say that Ron is crazy don't really know how true it is and it's sad at times to see someone who has the opportunities he has behave the way he does. He is simply an angry, troubled kid that never grew up and is yet another example of an athlete with a troubled past (Mike Tyson is another good example). Developing disorders, drug problems and selfish behavior are all symptoms of troubled backgrounds. Frankly it is remarkable that there are so few players like Artest in the NBA when you consider that almost 2/3 of the league is made up of players that were raised in unfavorable environments. Someone like Chris Andersen is an example of someone who turned to drugs when he didn't know where else to turn and the fact that he's even still alive and able to compete at the level he does, to me, is remarkable (although he certainly does get paid too much). I don't think it's the fact that he took drugs that gets him notoriety, but rather that he doesn't anymore and that he represents a story of perseverance. And let's be honest, can you name another Caucasian player in recent years that was known for leaping and blocking shots the way he does? His tattoos and ridiculous hair are a reflection of his early years and who he is as a person and really, if he didn't have all that, he wouldn't be someone you and I would be talking about. Not everyone in the NBA can come from a nice family and have manners, it's just not realistic.

Allen Iverson is another example of a player who grew up in a bad situation and it's obvious in his personality. Although Allen didn't develop any serious mental issues or drug problems, he had to fend for himself as a youth and trusting others wasn't something he ever learned. Iverson never really developed strong relationships with his teammates and the only real connection he made with anyone in the NBA was with Larry Brown, who Allen saw as a father figure. Like so many of the players in the NBA, Iverson never got the chance to grow up and Larry Brown, being the excellent coach he is, recognized that and took Iverson under his wing. Only someone that was older and could understand Iverson could be someone that he would trust. This was reflected on the basketball court as he dominated the ball more than anyone in the league during the early part the millennium and was rarely seen passing to teammates. Also, going back to his roots, he had much success as a quarterback in high school and got used to always having the ball. Combine that with the fact that he was always dramatically undersized, both in basketball and football, and you have a player that played with a very big chip on his shoulder and felt he had a lot to prove. The icing on the cake was that he was immensely talented and could get by with playing selfishly, so he did. He never wanted to learn to trust his teammates because he never learned to trust anyone. This ultimately took away from his game but when all is said and done, it's hard to argue the fact that he is the best player to ever play at 6'0" (if he was in fact even that tall)

The point I'm trying to get across is that a large percentage of the players in the NBA come from backgrounds that make them: lack trust, feel that they always have something to prove, never learn professionalism, develop dependencies or social/mental conditions and enter the league with a history of carrying their team. Everything considered, it's pretty amazing that we have only a handful of Latrell Sprewells, Isaiah Riders and Ron Artests and that the majority of these kids are able to blossom into professionals and make it in the NBA. I guess what it's just that when Artest does or says something ridiculous, I feel sorry for him and when Iverson says dumb things about practice, I try to understand why he's saying it and I take those comments with a grain of salt. I guess I'm just thankful that these players actually got to the NBA and that we're all able to see them play on the big stage rather than end up dead somewhere or going down a path that deviates from basketball. Every player on that list up there has an exceptional talent and personalities aside, I'm glad I got to see them compete.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Matt, thanks for reading. Again I must commend you on your thorough understanding of basketball--it is a joy to find comments as well thought-out as yours, here on my humble pages.

I understand completely what you are saying about how the upbringing of these players has affected their on-court demeanor. Perhaps you are correct in asserting that the NBA and its fans are fortunate to have the opportunity to watch players with such talent rise above their background and still find success. I would take exception, however, with excusing players acting in a way that poses a physical threat to teammates, opponents or fans. Ron Artest and Latrell Sprewell are/were dangerous, and when their actions become violent, they should not be excused. As you suggest, many players have come from similar backgrounds and have successfully managed their anger on-court and in the locker room. I suppose from this perspective, Dennis Rodman should have made my list--the guy was a threat to everyone's safety whenever he took the court.

