Within any group of men, no matter how large or small, you’re bound to find a few who you wouldn’t want to stay close to for very long. The NBA happens to be one of the biggest of such groups in the United States, and you can believe that they aren’t exempt.
It’s a fact that some people are more concerned with hygiene than others, while some aren’t concerned at all. Body odor, bad teeth, unsightly armpit hair, bad breath and other similar social atrocities can be found lurking amongst NBA players.
One can’t expect to play a 48-minute game, sweat, rub up on another sweaty person, and walk away from it all with much of a fragrance. So by that measure, it’s quite alright if a player isn’t very welcoming after a game. Before a game, however, it’s simply inexcusable.
Some players do take the necessary precautions to maintain a passive aura, but then things like beards and hair can also get in the way.
People always expect professional athletes to look the part, as well as smell the part, yet there are some players who insist on letting them down.
Below is a list of 15 NBAers who you may not want to sign your jersey.
15 15. Adam Morrison
Adam Morrison is now 32 and retired, but a former teammate singled him out as the most disgusting player he has ever shared a locker room with.
Morrison, who played for the Bobcats, Lakers and Wizards (waived before playing a single game), was Jared Dudley's teammate in Charlotte during the 2008-09 season. The now-Phoenix Suns forward had plenty to say about Morrison after being asked who was the nastiest teammate he ever had.
“Remember Adam Morrison?" he asked. "He never took showers, he did the chewing tobacco that he spit all the time, and he wore the same three polos the whole year.
"This is a guy who made a lot of money, too, at that time. He was the face of diabetes, he was doing everything, he was on the cover of college games, he was everywhere, and he was by far the worst and most disgusting.”
14 14. Pau Gasol
Pau Gasol is definitely an NBA great. The towering Spaniard is a six-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion, having won his two rings with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010.
Now 36, Gasol plies his trade in San Antonio with the Spurs. He began his NBA career with the Memphis Grizzlies, before moving to Los Angeles and then Chicago.
While he has a glowing record of achievements as a player, Gasol has been described as one of the nastiest guys in the league, and to be fair, he does look like he smells bad. He has been seen carrying unsightly armpit hair, and it is rumored that he doesn't care much for showers.
It seems to run in the family, as his brother Marc is said to be just as smelly. But we get to that later on.
13 13. Patrick Beverley
There's no hard evidence to suggest that Rockets defensive guard Patrick Beverley isn't a clean guy, but judging by his dirty, on-the-edge defense, it would not come as much of a surprise.
I mean just look at him, he looks he's supposed to smell a bit off and doesn't seem to give a damn about anything. The player's hair doesn't look like he pays much attention to it, and neither does his face.
Despite his rugged looks, Beverley has been quite the asset to the Rockets. He doesn't fill up a stat sheet, and has never averaged more than 10.2 points a game. But what he brings is unbelievable, reckless, hard-nosed defense. Players are always annoyed when he's the one guarding them - whether or not his hygiene has something to do with it has not yet been determined.
12 12. David Stern
We're not sure former league commissioner David Stern could even shoot a basketball, so being an NBA player has essentially been ruled out. However, he held the position for 30 years, so he definitely qualifies as an NBA'er.
Stern, who was succeeded by current commissioner Adam Silver after stepping down in 2014, didn't seem to care too much about his teeth, something which really upset the Warriors' Draymond Green.
Green once posted a tweet about the ex-NBA boss's pearly non-whites, and he did have a point.
He tweeted: "David Stern have too much money for his teeth to be looking like that... unreal #fail"
The tweet is from 2010, two years before Green was drafted. We would be safe in assuming that he had a stern talking-to during the draft.
11 11. Mickael Gelabale
Some of you are probably thinking that this one is a rogue entry, but Mickael Gelabale did in fact play in the NBA, and represented the Seattle Super-Sonics, as well as the Minnesota Timberwolves.
He only played three seasons in the league, averaging just above 16 minutes a game and 4.2 points per game. He now plays in his home country of France for Le Mans Sarthe.
Back in 2014, Sacramento Kings guard Garrett Temple described Mickael as the smelliest player in the NBA. He also pointed out that European players are the ones who tend to be more unconcerned with hygiene.
“This year? I haven’t had any guys in terms of perimeter players," he replied after being asked who came to mind when the topic of body odor comes around.
"Last year they had a guy on Minnesota’s team, [Mickael] Gelibale, who was pretty stinky. And just to be honest, most of the time the guys that don’t smell too good are not from America. I’ll just put it like that.”
10 10. Ronny Turiaf
French center Ronny Turiaf won an NBA title with the Miami Heat five years ago, and last featured for the Sacramento Kings.
Turiaf, 34, is now out of the game. Back in his playing days, however, he gained a reputation for having strong body odor, something which was confirmed by Amar'e Stoudemire during an interview on the Dan LeBatard show in 2011.
Asked whether talk of the Frenchman being a league stinker was true, Stoudemire replied: “Confirmed. Confirmation, granted."
As sharp and to the point as one can get without saying too much. Turiaf, though, isn't really European, if you thought that you were seeing a trend here. He was actually born in Martinique, a small, Caribbean French-speaking island colonized by France.
9 9. Boris Diaw
Stoudemire's bit didn't stop at Turiaf, unfortunately, with Utah Jazz big man Boris Diaw being identified in less-than-glowing terms as well.
The former Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks forward was further quizzed on smelly players, and revealed that Diaw - who is from France - came in at a close second.
“I dunno, man," he said. "I try not to get close to these guys. But I think Boris Diaw might be a close second. 1A and 1B.”
Well you can't smell him all the way from Israel, Amar'e. That's right, Stoudemire is now plying his trade in the Middle-East with Hapoel Jerusalem, and he is also co-owner of the club.
