The world of professional sports is filled with many different characters. The bright lights surrounding professional athletes can often act as blinders for fans; blocking their perception of the actual human side of these players. Just like your office at work or your class, the NBA contains a mix of both good/genuine people and just flat out terrible human beings.
Some of the players on this list are terrible just because of their narcissitic personalities, while other did some truly despicable things on or off the court. A few of these names might shock you to hear some of the issues they’ve caused in their life but for the most part, everybody on this list is undeniably a trouble maker in their own right.
It’s one thing to be a great NBA player, it’s another to be a good human being. The 15 players listed below exceeded on the court but have failed miserably in the whole “being a good person” aspect of their life. If you’re having some self-doubt about your moral character, this list should give you a nice boost of confidence about your own morality. All of these guys should have taken a play out of Charles Barkley’s book (in more detail below) and openly stated “I am not a role model.”
Without further ado, let the roast session begin.
15. Jason Kidd, PG
Jason Kidd was a 10 time NBA All-Star and won an NBA championship in 2011 with the Dallas Mavericks. His immense talent allowed him to control all aspects of the game and made him a clear choice to become a head coach after his playing days ended. But Kidd’s off the court issues shed light on the fact that he is a much better basketball player than he is a human being.
In 2001, while playing for the Phoenix Suns, Kidd was arrested and pled guilty to domestic abuse charges for assaulting his wife Joumana Kidd. Kidd was required to attend anger management classes and marriage counseling. Eventually Kidd filed for divorce from Joumana, who then filed a counterclaim for divorce and cited that Kidd had broken her rib and smashed her head into the console of a car on multiple occasions.
To add to his growing list of misdeeds, Kidd was arrested for a DUI in 2012 after his vehicle veered off the road and struck a telephone pole. Although Kidd was a great player on the court, his off the court issues give little doubt that he’s a terrible husband and human being.
14. Charles Barkley, PF
It’s hard to put Charles Barkley on this list because he has become such a fan favorite and great T.V. personality since his playing days ended. Given how entertaining Sir Charles has become as an analyst for the NBA, it’s easy to forget about the off court assaults, legal issues, drinking struggles, and gambling addiction that Barkley struggled with in the past.
The Round Mound of Rebound had a hall of fame career while playing for the Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, and Houston Rockets. He is easily one of the greatest players to never win a championship. However, Barkley accepted his bad boy role in the 1990s when he did a Nike commercial in which he proclaims, “I Am Not A Role Model.” This came after he publicly shoved a cameraman through a glass window.
Barkley was also arrested for a DUI in 2009 and told police that he was “just driving around the corner to get a blow job.” Yea Chuck, that’s the excuse the cops want to hear. He was relieved of his analyst duties with TNT for months while he performed his legal duties accompanied with his arrest. Everybody may love Chuck now, but it doesn’t change the fact that he was a “turrrrible” human being.
13. Gilbert Arenas, PG/SG
Gilbert Arenas was as good of a scorer as the NBA has seen in the past decade. When Agent Zero played for the Washington Wizards, he was nearly unguardable… and he knew it. From 2005 to 2007, Arenas averaged nearly 30 points per game and hit some of the more memorable game winners in recent history (going as far as celebrating the win while his shot was still in the air).
However, as Arenas’ stardom grew, so did his antics. Most notably, Arenas admitted to storing guns in the locker room in Washington and even pulled an unloaded gun on teammate Javaris Crittenton during a dispute over gambling debts. Arenas was suspended by the NBA and never truly made a comeback afterwards.
Arenas, who once spent a reported $1 million for his own birthday party one year, refuses to grow up. Recently he has been involved in controversy after commenting that the WNBA players are just women dressing up and acting like men. He also has shared some interesting snapchats in which he essentially breaks into Nick Young’s home and pokes fun at Young’s relationship with rapper Iggy Azalea.
If you are capable of making Swaggy P look like a decent person, then you are truly a terrible human being. Gilbert Arenas is that terrible human being.
12. Metta World Peace, SF
Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, should be given some slack as he is clearly mentally unstable. Metta has been suspended numerous times for his conduct on the court, and has found himself wrapped up in controversy nearly his entire career. In an interview, Metta once admitted that he used to drink cognac during halftime while he played for the Chicago Bulls.
Most famously known for being the main actor in the “Malice at the Palace,” easily the most infamous brawl in NBA history. In that fight, Metta was hit with a beer cup thrown by a fan and immediately jumped into the stands and unleashed haymakers on anybody in his way. He was suspended by the NBA and ultimately charged with assault for his actions.
To cap things off, Metta also was an aspiring rap artist for a number of years. If you don’t think he’s a terrible person at this point, check out some of his music and then reconsider. Metta is extremely entertaining, but he’s a psycho on and off the court.