I also find selfish behavior in a team sport to be difficult to watch. It should be made clear that selfishness should not be confused with doing what is expected of them--Michael Jordan and LeBron James was/are supposed to score points, for example; their teams would not win if they scored 10-15 points per game. Players like Marbury who cannot conform to a system injures team chemistry and are not fun to watch. Rasheed Wallace hurts his team with his technical fouls and arguing so many calls made, both in morale and on the scoreboard. For guys like Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady--not playing hard hurts your team and the game. If four guys are playing their guts out and the fifth is coasting, the team will suffer. I know many players don't always give 100% every night, but it should be expected that to publicly admit it and assume teammates and fans will understand only invites criticism.

I do not deny their talent and I accept their background as having shaped who they have become, but I have mixed feelings about their contributions. I will confess that over the years, I greatly enjoyed watching Isiah Thomas and Allen Iverson play ball, and the game would be poorer without them. Sometimes it is fun to root against a player, and that was how I felt about those two and Bill Laimbeer--you tuned in to cheer for the other team. Chris Andersen might be in that category for me, as well.

And on that note, I will thank you again for your insightful comments. While we perhaps stayed on different sides of the fence on this particular issue, I remain respectful of your opinions and the insightful, articulate manner in which you have shared them. You are a true sports fan, and I appreciate your comments very much.

Thanks again, my friend.

Mike


Matt 6 years ago

Thanks again Mike for showering me with compliments on my knowledge of the game. I will admit that I haven't met too many kids my age that have as strong of an understanding of the history of the game as I do and this has led me to consider writing about the NBA, but I don't really know how or where to start. Your hubs are always enjoyable to read and I see many, many similarities in our opinions of the game. Keep writing.

But to further address my last comment,I have no excuse for players like McGrady and "Vincanity". They would certainly be on my list. Again, the league would be different without Vince's dunk contests and leaping ability but as far as on-court contributions go, a player that chooses to put forth less effort or decides to entirely disregard the importance of defense is a player that does not deserve to play. I think the bigger problem is that coaches weren't able to to recognize this and/or address the situation. There will always be players that don't give 100%, but it's the job of the coaching staff and management to properly deal with these players and make a change. A good example is Isaiah Rider: immensely talented guy who had all-star talent, invented the Eastbay dunk and has the "Play of the Decade" but didn't commit himself to the game. In my opinion, Carter and T-mac should've been treated the same way unless they could have changed their ways. I guess for guys like Isaiah and Iverson I just felt the need to defend them because in my opinion, their basketball skills and accomplishments far overshadow their personality flaws. Even in the case of Iverson, where a player was selfish, in many cases he was really the only guy who could create offense for himself and for this and other reasons, I feel that his imprint on the game and overwhelming talents make it hard to shoot too much criticism his way. He still remains one of my favorite players to watch.

In further addressing the Ron Artests, you're right in saying that Dennis was almost equally as dangerous to be around as Artest. But the two of them represent something we don't see very often in the game today: true, physical defensive specialists that can guard 4 or even 5 positions better than most can guard 1. I still think it's an absolute tragedy that Rodman isn't in the NBA, but that's an entirely different discussion, best saved for later. The NBA I think is somewhat to blame for players like Artest and Sprewell being allowed to continue playing. Once again I say that there will always be players with issues and this will be something the NBA must address properly. After the ugly brawl that broke out in The Palace, a suspension was not the proper punishment. Why wasn't he required to take classes or receive therapy that addressed his problems? I think that when a player displays that kind of aggression, he should be suspended and not allowed to return until steps have been taken to address the problem. Then, if the same issue repeats itself, consideration for permanent suspension should take place. Everyone screws up, but if a person can learn and grow from it and put that kind of behavior behind them, I believe they've earned the right to play. Chris Andersen is an example, to me, that has shown he could change and for that reason I find myself rooting for him at times.

