Just because a player can put a ball through a hoop doesn’t make them a great person, let alone a great parent. Shocking, I know. NBA stars are so revered that most fans are more than willing to turn a blind eye towards their actions. In fact, some will jump to defend them at all times.
The only thing worse than an absentee parent is a terrible one who makes their kids lives difficult. Every person needs a father figure to play an essential role and to provide basic needs, as well as care for them. Not everyone is fortunate to grow up in a normal functioning family.
We like to imagine our favorite players as flawless human beings who are incapable of doing any wrong. It doesn’t matter how many marketing campaigns the NBA puts out, we all know that’s not true. A player may come across as a nice guy whos incapable of hurting his loved ones, but we don’t get to see what they are truly like behind closed doors.
The internet has made it easy to access information and records about players’ personal matters. There’s nothing they can hide, and no story is ever erased. A simple Tweet or Instagram rant from an upset baby mama or kid will gain media coverage. Once that is published, the damage is done.
Today, we list 15 NBA players who have been proven to neglect their parental responsibilities or have done a sloppy job at raising their kids. These players have negatively affected their children’s lives to the point where you can say they messed them up.
15. Metta World Peace
Metta World Peace, or Ron Artest, is known for his antics. We have all watched him get into fights and throw elbows at his opponents. His controversial comments have also gotten him in trouble. To most people, he’s the modern day Dennis Rodman although he has yet to develop a friendship with Kim Jong-un.
In the past two years, Metta World Peace has been rather quiet; perhaps he realized that at 37 years old, his days are numbered in the NBA. No team will take on an unnecessary headache. Off the court, he’s still been involved in some controversies. He was previously married to Kimsha Hatfield for 6 years until their divorce was finalized in 2009. But that’s not the baby mama giving him troubles.
It’s his first baby mama Jennifer Palma who accused him of being a deadbeat dad who won’t paying for his 13-year-old son’s tuition. Apparently, the kid is also athletically gifted just as his dad was and tried to enroll in Poly Prep Country Day School. Jennifer accused Metta World Peace of refusing to pay for a private school despite his hefty salary. Ouch.
14. Dwight Howard
Remember when everyone loved Dwight Howard? During the late 2000s, he was Superman and everyone’s favorite player. Then things took a sudden turn for the worse when he forced a trade to the Los Angeles Lakers. He flopped there, then went on to flop with the Houston Rockets and finally the Atlanta Hawks.
Dwight gets a fresh start this season with the Charlotte Hornets, but it might be too late to fix his image. His on-court struggles aren’t the only reason that fans lost interest in him. It’s things like one of his EIGHT baby mamas claiming that Howard is a deadbeat dad. Christine Vest has gone on several rants on her Instagram page, calling out Dwight for not seeing his son for more than 5 months.
13. Jason Kidd
Jason Kidd is someone who has always been trouble off the court, yet most fans aren’t aware of his personal problems. Known as a great leader during his playing days, and now as a coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, Kidd isn’t the same man when it comes to his very own family. Joumana, his first wife, divorced him in 2001 and Kidd pleaded guilty to physical abuse towards his partner.
That alone makes him a not-so-great person. But when your own daughter calls you a deadbeat dad, not much else needs to be said. A few years ago, Cheyanne Kidd took social media to call out her dad for not playing a bigger role in her life. I guess that’s one way to handle personal conflicts.
12. Karl Malone
There aren’t enough words to describe how great of a basketball player Karl Malone was during his lengthy NBA career. He was widely considered to be the greatest power forward of all-time until Tim Duncan came through. His name is found in history records, Malone is the second top scorer of all-time with 36,928 points. Even the likes of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant couldn’t reach him.
But as a human being, let’s be honest: Karl Malone is a terrible man and an even worse father. He has three kids that he wanted absolutely nothing to do with at all. At 17 years old, Malone had twin babies, Cheryl and Daryl. He went 18 years refusing to acknowledge them before he finally did in 1998. At 20 years old, Malone had a third child who would grow up to be an NFL player, Demetress Bell.
