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Top 10 Bad Boys in NBA History

In any competitive sports that you watch, you will find disruptions among teammates, opponents and coaches. However, there are some disruptions from players that are way out of line and just unprofessional and unsportsmanlike. Most of the time, the animosity among players may result from the passion for the game, the desire to win and the difficulty of losing a game. Sometimes, years of losing to the same team might also result in ongoing friction between players and teams. In a few cases, though, there will be players who display bad behavior regardless of anything else.

Some teams have been able to be successful on the basketball court despite the bad behaving players on the team. One such team is the Detroit Pistons during the days of Isiah Thomas, Dennis Rodman, Bill Lambier and other teammates. The team was very aggressive, but some players more than others. In fact, during that era, the Detroit Pistons earned the reputation of a bad boy image. Latrell Sprewell was a toxic player for the New York Knicks, even though he was a good player. Many fans have been expressive in their concern that some players are not taking their role very seriously as mentors to young people. Some say that young people will think that money can get you as far as you want without paying the consequences for bad behavior in the process. Don’t be disappointed altogether because there are some athletes that are exemplary in the way that they live - on and off the basketball court. However, unfortunately, these players are not making any television headlines to showcase their exemplary lifestyles for young people to see the other side of all of this. The competition, popularity of the game, the need to win and victories on the basketball court take center stage over the ethics and culture of the game. Even though, fans see the bad behavior week after the week, they still turn the tube on to watch their favorite teams without any reservation. Let’s take a look now at some of the most disruptive players in NBA history.

11 Vin Baker

via theseattlesalmon.com

10 Michael Ray Richardson

via thenypost.com

In 1986, Michael Richardson was one of the first players in the NBA to be banned for using drugs. On three occasions, he failed his drug tests – testing positive for cocaine. He admittedly confessed that he had an issue with drugs, undergoing several rehab treatments and yet, he couldn’t beat the habit. He played for eight seasons in the NBA, hopping from the New York Knicks to the Warriors and then to the New Jersey Nets. No one can deny that he had talent. In fact, he was once the leading scorer for the Nets until he would go on one of his four day drug binges and lose focus.

9 Rasheed Wallace

via ballislife.com

8 Jason Williams

via nba.com

7 Roy Tarpley

via espn.com

6 Marvin Barnes

via nasljerseys.com

Prior to entering the NBA professionally, Marvin Barnes played in the ABA for six seasons. He earned a reputation as an aggressive person, beating a teammate with a tire iron while at Providence College. While a rookie for the Spirit of St. Louis, Barnes decided to leave the team to renegotiate his basketball contract. Subsequently, he found himself in trouble for drug use and alcohol as well as carrying a concealed weapon. He moved from one team to the next: from St. Louis to the Detroit Pistons and then the Buffalo Braves. His career ended in 1979 with poor performance on the Boston Celtics. He was never quite able to translate his ABA success to the NBA.

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4 Latrell Sprewell

via bleacherreport.net

3 Allen Iverson

via philly.com

Allen Iverson always had a ‘bad boy’ street image, from the moment he came into the NBA. He earned this rebellious image from his attire of tattoos, baggy clothes, glitzy jewelry and his cornrow braids. This wasn’t what the NBA was looking to promote, but this was what his young fans liked about him, in addition to his basketball talent.

2 Isaiah Rider

via tumblr.com

1 Dennis Rodman

Doug Pensinger /Allsport

“The Worm,” is no other than Dennis Rodman and you know why he made number one on this list, don’t you? He was quite a distraction to his team, the NBA and the game of basketball in general. It is said that he butted the head of a referee and kicked a press photographer. He was always bickering with his coaches. One time, he took his sneakers off before a basketball game had ended. He received numerous fines and suspensions on any team that he played for.

Steve Kerr once told a story that Phil Jackson once asked him to babysit Rodman while he went to go gamble.

He had a hard time getting along with his teammates. One could argue his talent was worth it, but there was a certain shelf life for Rodman with a team.

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Top 10 Bad Boys in NBA History