Also, I wrote a lengthy response to a post titled "The Slow Death of a Competitor" on a site called HoopsHype. Here is the link:

http://blogs.hoopshype.com/blogs/lazenby/2010/04/2...

Give a look and let me know what you think. I'd like to hear your opinions of this post and know with what you agree and disagree. My two-cents are at the bottom, be sure to check that out too.

Thanks again, always a pleasure.

Matt


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Matt, thanks for returning. I had to chuckle at your opening comments--I didn't mean to embarrass you with praise. I do believe your knowledge of the game is exceptional, and you write extremely well.

I should clarify my feelings about Allen Iverson, who I enjoyed watching when he was younger in Philadelphia. On those early Philly teams it was necessary for Iverson to score a lot for the 76ers to have a chance to win. I acknowledge that and considered him to be simply doing his job--in those days. I did find his "practice" rant to be a betrayal of the faith and confidence Larry Brown displayed in him, and that started to sour me on AI. When he moved on to Denver, Detroit and Memphis, it was clear he had little recognition that his talents had diminished with age, and that he couldn't play the way he once did, even if a team was willing to let him try. He would not adapt to any system and seemed to want only to find a team that would let him start and fire away. When even Memphis couldn't accept that, he chose to "retire," only to resurface in Philadelphia, where he was accepted as before because the season was already tanked and the team needed a draw. Personal problems drove him away after only a short while, and now we can only hope Allen Iverson is okay.

I agree that Artest and Rodman were outstanding defenders, but one wonders how much physical intimidation plays a role in Artest's or Rodman's defensive prowess. If I am a player defended by Artest, it is a tribute to his defense if I am afraid to drive on him because he might steal the ball or block my shot. It isn't if I'm afraid to drive because he might elbow me in the mouth or undercut me when I go up for a shot. I am not questioning their true defensive ability because they were among the greatest defenders ever, but perhaps the threat of violence gave them an additional and undeserved advantage.

I agree completely that Artest, Sprewell and some of these other folks should have been compelled to seek therapy before re-entry into the league. I do believe in second chances as well, but the game is bigger than any single player and if they can't conform, they should be gone. If this were clear and enforcable, it would be easier for coaches and management to rein in players. I can't believe anyone is really anticipating the return of Gilbert Arenas, for example--he has to realize he has no market value right now and must conform.

In more general terms, I am not categorically against Ron Artest or Vince Carter. I am for a non-violent game and honest hustle and effort. I'm not against Stephon Marbury, I am for team play. I haven't mentioned Chris Andersen much because I just find him goofy--I don't believe he's really done anything wrong. I think he detracts from the game with his appearance and antics, but he hasn't really hurt his team or the game itself. A little flamboyance is fine, but I guess he just goes overboard for me.

Well, thanks again for your comments--you have added value to my article with your insights. I will definitely check out the link you have provided.

Take care, my friend.

Mike


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

I think you're "spot on" with Bill Laimbeer! Gee I disliked his play! I quit watching sports altogether in the 70s I think. Then I started watching the "Bird" fly. When the Bird quit so did I. Thanks Mike!


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Micky, thanks for reading. The thing that bugged me was that Laimbeer was an intelligent player and, even if he wasn't as athletically gifted as other centers, he was big enough and talented enough to be good without resorting to cheap and dirty tactics. I still chuckle when remembering both Bird and Parrish clocking him.

Well, thanks for your comments.

Mike


tyler 6 years ago

i would have kobe on here, but thats just my opinion.(im a laker hater, yes i do admit im just jealous of their skill level.) and if you are a kobe fan, you should have raja bell on here, i hate kobe, but raja had no class when he pretty much attacked kobe when raja was a sun. other than that, great post!


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Tyler, thanks for stopping by. I am no fan of Kobe Bryant, but strangely I don't dislike him as much as I used to. He is a worthy opponent that is fun to root against--if you beat Kobe Bryant, you've beaten a very good basketball player.

