The NBA is one of the most popular sports in the world, not only the USA. The players that the NBA drafts each year can be some of the craziest characters from different backgrounds. It’s these players that have given us some of the craziest moments in the NBA. It also lends a reminder to the NBA that there are going to be times as a business where you'll go through some embarrassment and you need to do damage control.
As most sports, when a player does a wrong action, it reflects badly open the whole league or the whole sport and the body running the sport. From the time Ron Artest assaulted a fan, to the Jordan gambling days, there are some moments the NBA would much have that it be erased but can do nothing about it. The league has seen plenty of characters come and go throughout the years and there are certain characters the NBA would want to forget altogether. As for their stars, they want slam dunk moments and clutch shots to be remembered, not embarrassing stills or moments when these NBA players brought the league some shame. Here’s a list of the top 20 embarrassing pictures in NBA history.
20 Allen’ The Answer” Iverson's Mugshot
Despite his famous nickname, The Answer, Allen Iverson had no answer to the cops when he was arrested for drugs and firearms possession. The 11-time NBA all-star player who played for the Philadelphia 76ers was a passenger in a car that was speeding in Richmond. Iverson smelled of marijuana, and had a .45 caliber gun on the floor.
As if that was enough, Iverson was also arrested after he got involved in a brawl in a bowling alley along with some friends. It was alleged that he hit a woman with a chair and was given a 15 years sentence in prison. Iverson vehemently denies hitting the woman with the chair, but still spent four months in the Newport News City Farm. The conviction was eventually overturned due to insufficient evidence. However, it still tainted Iverson and created a very bad image for the NBA. One of the all-time players of the NBA who had a controversial life outside the game created a huge distraction and a PR nightmare.
19 Charles Oakley arrested
Good ole New York Knicks, always in the news whether it be for good or bad, there is always something happening. None more so shameful than the time former Knicks legend Charles Oakley was arrested at the Knicks home stadium in Madison Square Garden. Oakley came to the watch the Knicks as a fan and had started being disruptive and verbally assaulting team owner James Dolan.
Oakley was subsequently asked to leave the stadium but refused to do so. In response, he was escorted from the stadium, arrested and also banned from the stadium. In a statement on Twitter, the Knicks had highlighted the ‘inappropriate’ behaviour and informed of his arrest made by the NYPD. It was a rather sad sight to see the bad treatment and relations between Oakley and his former team where he became a legend for his on-court performances for so many years.
18 Kobe vs Childs: Thriller in Manilla part 2
The mamba mentality can help you win 5 NBA titles, but also it can at times get you into serious hot water. Back in 2000, it was a very competitive and young Kobe Bryant that went up to Chris Childs and got involved in a heated scuffle. The two started exchanging punches on the court, with the refs stepping in before it got way out of control. Childs was fined $15 000, while Kobe was fined only $5,000 with a one game ban. Imagine the current NBA MVP got into such an altercation? Oh, how the times have changed. It's hard to picture someone like LeBron or Russell Westbrook getting off with just a $5,000 fine under similar circumstances.
17 Mike Dunleavy bleeds
The NBA is a very physical sport with power plays, flaying elbows and posturizing dunks being the order of the day. The 12 year veteran, Mike Dunleavy was victim to such a nasty looking injury when he was fouled by Chandler Parsons, from the Houston Rockets. Parsons had been approaching the rim when he elbowed Dunleavy just above the eye. It caused one of the most unsightly images in the NBA, as blood seemed to flow endlessly just above Dunleavy’s eye. It just shows that despite the NBA clamping down on aggression with new rules every year, there’s nothing stopping such an incident occurring. The bloody image of Dunleavy was probably an exaggeration though, as he eventually stopped the bleeding and even came back onto the court to finish the game!
16 Jason Kidd's Mugshot
Many times with great players, there achievements in the game seem to overshadow any past misdemeanors they may have been involved in. This really seems to hold true for hall of Famer Jason Kidd, who had been involved in spousal abuse back in 2001. It’s not like he even denied it, providing no plead to the cha Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets player provided overall negative press for the NBA at the time. Not only was Kidd arrested on spousal abuse charges back then, but he was also arrested on a DUI just a few years ago. The fact that he's now a coach in the league today just keeps putting a bigger spotlight on Kidd and the NBA certainly wouldn't want his past troubles being brought back to light.