11. Kobe Bryant, SG
It’s unnecessary to praise Kobe’s greatness, as he is clearly regarded as one of the greatest players to ever play in the NBA. Kobe made a living out of mentally and physically abusing his opponents with his Black Mamba killer instinct mentality. This mean streak that Kobe maintained is what made him such a clutch player and one that nobody ever wanted to guard.
But Kobe fell victim to his own power off the court in 2003 when he was arrested in Colorado for sexual assault in relations to an alleged rape that Bryant committed on a woman in a Colorado hotel room. Bryant admitted to having sex with the woman but claimed he believed it was consensual. The charges were eventually dropped because the accuser refused to testify (probably because she realized a huge settlement was coming her way if she did so).
Around that same time, Bryant also revealed that he had cheated on his wife with another woman on numerous occasions. Throughout all of this Bryant continued to play and play some of the best basketball of his career. His wife also ended up with the now infamous “apology ring” and their marriage appears stronger than ever. But in a world where the black mamba always takes what he wants, he needs to remember that “no means no.”
10. Tony Parker, PG
As the 28th overall pick in the 2001 draft, Tony Parker has turned out to be quite the steal for the San Antonio Spurs. He has been a pivotal piece in the teams decade of dominance, along with Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. Parker wasn’t always so beneficial to the rest of his teammates, however.
In 2010, Eva Longoria filed for divorce against Parker after reports that he had an affair with another woman. This is where it gets juicy, as the other woman was rumored to be the wife of Parker’s former teammate, Brent Barry. This rumor makes sense seeing how the Barry’s filed for divorce shortly after Longoria and Parker did. Wow Tony.
Not only does he have an affair, but he does so with a teammate’s wife. That is a serious low blow Mr. Parker.
9. Robert Horry, PF
Robert Horry, aka Big Shot Rob, inexplicably won seven NBA Championships in his career. Yes, that’s more than Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, which is simply mind-blowing. Horry doesn’t have any crazy off the court issues but his appearance on this list is justified given his on-court actions throughout his career.
In 1996, Horry was a piece in a trade between the Houston Rockets and Phoenix Suns, in which the Suns ultimately traded Charles Barkley to the Rockets. Horry never meshed with then Suns head coach Danny Ainge and the frustration quickly boiled over. Horry lost his cool and threw his towel in Ainge’s face after being subbed out of a regular season game. Horry then also had several controversial moments in the playoffs, most notably when he shoved Steve Nash into the scorers table, prompting numerous technical fouls and ejections for both teams during the Western Conference Finals.
Horry may be a decent guy off the court, but he is a terrible human being on the court.
8. Allen Iverson, PG
The recent NBA hall-of-fame inductee, Iverson was one of the most iconic figures in sports during his legendary NBA career. That’s all great and all but Iverson’s “swagger” got him into more trouble than one could ever list here. Seriously, where do we even start with this guy?
In high school, Iverson was involved in a major brawl at a bowling alley and injured several people by recklessly throwing chairs into the melee. Iverson was subsequently sentenced to 15 years in prison but was pardoned by the governor after only four months. Instead of learning his lesson, Iverson went on to compile a lengthy list of off the court issues including, but not limited to, assault, urinating in public, concealed weapon charges, possession of marijuana, and several night club fights.
Note: In truly Iverson fashion, he showed up several hours late for his hall-of-fame inductee press conference. Iverson should “practice” being a better human being, but we all know his stance on practice.
7. Delonte West, PG/SG
While not widely considered a great NBA player, Delonte earns a spot on this list for being an exceptionally terrible human being (allegedly). West is purely on this list because of the on-going rumor that he slept with LeBron James’s mom while both were members of the Cleveland Cavaliers. While this rumor has never been confirmed, it was awfully coincidental that West was soon released from the Cavs after the report surfaced. If this is true, West broke every rule in the teammate book and bro-code.
If that’s not enough, in 2009 West was pulled over for a traffic stop and was carrying a loaded pistol, a magnum, and a shotgun. It is still unclear what his plans were with the guns but West ultimately was placed on probation and required to attend psychological counseling. Most recently, West was reportedly homeless and begging for change. He denies being homeless, however.
West certainly has some chemical imbalances in his brain and hopefully he obtains the help that he needs, but until then he will continue life as a terrible human being.
6. Antoine Walker, F
Antoine Walker was once a major star for the Boston Celtics and was one of the most pure scorers in the game. Walker was often so smooth on the court that he would rely on his pure talent and end up playing an extremely lazy style of game. Given his immense talent, Walker made a ton of money during his NBA career. Unfortunately for Walker, he has since lost just about all of it.