I agree completely that Raja Bell pretty much attacked Kobe when he played for the Suns, and it was a disgusting display--as you suggested, the guy has no class whatsoever. Players like that don't belong in the league because when they are on the court, someone could easily get hurt. Truth is, I didn't think of him when I made this list or Bell might have been on it.

Thanks again for stopping by, your comments are greatly appreciated.

Mike


MP5 6 years ago

Great read Mike, totally agree with your views on the games, and I especially hate villent and lazy players, and I ezpecially hate those that flop.

Must ask though, has your opinion on Artest changed since he has been playing for the Lakers? To me it seems he has changed to suit his team and even to suit the league. I also hear he has done charitable work to help troubled children. I do admit though I don't know alot about the NBA. I am a big fan but we don't get much coverage here in Australia.

Again great read Mike.

Matt


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

MP5, thanks for your comments. I have to admit that I have softened a bit in regards to Ron Artest since I wrote this article. I have no knowledge of the situation, but I would suspect that being in the company of winners like Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol has probably forced him to straighten up. Dennis Rodman had to straighten up to play with Michael Jordan on the Bulls because Jordan wouldn't tolerate distractions. I suspect Bryant is similar in nature, and if that is the case, it has helped Ron Artest. LIke Rodman, I'm not sure that Artest wouldn't revert back to his old form if he played for another team, but he has been on his best behavior as a Laker, and I am certainly willing to both acknowledge this and give him credit for his efforts.

Thanks again for stopping by, I appreciate it.

Mike


ufc 6 years ago

Mike you are a true fan of the nba and i loved your article but i have to ask you do you think it was Ron Artest fault in the massive pacers-pistons brawl in 04 because remember it was Ben Wallace that did that massive push to Ron artest face after a foul by Artest to the back of Ben Wallace's neck i mean i hated Ron Artest when i heard he elbowed 1 of my favourite players Manu Ginobli in the head which pissed me off a lot Ive been rootin for the Spurs since 01 but seriously do you think Ben Wallace and Detroit Fans at the arena should be the hated because it was really stupid for the fans to hurl crap at Ron Artest


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Mike Lickteig 5 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

ufc, thanks for your comments. No, I don't really think the brawl in 2004 was entirely Artest's fault, but I don't really have a strong impression for the level of physical play that led up to the fight. He played a role in instigating it, as did Ben Wallace. Was Artest entirely to blame? No, certainly not, and I would not wish to suggest that here. No player should be in the stands for any reason, however, no matter what the provocation. I do believe it was stupid of the fans to throw anything at a player. That situation was so bad no one person can be held responsible.

As I suggested in the comment above, my opinions about Artest have softened somewhat over time. He has played well and kept his aggression in check as a Laker, and I applaud him for doing so. He is proving that people can change and adjust, despite their circumstances.

Thanks for your comments, I am appreciative.

Mike


cliffhenjum profile image

cliffhenjum 5 years ago from Santa Barbara

Overall great article and I share many of your opinions about players like "Birdman" and Wallace.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 5 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Cliffhenjum, thanks for reading. Because of injuries we've seen less of Birdman lately, and while I don't want to see anyone hurt, I haven't really missed him. He makes a spectacle of himself, and his idiotic celebrations of a blocked shot or a dunk should disappear. He SHOULD be blocking shots and scoring inside--why is it cause for celebration? The guy is just too far out there for me.

Thanks again for reading.

Mike


elrangatang profile image

elrangatang 5 years ago

This was a great read! Think it's time to add Lebron though?


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 5 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Elrangatang, I will confess that after LeBron's antics last summer with the media circus surrounding his departure to Miami, James is close to making this list. He is a superb player that cannot seem to find the secret to winning. Maybe he will before he's done, or maybe he can learn from Dwayne Wade, who has been a champion. When he learns that it isn't all about him, he will be a winner. Until then, yes--he's pretty close to this list. Thanks for stopping by.

