The NBA is one of the biggest enterprises in the entire world. The league is involved in countless charity events to having some of the worlds greatest athletes wear their iconic uniforms, the NBA has done a great job of keeping their image clean and being a positive influence on millions of lives. Keeping a clean image is vital to the league, as problems and scandals among players or league officials can bring negative light to the league which Adam Silver and the NBA don't want. While they have been on the straight and arrow for a while now, the league has had a few incidents in their past that they don't want the average fan of the league knowing about, and this article is all about that.
In this article, we will be looking at 15 things in the NBA's long and historic past that the league most definitely doesn't want you to know about. Even with these items down below, the NBA will continue to be one of the best organizations around due to their strive for greatness in all aspects of their league, but a few more of these scandals, and the public eye could change about the league we all love.
Here are 15 things the NBA doesn't want you to know.
15 LeBron James Flashed During NBA Finals
LeBron James is one of the greatest NBA players of all-time, and has done nothing to ever besmirch the name of the league. He’s about as clean as it gets for being a world-wide athlete. It makes you wonder why he's also hated by so many. Anyway, he did have one slip up. During Game 4 of last year's epic finals rematch involving the Cavaliers and the Warriors, the ABC network accidentally aired LeBron James’ manhood to the world, as they recorded him adjusting his shorts during a timeout. Obviously people were not expecting to see something like this from one of the world’s greatest athletes during a game, and the NBA definitely wishes the camera was looking at something else when King James decided to adjust his pants.
14 Kermit Washington's Punch On Rudy Tomjanovich
During the 70s, fighting in the NBA was a much more regular occurrence than it is today. Each team had an enforcer or two, who was ready to throw hands each night in order to give their team a physical edge over their opponent, while nowadays guys like Stephen Curry can dominate the game from just shooting three after three after three. While there has been many fights throughout the NBA’s long history, December 9th, 1977 was a day that will live on in infamy.
Kermit Washington laid one of the nastiest punches in sports on Rudy Tomjanovich. A fight broke out between Washington’s teammates, and Rudy came in to break up the fight. However Washington was not having it and put Rudy on his back after the punch, The blow shattered Tomjanovich’s jaw and face and inflicted life-threatening head injuries, leaving him sidelined for five months.
13 Metta World Peace Elbowing James Harden
I remember watching this moment and becoming sick to my stomach as Metta World Peace cocked back his elbow and drilled it into the side of James Harden’s head. It was a bad look for the league as World Peace really just looked like a thug on this play, making people wonder how someone like him could make such a name for himself in the National Basketball Association. It was one of the more vicious attacks we have seen from a player on the court, as it kind of just came out of nowhere as World Peace elbowed Harden incredibly hard in the head as the two crossed each other near the basket. A bad moment for basketball indeed, and a bad moment for sports in general as well.
12 Latrell Sprewell Choked His Own Coach
Latrell Sprewell could have been so much more than what he panned out to be, as he had the talent to really be something special in the league. It’s important to have a healthy coach and player relationship to be successful in the league, and that’s just something Latrell Sprewell and coach P.J. Carlesimo didn’t have. The incident happened in December of 1997, as the two got into a pretty serious altercation at a Golden State Warrior team practice. P.J. recently reflected on the incident, saying he did not know what spurred Latrell to start saying he was going to kill him and then actually choking him before being restrained by other members of the practice.
After being escorted out of practice, it was a surprise to many that Sprewell returned just 20 minutes later, acting like nothing ever happened. The league most certainly doesn't want it's coaches and players going at it at practice as it is a bad look for the league for sure.
11 Michael Beasley Got High At Rookie Symposium
Michael Beasley was drafted with the 2nd pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, as he was supposed to be one of the most dominant scorers in the league was he filled out his potential. Sadly, Beasley is considered a bust by many as he never turned out to be the high volume scorer many scouts thought he would be. His career didn’t get off to a great start however, which may have been the reason his career didn’t pan out right. After being drafted, NBA rookies have to attend a rookie symposium, which is meant to help the players adjust to NBA life.
Beasley was fined $50,000 however, as he was caught smoking weed with fellow NBA players Mario Chalmers and Darrell Arthur and two women in one of the hotel rooms. Was it a sign to come for the Heat? Maybe they should have traded him when he still had high stock in the league. The league doesn't want you knowing that there players have been caught smoking weed at the symposium welcoming young guys into the league.
10 Chris Paul Trade Fiasco
In what would have been a league-altering trade to this day, the Lakers and New Orleans were on the verge of making a blockbuster trade that would have sent Chris Paul to L.A. to play with Kobe Bryant. The proposed (and briefly agreed-upon deal): Paul to the Lakers; Pau Gasol to the Houston Rockets; and Lamar Odom, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic, Luis Scola and a first-round draft pick (from Houston via New York) to the Hornets. This would have created a dangerous tandem with Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant, but due to "basketball reasons" in the words of David Stern, league commissioner at the time, the deal was vetoed pretty much to avoid a super team. Hypocrites much?
The NBA is all about super teams now a days and the fact that they didn't let Paul and Kobe play together in a fair deal is something that the league does not want you to know, especially when superstars are teaming up regularly in the league now.
We don't know how Adam Silver felt personally about the deal, but the NBA probably has looked back on this and regretted messing with the deal, considering where the Clippers and Lakers have gone since then.
9 Donald Sterling And His Racist Comments
Back in 2014, Donald Sterling, then owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, was brought into headlines as he was recorded saying some pretty disgusting things about his players that made both he and the NBA look incredibly bad. He was the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers since 1981, so the fact that his character surfaced all the way in 2014 was a shock to many. Sterling was recorded by his old girlfriend as he went on a rant about her not bringing guys like her boyfriend, an African-American, to his games. The NBA actually handled the whole ordeal pretty well, as they terminated their relationship with the long-time Clippers owner Donald Sterling, but the incident is something that Adam Silver and the NBA would like fans to forgot, and for people that missed it to never know about it.