Shortly after leaving the NBA, Walker’s life began to quickly spiral out of control. In 2009 he was cited for a DUI and then revealed that he owed over $800,000 in gambling debts. He was subsequently charged with a felony for bouncing bad checks to cover his debts. In 2010, Walker filed for bankruptcy despite the fact that he made over $108 million throughout his career. That is unbelievable. Remember this was only two years after he finished playing!
Things got so bad that Walker even had to sell his championship ring. Walker now claims to be debt-free and ready to start his life as a broadcaster. Good luck sir, you’re going to need it.
5. Shawn Kemp, PF
Shawn Kemp was revolutionary in changing the power forward position in the NBA. The guy was a freak athlete and would punish the more traditional, slow of feet power forward of the league’s past. He opened the door for players like Amar’e Stoudemire and Blake Griffin with his style of play. But Kemp had his share of off the court issues too.
In 2005, Kemp was involved an drug raid in which the police found him in possession of two kilos of cocaine, 60 grams of marijuana, and a semi-automatic pistol. Despite pleading guilty to this very serious charge, Kemp continued to be riddled by the scourges of drug use when he was again arrested for marijuana in 2006.
Kemp was an amazing athlete who had a very impressive career but it shows that drug abuse is powerful enough to take down people who appear super human.
4. Jayson Williams, C
Although Jayson Williams doesn’t necessarily fit the moniker of being a “great” NBA player, it would be wrong to leave him off the list of being a terrible human being. Williams’s career never truly got off the ground, although he was named to the NBA All-Star team in 1998. That season earned him a six year, $90 million contract but he injured his leg the following season and was never able to bounce back.
But don’t feel bad for Williams. In 2002, Williams shot and killed his limousine driver while “playing” with a shotgun at his mansion in New Jersey. He was ultimately charged with reckless manslaughter and another four counts of trying to cover up the shooting. He was sentenced to five years in prison, along with another year for a previous DWI that he also received.
Williams literally killed an innocent human being. If that doesn’t qualify you as being a terrible human being than I don’t know what does. He was released from prison in 2014.
3. Karl Malone, PF
The “Mailman” is one of the greatest power forwards to ever grace an NBA court. His style of play was violent and physical, yet unapologetically beautiful. Malone was known for his mean streak on the court and essentially patented his own technique of elbowing the other teams’ star players. This mean streak only provided a glimpse at how wretched of a person Malone was off the court.
Malone has several children, with different women, and he refused to acknowledge any of them for many years. The worst part is that one of the women was only 13 years old when she gave birth to Malone’s child. Thirteen years old!! Malone was 20 years old at the time. If that doesn’t piss you off, then I don’t know what will.
The Mailman was always reliable on the court, but that moniker clearly does not fit his parenting skills.
2. Latrell Sprewell, SG/SF
Latrell Sprewell was an exciting, fiery, and extremely talented player in his prime. Many considered Sprewell, a five time All-Star, to be one of the future faces of the league at one point in his career. However, Sprewell was a complete head case on and off the court, with his career defining moment happening in 1997 when he choked his head coach P.J. Carlesimo during a practice after Carlisemo simply told him to improve his passing. Sprewell also fought a teammate in 1995 and threatened to return with a gun, although he apparently never fulfilled that threat.
The choking incident resulted in a year long suspension for Sprewell and was the deciding factor in the Warriors voiding the last three years of his contract, which was worth roughly $24 million. Reports are out now that Sprewell no longer has any family support and recently lost his home due to financial issues, despite the fact that he made over $100 million over the course of his career.
If that’s not enough, Sprewell also had a signature shoe brand in which there was a small spinning tire rim on the ankle of the shoe. Not going to lie though, I kind of wanted a pair when I was a kid. Don’t judge me, judge Sprewell.
1. Dennis Rodman, PF
One of the original “bad boys” of the great Detroit Piston teams of the late 80s and early 90s, Dennis Rodman certainly fit the bad-boy role very well. A ferocious competitor on the court whose sole purpose was to rebound and get under the skin of the opposing team, he thrived in this role. However, as bad of a guy as he was on the court, Rodman was much worse off the court.
Rodman has long suffered with alcohol and was arrested for numerous DUIs throughout his past and even appeared on a season of “Celebrity Rehab.” He was also accused of numerous domestic abuses, including once with his former wife Carmen Electra. Needless to say, Rodman was always surrounded by controversy everywhere he went.
Rodman is still shrouded in controversy to this day after he received widespread publicity over his friendship with North Korean supreme leader Kim Jung-un, which reached a peak when Rodman held a birthday basketball game in North Korea for Jung-un. (This entire trip was filmed for a documentary and is hilarious. Rodman was drunk the entire time and provides some must see footage).
Ironically, Rodman also has a self-branded vodka line called “Bad Ass Vodka.” So pour yourself a glass of this extremely cheap vodka and watch his North Korean documentary this weekend out of respect to the legendary bad boy.
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