But there’s a kick. Bell’s mother was only 13 years old when Malone impregnated her. Bell wouldn’t meet his father until he graduated high school. Malone, being the loving father that he is, told him that it was too late for him to be his father.
11. Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh is probably the name that will surprise you the most on this list. He seems like a genuinely nice guy who would make a great father, but his baby mama begs to differ. According to Allison Mathis, Bosh’s first baby mama, he broke up with her while she was seven months pregnant with his child. Bosh went as far to claim that he wasn’t the father, which turned out to be a lie. It doesn’t get much worse than that.
Allison fell ill during her pregnancy and faced some complications. At four months old, Bosh had only seen his daughter twice. Bosh would end up marrying a different woman by the name of Adrienne Bosh, with whom he has four children with. Allison has every right to be bitter since it seems like Chris didn’t want to be with her at all costs. The current relationship between Bosh and his first child is unknown, but hopefully he’s involved in her life.
10. Larry Bird
Another name that you didn’t expect to see on this list. Everyone, with the exception of Los Angeles Lakers fans, loved Larry Bird. But they admired him at least. He’s an all-time great player and has earned a spot in the top 10 greatest players in history. Plenty of experts include him their top 5, and he definitely deserves that honor.
What you may not know about Bird is his rocky relationship with his daughter Corrie. It’s not gossip or an internet myth, Corrie appeared on Oprah to discuss her relationship with her estranged father. Bird’s first marriage ended in a divorce and it seems like he moved on from his daughter as well. In his autobiography, Bird admitted not being there for his daughter as he should have been, blaming his differences with her mother.
That’s clearly not a valid excuse since Corrie had tried to get in contact with him over the years. There isn’t much of a relationship to speak of, and Corrie has the right to feel bitter since Larry ended up having two kids in his second marriage.
9. Calvin Murphy
Calvin Murphy dedicated his entire NBA career to one team, the San Diego/Houston Rockets, where he spent 13 years from 1970 until 1983. He was a fine player who deservedly had his number retired by the Rockets. Murphy isn’t so honorable off-court, he had 14 babies from 9 different women. That must be an all-time record, at least when it comes to NBA players.
When you have that many kids, it’s impossible to be there for all of them. Murphy neglected his responsibilities and has even gotten in trouble with the law over charges of molestation. The victims were his very own daughters – five of them who stepped forward to talk about what occurred when they were 17 years old.
8. Gilbert Arenas
It doesn’t take a genius to expect Gilbert Arenas to be a bad parent, I mean this man brought a gun to an NBA locker room after all. It wasn’t a one time incident either, there are plenty of wild stories involving Arenas who was getting in trouble behind-the-scenes.
Not to mention, you could just go to his Instagram page to see how immature he is. At 35 years old, Arenas still behaves like a teen who’s desperate for attention. He’s been criticized for his sexist and ignorant posts on social media, which reflects on him as a person and parent.
Arenas has four kids with Laura Govan and their relationship is complicated to say the least. She has accused him of being a deadbeat dad in the past but Arenas claims they get more than enough money. What he fails to understand is that it takes more than money to raise a kid. We’re talking about a grown man who believes it’s acceptable to behave this way.
7. Kenny Anderson
The second overall pick of the 1991 NBA Draft had a nice career. Not exactly as good as one would expect from a second pick who was a very hyped prospect, but he managed to make one All-Star appearance and had some memorable seasons with the New Jersey Nets.
Anderson was married to Tami Roman, a very messy divorce that affected the kids, as always. During the marriage, Anderson continuously cheated on his wife and even had two kids with his mistress. At one point, he had stopped paying his child support and would rarely communicate with his kids from his first marriage.
They settled on $800,000 to make up for all the missed payments of child support. That hasn’t stopped Tami from lashing out at Anderson in the media. She was apart of the Basketball Wives cast, so you know she had plenty to say. According to her, Anderson hasn’t been consistently present in his children’s lives.
6. Andre Iguodala
On the court, Andre Iguodala is everywhere. When’s not shutting down opposing players, you will find him soaring for incredible dunks. He can dish the ball and rebound. The one thing he doesn’t do as well is taking care of his kid, according to his baby mama.