15 Jayson Williams Following Limo Driver's Death
It’s always bound to be a negative image whenever there is a picture of an NBA player in a suit in a court. NBA star Jayson Williams found himself in a beige suit in court as he pleaded guilty to shooting his limo driver Costas Christofi in February 2002. It always is confusing as to why star NBA players, former and present would want to get involved in incidents that could tarnish their reputation forever. He and the friends in the Limo attempted to make it appear as if Christofi shot himself – which led to the sentencing of Williams to five years in prison. Williams had failed to check the safety on the gun, which accidentally shot Christofi in the chest. Williams proceeded to place gun in Christofi’s hand, but witnesses had seen it. The former 76ers and Nets player provided overall negative press for the NBA at the time.
14 The Punch That Changed The NBA
December, 1977 saw one of the worst incidents in the history of the NBA occur in a game between the LA Lakers and the Houston Rockets. A scuffle had broken out between Abdul-Jabbar and Kunnert, which Tomjanovich had been running towards the scuffle with the intention of breaking it up. Not being aware of this, Kermit Washington landed a roundhouse punch of Mohammad Ali strength, as it knocked out Tomjanovich and effectively ended his career. His skull was fractured, and it was a terrible sight on the NBA seeing Tomjanovich laying in the middle of the court in a pool of blood. As a result, Washington was fined $10 000 and been given a 60 days suspension. The fine and suspension was hefty at the time in the NBA, however nowhere nearly as devastating for Tomjanovich whose career got ended by this punch.t’s a Bird, it’s a plane, it’s a punch
13 The Doctor And Bird Duke It Out
It’s very rare that two of the best players in the NBA get into a fight. They usually try and avoid each other on the court. It was a surprise then when two of the biggest stars back in 1984, as Julius Erving and Larry Bird were involved in one of the ugliest on-court fights. Erving was the one who actually landed the punches, as Bird was being restrained. It ended up in $30,500 fines going both ways for the fight. Many have tried to fault both players for the fight. After that game back in 1984, the Sixers coach made it clear how he felt.
“Larry Bird is probably the best player in this league today,” said coach Billy Cunningham at the time. “But when he has to throw elbows and do those things to players, he’s got expect it in return, and he doesn’t like it that way.”
12 Ruben Patterson attacks His Nanny
A regretful Ruben Patterson sits in court, with his head in his hand in regret and shame. In September, 2000, Patterson was found guilty attempted rape of the nanny who took care of his kids. It resulted in a $5,000 fine and a one year sentence in jail (eventually taken down to 15 days). Thereafter, he failed to notify his neighbors that he was a sex offender. For one of the highest paid NBA players at the time, this really left a blemish and a bad taste in the mouth for all those involved at the time, players, the press and the NBA. The league understandably was embarrassed by the whole situation and Patterson became persona non grata in the league afterwards.
11 Dennis Rodman Kicks The Cameraman
When it comes to crazy moments, nobody would be surprised to see the face of Dennis Rodman there. The former Bulls player was playing a game in Minneapolis when he kicked a cameraman in the groin. The result was a $25,000 fine. The reason for Rodman going in to kick the cameramen is still unclear. There was no doubt though on the hefty fine that Rodman had to pay. He incurred a loss in salary of over $1 million and had to pay the cameraman $200,000. This is not out of the ordinary for Dennis Rodman, but surely players cannot just go around kicking cameramen in the groin. Rodman is no stranger to controversy, but this was definitely taking it to a whole new level.
10 Tim Donaghy
There’s nothing more shameful and embarrassing than match fixing and inside betting, that really tarnishes a sport. Tim Donaghy, an ex-NBA official was involved in incidents of such a nature, which saw him sentenced to 15 months behind bars for being involved in one of the NBA’s biggest gambling scandals. During important games, Donaghy would take money from gamblers to provide them with tips for games that both he refereed or had inside information on. He was even involved in the 2008 Finals games between the Boston Celtics and L.A. Lakers. It was a real scandal at the time, and Donaghy’s actions still leave many people questioning the trust one can place in the NBA for reliable and trustworthy officiating and playing.
9 Larry Johnson throws down the punches
It’s April, 1998 and it’s Game 4 in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals between the Miami Heat and the New York Knicks. It’s an already tense moment, and it might be exactly this that led to one of the worst fights in NBA History. Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning already had a history with contract disagreements. So during the playoff game, in the fourth quarter, the two threw punches at each other without holding back. Jeff Van Gundy had eventually broken up the fight, but it still left a blemish on a playoff game that should otherwise have been a normal game. The NBA sees a lot less fights than other sports so when it does happen, it's a black eye for the league.
8 Charles Barkley gambling
One of the best to ever brace the game, Charles Barkley had one of the craziest off-court lives as well. Now one of the best NBA comments on NBA on TNT, he certainly knew how to live it up as a player. He had a well-known problem with gambling, once confessing an exclusive view with ESPN that he had lost $2.5 million playing blackjack in just under 6 hours. He knew he had a problem with gambling when a civil case was laid against him for not paying outstanding gambling debt. It’s should never have been an illusion though, as he had spent over $10 million in total on gambling. Hopefully Barkley's gambling problems are now behind him because as an analyst, he's still representing the NBA brand in a way.
