The topic of chemistry off the court for a basketball team has always been a heavily debated subject. Some pundits believe that all teammates should get along and have close relationships to get the best of their potential as a team. Others think that it doesn’t matter as long as everyone is professional on the court. There have been countless friendships to occur on basketball teams when people meet each other and start to get along off the court. However, not all of these friendships will last forever.
We'll look at some of the friendships in basketball that didn’t last the test of time. Different reasons such as one player leaving for another team, a hostile ending or two people just growing to dislike each other through the years will take a toll on the bond. The relationships to be examined here all feature guys that seemed to get along and enjoy each other when on the same squad. All of them ended with the two former teammates now disliking each other to this very day. It will be up to you to figure out which party is the wrong one. Let’s take a look at all of the instances with fifteen pairs of former NBA teammates that now hate each other.
15 Reggie Jackson and Russell Westbrook
The rise of Reggie Jackson helped the Oklahoma City Thunder feel confident in their depth. Jackson came off the bench and provided a strong second unit when Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were on the bench. However, this was not the situation that Jackson wanted as his value started to reach new heights. Jackson essentially forced the Thunder’s hand into trading him to the Detroit Pistons.
14 LeBron James and Kyrie Irving
The most recent high profile instance of two close teammates souring on each other features the story of Kyrie Irving demanding a trade away from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Irving no longer wanted to play in the shadow of LeBron James after the two started to have tension behind the scenes. This was a huge shock as both players appeared to be as close as brothers back during the 2016 NBA Championship win.
13 Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury
Many NBA personalities expected the combination of Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to contention in the late 90s. There was excitement from the team and fanbase that two talented young players were on the same roster. Unfortunately, they couldn’t create chemistry and Marbury welcomed a trade to the New Jersey Nets.
12 Carmelo Anthony and Tim Hardaway Jr.
The NBA career of Tim Hardaway Jr. has been rather confusing. Hardaway was drafted by the New York Knicks where he played alongside Carmelo Anthony. They worked well together to start off, and Hardaway looked like he could be the sidekick Anthony was searching for at the time. However, a few incidents between the two convinced the Knicks to trade Hardaway to the Atlanta Hawks.
11 Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade
The Chicago Bulls experimented with a big three of Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo last season hoping to contend in the Eastern Conference. Wade and Rondo teaming together seemed like a bad idea given both guys had similar weaknesses. There was also the past history of the two genuinely disliking each other during the intense Miami Heat versus Boston Celtics rivalry.
10 Chris Paul and Austin Rivers
Chris Paul shocked the NBA world when he made the decision to request a sign and trade to the Houston Rockets in the recent offseason. Houston appears to be the biggest threat to the Golden State Warriors this season as they look rather impressive. The Los Angeles Clippers are falling apart without Paul and will most likely miss the playoffs unless they shock the world.
9 Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving
The Cleveland Cavaliers have seen a lot of turmoil over the past decade. There was the four year time period when LeBron James left them for the Miami Heat before returning. Cleveland did get to draft a handful of top prospects in the time frame. Both Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters were drafted high to become the Cavaliers back court of the future.
8 Kevin Garnett and Wally Szczerbiak
This is the second time Kevin Garnett will make the list for a partnership gone wrong on the Minnesota Timberwolves. Garnett’s intense personality certainly created an interesting dynamic for anyone on his team. Wally Szczerbiak became the second best player on the Timberwolves for a few seasons as a very good offensive weapon. Both men had nothing but kind words to say about each other while teaming.
7 LeBron James and Mario Chalmers
Mario Chalmers is not a name most fans remember when thinking of why the Miami Heat won back to back NBA Championships in 2012 and 2013. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Both were the big three to carry the team with Ray Allen coming in late with some clutch shooting. Chalmers however contributed as a starter that made timely shots in the right moments.
6 James Harden and Dwight Howard
The Houston Rockets thought the combination of James Harden and Dwight Howard would lead them into contention. Howard signed with Houston after seeing Harden was a budding Superstar. Harden continued to improve in becoming the best shooting guard in the league while Howard regressed dramatically. Their chemistry was a huge issue as they couldn’t get on the same page despite seeming to like each other.
5 Michael Jordan and Clyde Drexler
Michael Jordan and Clyde Drexler did not play together on any NBA teams, but they were both members of the legendary Dream Team roster. Jordan and Drexler contributed to the iconic squad of legends winning gold in the 1992 Olympics. Everyone on the Dream Team seemed to be buddies having the time of their lives. Instead of competing against each other, they could have fun and enjoy each other.
4 Robert Horry and Manu Ginobili
A random beef to occur between two former teammates pit Robert Horry against Manu Ginobili. Both guys played together during Horry’s late career as a reserve for the San Antonio Spurs. Horry has started doing more media appearances and shared some hot takes earlier this year. Most of his controversial comments came regarding his time with the Spurs.
3 Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen
The Boston Celtics 2008 NBA Championship seemed to have one of the closest groups of friends all contributing to the overall goal. Ray Allen was traded to the team and proved he could be a major contributor to a contender. Point guard Rajon Rondo was relatively unknown but stepped up to the occasion as the point guard making sure Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce all were dominating.
2 Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook
One of the biggest stories in recent NBA years featured the friendship between Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook falling apart. Both Superstars grew up together on the Oklahoma City Thunder as the best duo for quite some time. Durant shocked the NBA landscape when he ditched the Thunder to join the Golden State Warriors coming off a 73 win season that saw them eliminate him.
1 Brent Barry and Tony Parker
The situation between Brent Barry and Tony Parker goes down as one of the most bizarre falling outs in NBA history. Both guys were close friends during their time on the San Antonio Spurs as teammates. Parker was dating stunning celebrity actress Eva Longoria at the time when he was caught exchanging dirty text messages with Brent’s wife.
Longoria discovered hundreds of text messages between Parker and Barry’s wife. Both couples ended at this discovery and the friendship between Barry and Parker ended. It is the kind of story you would only expect to see in a movie or book, but the Spurs teammates clearly had their own form of drama come to life. Barry has the most valid excuse for hating a former friend compared to the others on the list. It is hard to envision them becoming friends again.
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