Clayanna Warthen made the claim that Iguodala wasn’t paying for his daughter’s education and took him to court. The couple had been in a relationship for years but things took a turn for the worse, as they often do with these NBA players.
Iguodala previously made headlines when he stated that he wouldn’t want his daughter to become a basketball player since he doesn’t want her to be a lesbian. It’s safe to say there won’t be a father of the year award in his future. Comments like Iguodala’s prove that a large number of NBA players are immature kids in adult bodies.
5. Gary Payton
Many NBA analysts will argue that Gary Payton was the most complete point guard of all-time, and he definitely has a case. His legendary run with the Seattle SuperSonics has earned him such high praise, and he was honored by being inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.
In 1995, Payton found himself in a situation that is very familiar to athletes as he got sued by his baby mama for neglecting her and Gary Payton Jr. According to her, it took a paternity test to convince Payton that he was indeed the father. She called him out for attempting to convince her to abort the baby, and rejecting his responsibilities as a dad.
4. Allen Iverson
We all loved Allen Iverson. He simply stood out from everyone else, the man was so likeable. His demeanor on the court made the world fall in love with him. A hero to millions of people who copied his haircuts, fashion style and tattoos. But outside of the court, Iverson has always had his troubles.
Iverson’s legacy has taken one hit after another, his selfish behavior and tantrums got him blackballed from the league at a relatively young age. Tawanna Turner, his ex-wife, couldn’t handle his behavior anymore and filed for divorce. Court documents state that Iverson wasn’t around to take care of his kids and may have inappropriately behaved in front of them due to his alcohol problems.
One glaring detail was Tawanna’s accusation of Iverson withdrawing money to spend on jewelry instead of his kids at a time when he was financially struggling. Iverson the player will always be highly regarded, but not so much as a person.
3. Isiah Thomas
If you were an NBA fan in the 80s and 90s, then you probably remember the Isiah Thomas lawsuit. It seemed like a never ending case at the time. In 1985, Thomas was set to get married but he impregnated a different woman by the name of Jenni Dones. Following years of disagreements and trials, they agreed to settle outside of the court.
Isiah Thomas’s son, Marc Dones, has been trying to meet his father for years to no avail. In a 2006 interview with NY Daily News, Dones revealed his wish to meet his father, if only to greet him, noting that he doesn’t know him at all.
It wasn’t meant to be since Isiah Thomas wants nothing to do with his son. He moved on before he was even born, and as you can tell by the words of Dones, he’s clearly not gotten over that part of his life. A father figure is irreplaceable, so it’s fair to say that Isiah screwed up his life.
2. Paul George
If you watch a Paul George interview, he comes across as a mature man who doesn’t belong on this list. But unfortunately, that’s not the case. Not only did he impregnated an ex-stripper, but George refused to be responsible for his kid until a judge forced him to do so.
The judge, Justice Matthew Cooper, stated that Paul George didn’t want anything to do with his kid and wouldn’t even ask to see her. He even missed out on a court date and didn’t bother to check on the daughter when she broke her leg.
While most fans are excited to see George suit up for his new team the Oklahoma City Thunder, these details make him a questionable character that’s difficult to cheer. If George continues to neglect his responsibilities, there is no doubt that it will negatively reflect on his daughter in the future.
1. Shawn Kemp
When speaking about the good ol’ NBA days, Shawn Kemp is a name that always comes up. Who didn’t love the Reign Man? He was guaranteed to give the fans at least one highlight dunk per game. He was what everyone thought Blake Griffin would turn out to be, not necessarily as a player, but as a dunker and showman.
When it comes to parenting, that’s a whole different story. Kemp supposedly has 11 kids from nine different baby mamas, although he has only admitted to seven kids from six women. As it turns out, Kemp wasn’t only taking it hard to the rim.
To be fair to him, there haven’t been any stories about him failing to pay child support. But of course, he’s been absent from their lives at times which doesn’t come as a shock. Since retiring from the NBA, Kemp has found himself in legal troubles, including possession of a firearm and drugs. Maybe you should all head to YouTube to watch a compilation of his best dunks to forget all this.
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