It's easy to treat athletes as heroes when they're performing exceptionally well or commodities when they can be used to acquire a superstar for our team. It seems that the last thing we as fans want to see in athletes is their humanity. We have so many expectations that we often overlook the fact they have their own struggles just like us. These are not virtual players or avatars taken directly from NBA 2K, but people with personalities, that sometimes allow them to perform beyond their potential, but often are the cause of their own downfall as athletes.
The one thing the fan community can do is be understanding of their problems, and instead of burning their jerseys immediately after they leave town or booing them whenever they enter your team's arenas, just hear them out. It's easy to make fun of Kwame Brown or Darko Milicic, but lets give them a chance to defend themselves. There's reasons for them to perform that bad. Truth be told, most of us would've done even worse if put into the same role they were thrown into. The same goes for athletes snubbing our favourite teams or quitting on them.
These are 15 Confessions From NBA Stars That Will Change How You See Them Forever!
15 Melo Didn't Want To Join The Blazers Because Of His Family
Before he joined the Thunder, Carmelo was entertaining joining a couple of different NBA teams. One of those interested in the high-scoring forward were the Blazers. There were rumours that he wanted to join that team and rightfully so. Adding Melo would turn them into a title contender.
However, Carmelo Anthony declined the Blazers offer because of his 10 year old son. Melo and his wife, Lala, are going through a rough time as a couple and the player being so far from his family wouldn't help their relationship. The main reason was that he would be too far from his son. For Melo career doesn't come before family.
14 Kyrie Irving Believes The Earth Is Flat
Kyrie Irving is a very controversial player, one that considered going to the NBA Finals every year and playing on the same team with one of the best players ever as not the way he wanted to spend his basketball prime. He demanded a trade to the Celtics, where he wants to run the offence and finally do things his way.
The newly-acquired Celtics point guard is one of the most prominent believers in the theory that the Earth is flat. Or was. Or he was just trolling. Or is. The opinions vary as to this one, but to be honest Irving never denied that he no longer thought that the Earth was flat.
13 Derrick Rose Wanted To Build His Own Superteam
Everybody hates super-teams, right? Michael Jordan never was a member of a super-team (even though he was), just as Larry Bird or Magic Johnson (who both were as well). The problem is that nowadays players have more power and are free to join any team they please. Fans might hate it, but the players definitely love it - and a happy employee mostly means a better product.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that Derrick Rose wanted to form his own super-team as well. The Chicago native wanted his hometown team to strive, so he put out a video to recruit LeBron, Bosh and D-Wade in 2010. The management eventually didn't back him up, but one thing that this shows is that given the opportunity and having the support of the front office, your player would form a super-team as well.
12 Kevin Durant Cried For A Week After Losing The 2012 Finals
Kevin Durant really wanted to win a championship in OKC. The team was never closer to reaching that goal in 2012, the only time they made the Finals. The Miami Heat were too much for the young Thunder. Durant was just 23 years old then and the team was supposed to be a competitor for years to come. When Durant realized that this was going nowhere and he was losing his prime on a team that wasn't able to win, he decided to join the Warriors. His confession to the emotional reaction is nothing to be ashamed of. If anything, it shows how eagerly Durant wanted to win the title and explains his reason for leaving OKC.
11 MJ Put Too Much Pressure On Kwame Brown
When he was team president of the Washington Wizards, Michael Jordan decided to pick Kwame Brown with the first overall pick and kick-start the team's rebuilding process. The high school phenom was supposed to have some time to develop, but Jordan had other plans.
Brown, just 18, couldn't handle the famous abuse that Jordan threw at his teammates during workouts. Instead of slowly growing into the role of an NBA centre, he was offended verbally everyday, his confidence wavered and he could never fulfill his potential. It is sad to think that such a talent could be ruined by another talent.
10 Alonzo Mourning Was "Enhancing Performance"
Alonzo Mourning was force personified. The athlete was so ripped he was almost a freak of nature, a man that was capable of overpowering much taller and presumably stronger opponents. When it was revealed that Mourning had focal glomerulosclerosis no one was more shocked than the player himself. He just came back from the Olympics and a season in which he was named to the First All-NBA Team. Mourning was ready to fight for the 2001 NBA Championship.
It was only in March 2001 that Mourning returned to play and it was in part due to raising his red blood cell count. The NBA accepted the otherwise illegal practice because this was a special case, but that's a bit unfair to players who suffered career-ending injuries and couldn't come back to play professional basketball.
9 Isaiah Thomas Will Never Talk To Danny Ainge
Isaiah Thomas enjoyed one of the best individual seasons in Boston Celtics history. His impressive statistics (28.9 points, 5.9 assists) prove how talented he really is. He elevated his game in the 2017 playoffs when he played through injury and the death of his sister. Despite his heroics, the Cavs dealt with the Celtics rather easily.
How did the team react to such sacrifices? Not by giving him an extension, but trading him away to their biggest rivals. That's why you should expect Thomas to play with a chip on his shoulder when he returns from injury. Danny Ainge, the Celtics GM, can also expect some cold treatment from the player. IT never forgets.