8 Michael Jordan Had To Wear #12 One Game
Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time. He was the biggest star in all of sports during his playing days. His iconic number #23 has now been worn by NBA players due to the impact he has on basketball players all over the world. Why do you think LeBron wears that number today? However, you can find some photos of Jordan wearing number #12 for some reason, and no, it’s not photoshop. Before a game on Valentine’s Day, someone stole Jordan’s jersey from the team’s locker room, which prompted Jordan to have to wear number #12 instead of his iconic number #23.
Making a player like Jordan have to wear a generic #12 number is something that doesn't shed the best of light on the league, as a expensive jersey was stolen and no backup was available.
7 Kobe Bryant's Sexual Assault Trial
Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest NBA players of all time, and the fact that his name was brought into sexual assault allegations was a bad look indeed for both he and the league. During the summer of 2003, Bryant was arrested and investigated after being accused of sexually assaulting a 19 year old hotel employee. While most would agree that being arrested was bad enough for the young star, Bryant’s situation went far worse as he admitted on national television, with his wife beside him, that he had committed adultery.
Though he maintained his innocence on all allegations of rape, Bryant’s career took a hit, as haters have continued to use this allegation against him, and he even lost endorsement deals due to the incident. Not all people know about this scandal and Bryant, and the league would rather it stay that way about one of their legends.
6 Charles Barkley Spat On A Little Girl
The NBA is lucky something like this didn't happen in today's game, because this seriously could have been country wide news. Charles Barkley was one and is still to this day one of the league’s most colorful personalities. Never afraid to say what’s on his mind, as is evident of his recent feud with LeBron James, “Sir Charles” is one of the league’s most enthralling former players. One of Barkley’s most interesting moments comes from 1991, as Barkley ended up ruining a little girl’s night completely by accident. Apparently during one of his games, Barkley was being heckled with racist comments, which must have gotten Charles so mad he decided to spit at the fan. Sadly, the spit veered off missing the racist and nailing a little girl. Charles if you are going to be spitting into the crowd, make sure to hit the person you want because no one wants to be spit on for no reason at the game, okay?
5 Draymond Green Snapchat Mishap
Draymond Green accidentally made a huge mistake last July, as he accidentally posted a pretty private photo on his SnapChat story, meaning everyone who follows Green on SnapChat got to see something that was meant for a certain woman, not his thousands and thousands of followers. Green originally said that he was hacked, however he then went on to say it was just a mistake that he obviously didn’t want to put on his story. The NBA definitely wasn’t happy about this, as many kids clicked on Green’s story expecting to maybe see him lounging by the pool, getting up shots, or maybe hanging with Warriors stars like Steph Curry, but they saw more than they wanted to. I knew the SnapChat story option was too close to the best friend list!
4 Gilbert Arenas' Guns Scandal
Gilbert Arenas and his famous incident involving guns shocked the basketball world, as he really was one of the most dominant players in the league for a short amount of time. While many people are aware he had an incident involving guns, the story is still unknown to most. Apparently the incident started over a card game on the plane ride home from a loss between Arenas and teammate Javaris Crittenton. The millionaires were arguing over $1,100, which eventually made Arenas say his infamous line “I play with guns.” The next day in the team’s locker room, Arenas told Javaris to choose which gun he wanted to get shot with, which prompted Javaris to turn around and point his already loaded pistol at the Wizards star. Caron Butler helped defuse the situation, as it easily could have gone down as one of the worst moments in NBA history that could have been #1 on this list.
3 Dennis Rodman and North Korean Ties
Dennis Rodman is by far one of the most bizarre players in all of the history of the league, which is still respectable due to his excellent hustle and play on the court throughout his playing days on championship teams. Based on his antics throughout his career such as dying his hair different colors, if any player would end up befriending a foreign dictator, Dennis Rodman would be that guy. Rodman made headlines as he was openly associating and hanging out with Kim Jong-Un, as he even said he was a “friend for life” with the ruthless dictator.
A supporter of Donald Trump, I'm not sure if Rodman is the best man to keep US and North Korean ties stable. The NBA probably wishes Rodman just enjoyed retirement like other players, and not still staying relevant with something like this.
2 Crooked Refs On Court
Definitely a referee the NBA wished they never hired, Tim Donaghy gambled and fixed multiple games throughout his career as a ref, including Game 6 of the 2002 NBA Western Conference Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Sacramento Kings. Donaghy served 15 months in federal prisons and a halfway house for his offenses, making it one of the worst scandals in the history of the league. The NBA doesn’t want anything to do with Donaghy at this point, and would like people to forget anything that has to due with the crooked official. Donaghy published a book back in 2009 called Personal Foul: A First-Person Account of the Scandal That Rocked the NBA which has a lot of dirt on personalities around the league including David Stern. That’s definitely be something they don’t want you to know about either.
1 The Malice At The Palace
Easily one of the most shameful, disgraceful, and worst moments in NBA history, the Malice At The Palace as it is now called was a night the NBA would like fans to forget. The fight happened on November 19, 2004, happening between the Detroit Pistons and the Indiana Pacers. The game was basically over, as the Pacers had a sizeable lead against the Pistons with about a minute left, when Ben Wallace was fouled by Ron Artest on a layup. Not liking the foul, Wallace went up to Artest, punching him in the throat as the two pushed their way over to the scorers table. The teams scuffled for a bit until Ron Artest leaped into the crowd, fighting the fans. Stephen Jackson also hopped into the crowd, as it just got uglier from there.Who would have thought that NBA players would end up in the stands fighting the opposing fans, the league probably didn't, and don't want you to know about this moment.