Many NBA players have huge egos. Not all of them are as great as they think they are. A lot of times, when two egos go up against each other it leads to arguments, frustration and separating yourself from the team. Being a bad teammate can range from not giving it your all on the court to being a jerk to other players or leaving your team out to dry when they need you the most. Even great players can be terrible teammates and there will be plenty examples of that on this list. Even the greatest player of all time himself was a jerk to his teammates all of the time. As great as a player he was, I wouldn’t call Michael Jordan a great teammate. Kobe Bryant certainly wasn’t a great teammate either, so maybe there is a trend here.
Many times, when players don’t know how to channel emotions, like their competitiveness or their will to win, they will divide their team. Taking out your frustration out on your brothers is not the way to go. In what seems to be a me-first mentality, here are some current players that often put themselves above the team.
Below is a list of the worst teammates in the NBA today and why. Enjoy.
15. LeBron James
You may be asking yourself, why in the world would LeBron James be on this list? The answer is that he thinks he runs the franchise. James knows that whatever team he is on, their primary focus is to keep him happy. He has all of the leverage in the situation even though he is just a player. He fires coaches he doesn’t like, he demands that the Cavs acquire certain players and so on. His teammates must think the he is the biggest egomaniac on the planet. David Blatt was fired solely because LeBron didn’t like him. Also LeBron practically called out his whole team when he requested that the team make a deal for a, “playmaker,” something that he is supposed to be. LeBron needs to realize that he is just a player, not the owner of the team.
14. Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler is a great young player but he needs to work on being a good teammate. Re-wind a year when Derrick Rose was still on the Bulls. There were reports that Jimmy Butler wanted the Bulls to be his team and he wanted Rose out of town. The claims were refuted by both players but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t true. Fast forward back to now and there are trade rumors that Jimmy Butler wants out of Chicago, possibly for a change of scenery to Boston. That is a huge distraction and slap in the face to his teammates. Also he and D Wade criticized their Bulls teammates for not caring. That is not the way to get your teammates on board with you and fight with you.
13. Matt Barnes
Matt Barnes is one of the biggest jerks in the NBA. This is just my opinion but I do have some good support for it. For starters, he drove 90 miles to beat up Derek Fisher. This may make him look like a jerk but how does this relate to him being a bad teammate? Well ask yourself this, would you want your teammate to go and assault another team’s coach? Probably not, because there is no positive to come out of this. The only thing it will produce is drama surrounding the team. What head coach or player wants that? They just want to block out the noise and play their game. Barnes can make it hard for that to be accomplished sometimes.
12. Nick Young
Nick Young doesn’t care about any of his teammates. He will shoot every time he gets the ball even if he is having an off night. He is 18th in the league in the three point attempts and averages seven attempts per night, just off of threes! It seems like some of Kobe rubbed off on him after Kobe retired. This sure isn’t the recipe for being a good teammate. He is also a bad boyfriend/husband. He cheated on Iggy Azalea while they were engaged, with a 19-year-old girl. Keep in mind Young was 30 at the time. While that may not be describing him as a teammate, it does tell you a lot about him as a person, and possibly how he acts around his teammates. If you don’t want a video recorded of you cheating, don’t cheat.
11. Joe Johnson
Joe Johnson is a ball hog isolation scorer and that is the only way he knows how to play. His game is better suited for the playground than the NBA. Passing to his teammates is an afterthought. He is a good iso scorer but there is no doubt that he disturbs the flow of the offense when he is on the court. There is nothing worse than playing with a black hole on the court. You throw the ball into the black hole and you will never see it again. That is exactly what Joe Johnson is. He has even earned the nickname, Iso Joe which refers to his preferred style of offensive play, the isolation where everyone gets out of his way and lets him break down his defender for the duration of the shot clock while they stand and watch.
10. Lance Stephenson
Lance Stephenson is constantly doing outlandish things. Whether it be blowing in LeBron’s face to give him a wiff of what he had for dinner, or saying that his return will be like Michael Jordan’s. In Charlotte it was reported that he clashed with teammates. On the court as well he is known for making stupid plays. He has been all over the league because no team is willing to keep him around for very long because of his attitude but he is getting a second chance with the Pacers, the team that drafted him. Hopefully he can make it more than six games which is how long he lasted with the Pelicans and the Timberwolves who were his former two teams. It is not a good time to be Lance Stephenson.
9. Draymond Green
Draymond Green may be well liked by his teammates but many times throughout the season is costing his team unnecessary points. Green gets way too many technical fouls because he loves to whine and chirp into the officials’ ears as if it will change the outcome of a made call. Even after games referees are often a topic that comes in post game interviews with Draymond and he will say something along the lines of, “The refs will call a technical on me if I look in their direction.” Well Draymond, first of all you are causing a locker room distraction and second of all, you aren’t targeted, you just kick people in the private parts which often results in more that a common foul. ‘Flagrant’ is Draymond’s middle name. This even got him suspended for a game of the finals. Leaving your teammates out to dry isn’t a good look.
8. Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard has been one of the league’s most confusing players for awhile now. With the athleticism and strength that Dwight possesses it is hard to not see him dominate smaller and lesser opponents. Couple that with the fact that he can’t seem to get along with any team or players on the team and you have an unfortunate situation. When Dwight decided to leave the Magic (dumb move), he joined the Lakers who were supposedly the best team in the league, and they were…on paper. Looking at their roster it seems like they should have gone undefeated. In reality however, they couldn’t mesh. Dwight and Kobe butted heads and the rest is history. Then a move to the Rockets didn’t work out either. Howard and Harden had a mentality of, “us two are the only good players on the team,” that didn’t work out too well and soon enough he was on the move again.
7. Dion Waiters
Dion Waiters is on record saying that he’d rather shoot 0-30 than 0-9. Sounds crazy right? Well it is. Maybe not according to Waiters who defends his claim by saying that if he shoots 0-9 then he gave up and stopped shooting. It seems like he is completely forgetting about winning and his team and is only worried about his own stats and his own confidence level. Waiters has always been a self-centered player and that is one of the reasons he has bounced around the league for a few years now.
6. J.R. Smith
J.R. Smith has no conscience. He will never hesitate to shoot his shot, which for many players is a positive intangible to have but for Smith can cause him to have an itchy trigger finger from deep. Smith likes to take contested off balance threes, shots which the Cavs don’t necessarily need. Smith even said it himself, ‘When in doubt, shoot the ball.’ So when in doubt, I’m going to shoot it and hopefully that don’t catch nobody off guard.”
Even Cavs GM David Griffin had this to say about Smith, “Does he take too many shots sometimes in the wrong places? Absolutely.” Usually owners or team executives have nothing but good things to say about their players. Not in this case. Maybe he should take a hint.
5. Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant is a traitor and no matter what he does, other than making a return to OKC, can change that. What he has done to his former fans and even worse his teammates, who were supposed to be his family is inexcusable. It is almost as if he was fighting a war for one side and saw that his army was losing so he quickly jumped sides to fight against his brothers. What a great teammate…not. The media has made him feel the wrath however so he isn’t getting away with this unscathed. It sets a bad precedent for the rest of the league as well. What happened to loyalty? He is even on record accusing players of jumping on the bandwagon on Twitter. What a hypocrite.
4. Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony falls into a couple categories of bad teammate-ing. The first is his on court play. Melo is an isolation scorer and he needs the ball at all times on offense. If you don’t get him the ball and let him get his 20 points per night, hell will break loose. He stifles the growth of young players like Kristaps Porzingis by stagnating the offense and not giving young players the ability to grow. Carmelo shouldn’t be in the Knicks’ future plans if they have any clue what they are doing. I wouldn’t bet that they do however. Melo is also a huge distraction in the locker room. The media is always coming out with the next story about him like whether or not he will lift his no trade clause. This is unnecessary distraction from the 82 game grind.
3. Rajon Rondo
There is a reason Rajon Rondo has been bouncing around the league since his Boston days. Declining ability combined with an alpha dog mentality and you have yourself a locker room cancer. Rondo is always in the midst of drama whether it be with the coaching staff, front office or his teammates. In Boston, he was a great player surrounded by veterans like Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett that he knew better than to start beef with. He took a back seat and stayed in his lane. Now since he still thinks he can play as well as he did in his Boston days, he is always getting into something and NBA teams can’t take it for too long. You wonder how much longer he can last in the NBA.
2. DeMarcus Cousins
DeMarcus Cousins is a bad teammate for several reasons. First, lets start with the obvious ones. He can be a jerk at times. For example he got into an altercation with Nik Stauskas a few years back on a team flight. He got into arguments with the Kings front office and there were always trade rumors surrounding him until he subsequently got traded, which is very distracting to the team, especially when he is the focal point of your offense. Second, he is always arguing with the refs. How does this fall into the category of being a bad teammate? Simple. He is always accruing unnecessary technical fouls. His team doesn’t need that. I haven’t heard much from Boogie on the Pelicans yet but it is just a matter of time before he requests a trade if they aren’t a winning team.
1. D’Angelo Russell
D’Angelo Russell is a terrible friend. What teammate posts his teammates private life all over social media and exposing him to the world? Not a good one. If you haven’t seen the video or even heard about what he did let me explain. Nick Young, who, coincidentally, was also on this list was telling Russell about how he cheated on his woman. Russell recorded what Young was saying and posted it for the world, and Young’s girlfriend, to see. Shame on Nick Young as well for cheating. This was easily enough however to land Russell the number one spot on this list. If he did that to me, (I would never put myself in Young’s position in the first place, but just imagine) one of us would be leaving town, and every time we played each other it would be war.
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