Top 20 NBA Players Who Are Jerks in Real Life

Like life itself,  the NBA is full of guys with different personality traits. This article outlines the most arrogant, rude, and mean guys who piss off everyone in their path. Although there are a handful of past NBA players who have attitude problems, I will outline the current jerks of the NBA, and a couple stories that involve these people.

It only seems right, that in a corporation as large like the NBA, there are unfriendly people. Some people put the league on a pedestal, but business is business, and some of these guys are just arrogant.

That being said business is booming for the Association, and league attendance rates have been phenomenal. What's doing better than league attendance rates are people purchasing merchandise, like jerseys or hats.

Players are taking the game to new heights, and many of the guys are very friendly, and the media loves them. The media loves Stephen Curry because he demonstrates well respected character traits in interviews. But this article isn't about how the NBA's business has been doing well, or the nice guys who everyone loves. Some of the people in this list may surprise you, because they are either very famous, or well respected by fans.

Relating to retired players that are known as unfriendly there is a vast amount. Bill Russell, the 11 time champion, doesn't have the best reputation within fanbases. Even the great Michael Jordan has been supposed to be a dry, arrogant man.  MJ said this during the 1995 NBA Playoffs to Hornets guard Muggsy Bogues."Shoot it you f'ing midget."

What a jerk.

Regardless, Bogues is still recognized as an NBA legend, and one of the greats of the game who battled adversity regarding his short height. Bogues is 5-foot-3.

That is pretty damn short for an NBA player.

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20 P.J. Hairston

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

After being drafted, P.J. Hairston got arrested for assault. He was charged with assault for punching a high school kid in the face while playing basketball with him. He was previously arrested for drug possession in North Carolina a year or so before this.

Hairston sits atop this list since he is a young prospect, and in years to come, he could eventually climb this list. He could also work himself off of it. The Hornets have already moved on from him, so we'll see how his stint in Memphis goes.

19 Thabo Sefolosha

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

On April 8th 2015, Sefolosha was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Pero Antic and Thabo were interring with officers, and bothering them. The officers had to detain Thabo, and tackled him.

Sefolosha suffered a leg injury, and was therefore out for the remainder of the season. Was this his fault for the police's? Here is what he had to say on the situation.

 I dropped the money. He said, "That's it, you're going to jail." I turned and tried to put my right hand behind my back. I had a lot of money in my left hand and I tried to put it in my pocket.

18 DeMarcus Cousins

Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Cousins once cursed out his coach George Karl in the Kings locker room. This came after a Kings loss a couple years ago. DeMarcus didn't just privately yell at his head coach, he screamed at him in front of players, assistant coaches, and media. Here is what Cousins said about former NBA Legend Charles Barkley.

"I have no respect for you and I never will. We have nothing to talk about. So yes, every time we see each other, there will be no words."

DeMarcus Cousins said this after Barkley criticized him regarding his inability to grow up. By the star Kings center saying this, he proves Barkley's point further, that he is an immature player, who cannot take any suggestions or commentary.

17 Draymond Green

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

There are mixed feelings for Green, and how he conducts himself. Some complain about his rudeness and anger on the court, some enjoy his off the court attitude.

Draymond is passionate about basketball, like the majority of the guys in the NBA. In Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals of 2015, Green drew an offensive foul from Dwight Howard. He yelled profanity to the crowd, and acted pompous. He kicked his feet up, and celebrated... mid game. Steve Kerr has noted that him and Green have gotten into arguments often.

“Draymond and I have probably gotten into it three or four times, and every time he apologizes within a minute because he has such a heart of gold.”

16 Blake Griffin

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Blake Griffin recently punched a Clippers employee in the face, and fractured his hand. He has a history of being a jerk.

He was in an altercation in 2014, and charged with a misdemeanor in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This guy is starting to surface as one of the biggest jerks in the league, and people are shocked. He appeared a nice guy when he won the Slam Dunk contest, and was loved by fans across the board.

Like NBA players, they lose their friendly touch as they progress in their career, sometimes.

15 Matthew Dellavedova

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

He was voted by NBA Players and Coaches as the dirtiest player in the NBA. A total of 24 people spoke anonymously, and he was the favorite with 13 votes. Steven Adams had the second most votes, then Bogut, Matt Barnes, and Serge Ibaka with 2 votes.

Dellavedova was said by an anonyous player to be "dirty as they come". The player also said it is NOT okay, the way he composes himself on the court.

Not just on the court, but Matthew has had problems with guys off the court. He is argumentative, and curses at guys.

In 2013, Matthew was the loved player of the NBA Finals, getting worldwide attention for his aggressive nature.

14 Paul Pierce

Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Pierce was fined $25,000 by the NBA in 2008 for flashing gang related hang symbols (Bloods). Pierce denied it, saying it was a sign used by the team.

Pierce was almost killed in 2000, when he was involved in gang warfare, and was stabbed. The man who almost killed him was also believed to have been a blood or in another gang.

He is a hell of a basketball player, and as of 2016 his off the court problems have been resolved. He still is known by the league to be dry, and arrogant with his personality. Pierce rarely signs autographs for fans.

13 Dermarr Johnson

via bleacherreport.com

Johnson was involved with a disturbance outside a nightclub with two women. He apparently was aggressive with them, and being physical. He had to be tasered after being uncooperative with officers. He was then arrested.

This is a constant problem with athletes, where there is sometimes disregard for other people, or abuse. Relating to Ray Rice, O.J. Simpson, these guys can't treat women the way they should be.