7 An Intoxicated Blake Griffin
One of the most talented NBA players, Blake Griffin was caught looking rather unsightly grinding up on an unsuspecting girl. He is one of the most savory and well put together NBA players on the surface, but this picture of Griffin was rather unflattering to say the least.
These images however does not seem to have his form, as he has continued the form he had shown which got the attention of all NBA teams around the league.
TMZ of course was on sight to catch Griffin in action and began to speculate who the mystery girl was. Players are obviously within their rights to enjoy themselves and go out, but this photo is very unflattering for all involved. Now of course, Griffin finds himself in a brighter spotlight, as he's dating Kendall Jenner.
6 J.R. Smith getting down
Evidently, when you got a ring, the cameras start to follow you around. J.R. Smith soon realized this, as he was pictured drunk and having a great time at the Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather fight. No doubt the photo was a clear image of how wild NBA players can go out and party, and JR Smith looked absolutely knackered to say the least. Of course, we know J.R. Smith has no shame, especially after seeing him parade around shirtless pretty much wherever he goes. The NBA also probably didn't appreciate commenters on this photo pointing out just how intoxicated Smith looked in this picture. We wonder if Smith was taking this photo around the time McGregor got the early jump on Mayweather in the fight or if this was an after-party.
5 James Harden parties hard
Harden is hard to not take note off, both on and off the court. Whether it is his crazy ball-handling skills on the court or the ‘beard’ which he has that makes him noticeable, he just has an X factor about him. He was spotted leaving a club in Manhattan when he came out and yelled at Adidas for reprimanding him for wearing Nikes. It’s a rather nice problem to have, however it just highlights the high-end money that these stars make. Ironically, Harden now has to wear Nike every time he takes the court, with Nike being the new provider of jerseys for the NBA. We hope Harden's happy now that he can wear a Nike jersey and shorts whenever he plays without being reprimanded by Adidas.
4 Allen Iverson's Practice Speech
“We’re talking about practice” – it is this phrase that Allen Iverson said over 22 times at a press conference back in 2002. It should be no surprise that he makes the list again as Iverson was always involved in some type of controversy or the other. The press conference he gave where he repeated himself time and time again was a train wreck of note. Many of the members of the media and his teammates suspected he was drunk in the way he was acting. Whether Iverson was sober or not, fans still remember the press conference and it definitely is among the more memorable ones in sports history, but it's definitely one the NBA would like us to forget.
3 Marv Albert Scandal
One of the NBA’s most famous sportscasters, Marv Albert pleaded guilty to charges of sexual assault. It was a shameful moment in the NBA, for whom he became so synonymous with and also made a name for himself. The stories behind the assault included saucy hotel visits and a flamboyant lifestyle. He was eventually fired by the NBC< as well as he quit with the MSG network cable. He stepped aside with grace, but with a serious tarnish to his name. While Albert isn't an NBA employee, his voice is synonymous with it and in that way, he serves as a representative to the league. When you look at it that way, it definitely is something the NBA wouldn't want fans to remember.
2 Drunk Dirk And Nash
Dirk Norwitzki is one of the most famous players in the NBA of all time, because of his athletic ability and intelligence in reading the game. It shouldn’t be surprising that Nortwitzki certainly knows how to party, as he found himself in picture getting drunk in the early wee ours of the morning. It must be good to make it onto the NBA MVP team list.
Then of course, there's also Steve Nash in this picture, who has been an ambassador for Canadian basketball and he of course is also clearly intoxicated in this photo. The fan who took this picture definitely has a priceless memory with this photo. But it's definitely not a nice memory for the NBA.
1 Michael Jordan gambling escapades
When you think of basketball, the first player that comes to mind is naturally Michael Jordan. More so, when you think of Jordan there is two thoughts that come to mind, which is what a great player he is and secondly what a crazy outside court life he had. Nothing more so crazy than his gambling escapade. In a revealing interview, close friend of Jordan, Charles Barkleys revealed how Jordan gamble $100,000 on the golf course. Barkely even reveals how Jordan gambled $300,000 just to make a simple putt on the golf course.
Jordan had famously played a game of poker the night before getting the Olympic gold medal for team USA, playing with team mates Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen and Charles Barkley. There’s even a famous that he bet $100 000 on a game of rock, paper, scissors. For young players looking up to Jordan, it was not exactly a role model outside of court life that Jordan lived.