Mike


Peter M. Arel 5 years ago

Mike,

Here's a question for you to answer in one of your posts or articles:When SHOULD An NBA PLAYER RETIRE FROM THE GAME?

Here's a description of the kind of player I'm talking about:

His bad behavior shows that he has ZERO concept of team play, which probably means he's never with the same team more than two or three years at a time. I'm talking about bad behavior that make the NBA teams see immediately the wisdom of NOT paying him more than $150G per season before he is either traded or released-or forced by "Old Father Time" to retire from the game for keeps!


onthegrind profile image

onthegrind 4 years ago from Florida, United States

Ok, this is a really solid list. I think the only thing I could maybe disagree about is Vince Carter and attending his graduation. To me that's a tough call, pitting education against a job obligation. I don't hate him for that, but I definitely agree with the rest of your assessment on him. Shame that someone with that talent and athleticism had the work ethic of him. Same thing with his cousin. Glad to see Laimbeer on there.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 4 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Peter Arel, thanks for your question. I may devote a hub to your question someday, but the short answer is that the type of player you describe should probably be flushed out of the game as soon as it is learned that the player cannot or will not conform to team play or rules. There are an abundance of them in the league, and a few have even made my list. I think first of all of Stephon Marbury, who destroyed every team he played for with his attitude. The man had talent, but was a negative influence everywhere he went. Players like that should not be allowed to retire--they should be forced out of the game.

That's my opinion... thanks for asking.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 4 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Onthegrind, thanks for your comments. I agree that Vince's education should not be weighed against his job, but the ceremony perhaps could be. Did he have to go to the ceremony? He could have picked his diploma up at another time. Many people go to graduation ceremonies years after they actually earned their degree. The degree itself is no less valid. Having said that, I do agree that it's good that he placed a value on the diploma he had earned.

Like you, I believe that even if you eliminate that particular caper from his resume, he still was a disappointment to every team he played for.

Thanks again for your comments, I appreciate your opinion a great deal.

Mike


natnan 4 years ago

Greg Oden, Eddy Curry, Zach Randolph, Paul Pierce, KG, Dirk, mhmmm I can name a lot more.

Shawn Marion.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 4 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Natnan, that's a good list. I particularly agree with Zach Randolph. He is a good player, but only during last year's playoffs did it ever seem he contributed positively to his team's success. I have always disliked that guy.

Thanks for stopping by.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 4 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

No matter what Ron Artest calls himself, he is a menace and dangerous to anyone playing NBA basketball. He cannot control himself, and he should not be given TV time to go into damage control with his polite, apologetic nonsense. His blow to the head of James Harden was vicious and unprovoked. Artest deserves a lifetime ban from the NBA.


onthegrind profile image

onthegrind 4 years ago from Florida, United States

Good call on Artest. The sad thing is, we likely haven't seen the end of his foolishness. He is just too dangerous and volatile to get such a short suspension. And obviously previous punishments have taught him nothing.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 4 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Onthegrind, thanks for commenting. For awhile my opinion of Artest actually softened, but that was sentimentality on my part, I guess. Artest is a troubled man and cannot control himself. He needs professional help and until he gets it, no one on the court with him is truly safe. He may actually go after a teammate someday if he is allowed to continue unchecked. He needs a lot of help fast.

Thanks again.

Mike


Matthew Maktub profile image

Matthew Maktub 4 years ago from Las Vegas

Birdman potentially climbing a few spots on your list now that he's being investigated for child pornography. Actually, that could potentially put him to the top, I can't think of many things worst than that.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 4 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Matthew, I agree completely. Birdman did what I said in my article--he gained notoriety for the wrong reasons. He now seemingly crossed a line that shouldn't be crossed, no matter what you are doing, and should his actions be verified and removed from the "invesgtigation" category, he should be dealt with in the strictest possible way--jail time would be appropriate, and the end of his NBA career should follow.

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