8 Reggie Jackson Doesn't Listen To The Media
Reggie Jackson wasn't particularly appreciated by his teammates at OKC, so when he started to come to his own in Detroit, you'd think he'd be happy as the cornerstone of an up-and-coming Pistons team, right? Well, after coming back from an injury in his second season, he found it hard to accept criticism from the media.
Granted, the criticism was a bit exaggerated, since Jackson needed some time to get into the rhythm of the regular season, yet was immediately criticized for his play. In consequence he decided to stop reading newspapers, websites and watching videos about the Pistons. He admits that his play benefited from that approach and doesn't intend to change it anytime soon.
7 DeMarre Carroll Isn't The Same Since His Concussion
DeMarre Carroll was awarded with a big contract for the part he played in the Hawks' sensational 60-win season. He joined the Raptors and was supposed to provide veteran leadership on a team that was about to make a leap from good to great. In his two seasons in Toronto, Carroll failed to convince anybody that he was a good addition to the roster.
When it seemed that he was on the right path to come back and leave his mark on the team, the Junkyard Dog was kicked in the head by his teammate. He admitted that since then his neck was stiff and he couldn't play to his potential. The team traded him to the Nets this offseason.
6 Channing Frye Told Kevin Love Playing For The Cavs Is Fun
You might remember that All-Star power forward Kevin Love had a hard time adjusting to playing with LeBron James. Used to staying in the paint and rebounding, Love was forced to play behind the three-point line and wait for a pass from LeBron as he was driving to the lane. He went from first option in Minnesota to third option in Cleveland, and clearly didn't like it.
That was until Channing Frye arrived in Cleveland and changed the way Love thought about basketball. Frye reacted enthusiastically to corner threes and had numerous talks with Love, until the power forward eventually learned how to thrive in the Cavs system. This resulted in the 2016 NBA Championship for the team.
5 Lonzo Ball Wanted To Be A Laker
Don't crown him the Rookie of the Year just yet, even though he seems to be the perfect candidate for the award. Ball is a great passer and long-distance shooter, and should make the Lakers better immediately. Heck, he seems like he really enjoys playing for the Lakers. That's because it was the only team he wanted to play for anyway. Ball made it known that the Lakers were going to be the only team that he's going to work out for before the draft, which made them the only team he wanted to play for. Since the team had the second pick, discouraging one franchise was rather easy. Keep reading to see what another Lakers Legend did to be picked by his team of choice.
4 Larry Sanders Admits To Struggling With Depression
The former Bucks centre is constantly mentioned among interesting big man signings every summer as well as during the regular season. On paper he seems a good addition to any team in need of a capable big man. He was with the Bucks for five years and showed signs of great potential, but he eventually became disinterested in basketball and retired.
In 2017 Sanders came back and played for the Cavs, but was waived after just five games. Apart from his heart not being in basketball anymore, Sanders admitted that he has been struggling with depression for some time, which also explains why he's not on an NBA team right now.
3 O.J. Mayo Knows He Didn't Fulfill His Potential
The shooting guard was supposed to take the NBA by storm and during his first season it looked like he was going to be a force to reckon with for years to come. However, his rookie year remains his best, as he continued to play worse and worse until he was out of the NBA because of violating the league's substance program. He is suspended for two years.
On his part Mayo admits that he knows he disappointed his coaches and teammates. He's especially regretful of failing as a player of the Milwaukee Bucks, as he had a very close relationship with coach Jason Kidd and the star players on that roster. Mayo also admitted that he was earning too much for the way he played.
2 Darko Milicic Is OK With Being a Bust
Darko Milicic was chosen in the most stacked draft in recent memory as the second overall pick, right behind LeBron James and before players like Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. Yes, he wasn't given a chance in Detroit, nor did he get enough support to blossom into a useful NBA player, but most of that happened because of his short fuse.
When frustrated with his game, Darko used to punch holes in the walls of his home. The pressure was too much for him. He admits that the fame went to his head as well and he's the one to blame for his failed career. Nowadays he's at peace, living in Serbia with his family.
1 Kobe Bryant Wanted To Be A Laker (Before It Was Cool)
TBH, being a Laker was almost always cool. Lonzo Ball's way of discouraging other teams to draft him was cute, but Bryant's was simply villainous. The Lakers had the 24th pick in the 1996 NBA Draft, yet they were very interested in Bryant, and vice versa. They struck a deal with the Hornets that if Bryant was available, they would trade center Vlade Divac for their 13th pick. It was up to Bryant to remain in the draft for that long.
The Raptors had the second pick and wanted to take Bryant, but his father told them that his son doesn't want to play in Canada. The Bucks had the fourth pick, yet because Bryant knew about the Lakers interest in him, he declined to work out for them. The Nets, who possessed the eighth pick, also wanted Bryant, but he called them personally and said he didn't want to play for them. As other teams chose size over skill, Bryant was picked by the Hornets and his dream was fulfilled when the Lakers acquired him.