When you’re an NBA player, the spotlight is inevitably going to be on you at all times. Ideally, you want the spotlight to be on you because you’re a terrific player or you did something amazing in a game that warrant a clip on SportsCenter. You want people to praise you for your skills and to be revered. However, not all NBA players can stay in the spotlight for the right reasons. Some of them cause trouble off the court or get involved in juicy scandals which prompts non-sports outlets to pick up on them.
The players on this list transcended the game of basketball, but not necessarily in a good way. Their antics off the court led to unwanted media attention and severely hurt their reps. Some say any press is good press, but some of these guys may disagree with that. It’s not all bad though as some of the players on this list got media attention and used it to spread a good cause.
15. Delonte West
Delonte West has been in the news for multiple things, both of which may be out of his control. In 2010 West was the subject of a rumor that he was having an inappropriate affair with the mother of one of his teammates; that teammate was LeBron James. The rumor started at the worst time for the former Cleveland Cavalier, as his team was in second round of the playoffs. In 2014 West may have accidently admitted to actually having a sexual relationship with Gloria James (LeBron’s mom), saying he didn’t want his son to be made fun of for something that “his daddy did”.
Since the rumor, the now retired NBA star has been photographed in some bizarre situations. West has been captured sitting outside of a fast food restaurant barefoot, and holding up a cardboard sign asking for change. These behaviors have been attributed to some sort of mental health disorder, which is sad for a once promising NBA star.
14. Sebastian Telfair
Many NBA players start off as local heroes, but Sebastian Telfair was a New York City legend. The former 13th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft was so good, that he decided to skip college and go straight to the pros. Sadly, Telfair never lived up to his potential in the league, and had a few off the court problems, which may have led to the NBA souring on him. In 2007 Telfair was pulled over for driving 30 miles over the speed limit. During the stop the police noticed that Telfair had a loaded .45 caliber pistol in his car, and was arrested and charged with possession of a weapon, which is a felony. After the incident, Telfair served a three game suspension, and served a three year probation.
13. Draymond Green
When you are on a team that many call a modern day dynasty, you have to be careful of your actions. Draymond Green wasn’t as careful as he had hoped when he was nailed twice in the past six months. In July Green was the subject of an assault allegation from a Michigan State football player, an assault that led to the Golden State Warrior being arrested. Apparently Green’s entourage assaulted the player, and the next day Green himself punched the football player in the face. Green did apologize to the “victim” after spending four hours in jail.
Draymond tried a similar apology tactic later in the year when he accidentally Snapchatted a picture of his junk. Green initially claimed that the picture was the result of a hacking, but later admitted to sending it out himself by accident.
12. Eddie Johnson
Fast Eddie Johnson’s track record is far more serious than most of the other entries on this list. Johnson’s been arrested for just about anything you could think of, including drugs, sexual assault, burglary and violence. His arrests total to over 100 arrests and five stints in prison. His most despicable act came in 2006 when he was arrested for burglary, sexual assault and the molestation of an 8-year-old girl. In 2008, Johnson was convicted for his crime, under the charges of sexual battery of a minor under 12 and lewd and lascivious molestation of a child under 12. The ruling carried an automatic sentencing of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
While others on this list can be forgiven for some of their actions, that certainly isn’t the case for Johnson.
11. Dennis Rodman
Dennis Rodman is the living embodiment of the NBA’s willingness to accept you…if you can produce. The Worm not only could produce, but is often cited as one of the game’s greatest defensive players of all time. Though he has gotten considerably more bizarre since leaving basketball, the former Detroit Piston and Chicago Bull made the news frequently while actually playing in the league. Most famously in 1996 while promoting his book, Rodman showed up to a signing wearing a wedding dress, and announced he was marrying himself. While the dress publicity stunt garnered a bunch of attention, it was his 1997 introduction into the villainous wrestling faction the nWo that really made headlines. At the time major athletes hadn’t been featured in wrestling matches, so the storyline took off in both the mainstream media and sports media respectively.
He’s also made headlines in recent years due to his bizarre friendship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.