We already know one player he won't be reaching out to when he retires.
8 8. James Harden
With a beard like that, no matter how clean it may look, there's no way Houston Rockets star James Harden is as hygienic as he would probably like to be.
The former Oklahoma Thunder man boasts one of the boldest looks in the NBA, and has the game to back it up. However, we wouldn't want to know what lives in that face mop of his. He must have a whole ecosystem in there.
Health experts claim that beards are filled with bacteria, and some refer to them as bacterial sponges which provide one of the easiest ways of passing germs. Beards trap lots of dirt and grease, creating the perfect environment for germs to fester.
Just imagine Harden finishing a game, having played about 38 minutes. You can bet that apart from his own sweat, there's opposition sweat in there, as well as a bit of spittle.
7 7. Dirk Nowitzki
Dallas Mavericks German forward Dirk Nowitzki is a dead certainty for the NBA Hall of Fame, and is one of the best shooting big men the league has ever seen.
Some, though, attribute his success off the jumper to his body odor. It is said that Nowitzki is able to free himself up for shots because defenders don't really like getting close to him. These reports are still unconfirmed and judging from his looks, it's hard to tell, although there are times when he does look a bit rugged.
Nowitzki is a 13-time NBA All-Star, who has been named Most Valuable Player on one occasion. He has also won the Finals MVP Award, as well as one NBA title.
Now 38, the German is averaging 13.7 points per game. Going by longevity alone, his career has been quite impressive, as he began his journey way back in 1998.
6 6. Brian Grant
Brian Grant is a retired power forward who represented the Sacramento Kings, Portland Trailblazers, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns over a 12-year career.
Drafted by the Kings in 1994, Grant emerged as the eighth overall pick that year, having performed remarkably as a college player with Xavier University. He left for Portland three years later, opting out of his five-year $29 million contract to facilitate the move.
In 2000, Pat Riley got him to sign a seven-year deal with the Heat. Riley identified Grant as the missing piece and was so convinced that he would be a star in Miami, he offered an $86 million contract, which the player readily accepted.
Grant would then move to Los Angeles, where he would team up with Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. Bryant would later state that Grant was the smelliest player he ever played with in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel in 2013.
"Brian Grant because of his dreads," the former shooting guard replied after being probed. But at least it was only because of the dreads.
5 5. Marc Gasol
As mentioned before, Marc Gasol's body odor is said to be just as challenging as his brother's.
The Gasol brothers remain the only two NBA siblings who were traded for each other, with the Lakers sending him to Memphis in exchange for Pau in 2008, after drafting him at spot 48 in the 2007 lottery.
He has only played for Memphis since, and has been one of their most potent forces in the paint over the years. Marc has also featured in the NBA All-Star game a total of three times, which - admittedly - pales in comparison to his brother's appearance tally, yet still impressive for someone who was drafted as a 48th overall pick.
Backing the notion of him having bad hygiene up is the fact that he almost always sports armpit hair. We don't even need to get into how bad that can be.
4 4. Lamar Odom
Lamar Odom has been out of the NBA since 2013, and if Kim Kardashian is correct, a few players may be happier now that he's gone.
Odom, a two-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers, married Chloe Kardashian in 2009. He has had various problems since, but we won't get into that right now.
The ex-forward made several appearances on the Kardashian family's Reality TV show Keeping up with the Kardashians, and one of those episodes showed Kim telling her sister that Odom had disgusting breath.
"How do you smell his breath?" she asked Chloe. "How do you kiss him?
"I almost throw up in my mouth every time I give him a hug."
That must have been quite the embarrassment for Lamar, getting called out on television like that.
3 3. Vlade Divac
Former Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings center Vlade Divac is now the Vice President of basketball operations and General Manager of the Kings,
The Serbian big man was quite a presence in the paint during his playing days, and it was said that you could always smell him coming. Divac was also said to be a heavy smoker who didn't care about, and probably never used, dental floss.
Divac probably wouldn't have had as good a career as he did if the NBA's flopping rules were around back when he played, as he was well known for his theatrics and feinting.
Through his 16 years in the league, Divac averaged 11.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game in the regular season and 12.1 points and 7.2 rebounds a game in the playoffs. His No.21 jersey was retired by the Kings in 2009.
2 2. DeMar DeRozan
Perhaps the best thing to happen to the Toronto Raptors since Vince Carter, three-time NBA All-Star DeMar DeRozan isn't as bad as most of the villains in this list.
The 27-year-old, who hails from Compton, California, is only on here because of his purposely unkempt hair. DeRozan doesn't seem very interested in looking fresh, and probably pays as little attention to his hair as possible.
Like Harden's beard, there's just no telling what's in that mop of his, and it does seem a very welcoming spot for bacteria. Just how he's been able to keep it that way this long is amazing.
The shooting guard was drafted as the ninth overall pick of 2009 by the Raptors, and has spent his entire career with the team. They're now third in the Eastern conference standings, and look like they could go very deep in the playoffs under DeRozan's influence.
1 1. Luis Scola
The 36-year-old Argentinian was waived by the Brooklyn Nets this week, with the team having little use for him after he played 27 minutes in his last 10 games.
It is unclear whether the player will look to sign for another NBA team, but there are probably a few guys out there who don't want him on their team, as he is said to have very repulsive body odor.
Scola began his NBA career with the San Antonio Spurs in 2005, but did not become active until his rights were traded to the Houston Rockets two years later. Since then, he has posted decent numbers with the minutes he's been handed. But it looks like the road may have come to an end for him with this latest development.
One can't help but wonder if his hygiene had anything to do with his playing time in Brooklyn, as well as the subsequent waiving.
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