"He apparently would not cooperate," said Greenwood Village police Lt. Randy Corbitt.

All three of the people there were charged with disturbing the peace, the girls fought each other as well.

12 Kendrick Perkins

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Perkins gets flagrant fouls on the regular. Seeing the guy the smile would be a pure miracle.

During the 2012 playoffs, Perkins was screaming at Reggie Miller, specifically in game 3.He seems to be more focused on what other people think of him, then basketball.Perkins and Joakim Noah had an argument in the Thunder locker room a couple years back. (BOTH PLAYERS ON THIS LIST). He rudely said

“They let anybody into the locker room, huh?"

Then he cursed at Noah telling him to get his ** out the locker room.

11 Russell Westbrook

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

He is constantly hostile to the media during interviews, and condescending. A couple years ago Kevin Durant and Westbrook had teammate problems, and called each other out for not playing well. When a columnist, The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel, interviewed him ,Westbrook said this.

"I just don't like you." "I love Nick. I don't like you."

It's possible he doesn't like the media, or has personal beef with this guy. Either way, it's pretty easy to answer a couple questions, and go back in the locker room. You're making millions of dollars, relax, it's not the end of the world when a couple reporters ask you how the game went.

He also randomly began arguing with the Nuggets mascot in Denver. Nothing horrible, but appears to be a rude guy.

10 Chris Paul

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Gregg Popovich had this to say about Paul.

"He's a mean, nasty man, and he's a pain in the ass. I don't know if there's anyone more competitive in the league than that little dude. "They must've stole all his toys and everything when he was a kid. He's getting back at the world, because he's mad at everybody once he steps on the court."

Rudy Gay also noted that he doesn't like CP3. He said he ended his friendship with Paul.

Paul also has some on-court incidents, like punching Julius Hodge in the groin, which isn't something a sensible man would do on a basketball court.


9 DeAndre Jordan

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Wow, we get another Clipper on the list. This summer Jordan made a verbal commitment to go to the Dallas Mavericks. A couple days later he rescinded his comments and decided he would stay in L.A. This shows he has pure maturity issues.

Look he's not an awful person, as there's people on this list who are d-bags.

It just seems like he has more of a maturity issue, that leads to impulsive acts that could be construed as jerkish.

8 J.R. Smith

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

There are allegations he choked a high school student.

Here are his comments.

"We had conversations with coach David Blatt general manager David Griff and some of the players. I just don't want to be a distraction to anybody else and I've just got to move forward."

In this quote he doesn't really directly talk about the altercation, he just says he doesn't want to be a distraction. Smith's off court issues also include reckless driving charges, stemming from a June 2007 incident, running through a stop sign and colliding with another car, not wearing a seat belt.

7 Michael Jordan

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps it was Michael Jordan's competitive nature that brought out the worst in him, but there are countless stories of Jordan being a jerk to many people. Some stories are actually legendary, including buying Charles Barkley a $20,000 diamond earring, so he'd stay out of his face for the NBA Finals, saying to Bulls assistant Johnny Bach: “he won’t get in my way the rest of the series, what’s $20,000 to me? Charles thinks we’re great friends. I hate that fat f—.”

There's also the story of him berating teammate Kwame Brown in Washington, reducing him to tears: "As a leader Jordan proved more tormentor than mentor. Many Washington players got the business end of a Jordan harangue, but he designated second-year forward Kwame Brown as the whipping boy."

Jordan's attacks also included gay slurs toward Brown.

There was the story mentioned in the intro where MJ yelled at Muggsy Bogues to  'Shoot it, you f***ing midget.'

Finally, there was a story of Jordan cheating an old lady in a friendly cards game. Former North Carolina teammate Buzz Peterson says when playing a cards game with Peterson's mother, he caught Jordan cheating when his mother was in the bathroom.

Perhaps this insane competitive nature helped make Jordan great, but it doesn't make him any less of a jerk.


6 Jeffery Taylor

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

He was arrested in Charlotte, NC for domestic assault in a hotel. His bail was set to $5,000. He also was charged with destruction of property and was suspended 25 games by the NBA, pleading guilty to all charges.

Taylor was released by the Hornets and signed by Madrid in the euro league. His stunt appears to have had him expelled from the NBA. Taylor was a promising prospect coming in the league, but any maturity questions were answered. He apparently does not belong in the NBA, but is now overseas.

5 Nick Young

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Young has been involved in so many fights since he came in to the NBA.

TMZ said Young had "a complete meltdown" in Dave N Busters in 2015. Him and his friends began arguing with other people, and a fight broke out. An LAPD Chopper had to show up to the scene.

He calls the people "b***es", and gets in their faces. He throws a water bottle at a man, and hits him multiple times.

In 2014, Young was involved in a fight with Drew Gooden on the court. Also in the same year, he was ejected from another game for an elbow to the throat on Steven Adams, and yelling at him. In 2015, he was also ejected for shoving Anthony Tolliver on the Pistons.

4 Rajon Rondo

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Rajon Rondo has always had people questioning his character. He tends to wear out his welcome with teams, but things came to light more so when the guard yelled a gay slur at a referee (Bill Kennedy). Here are Rondo's apology tweets.

"My actions during the game were out of frustration and emotion, period."

"They absolutely do not reflect my feelings toward the LGBT community. I did not mean to offend or disrespect anyone."

What did he say?

Rondo called the referee a "motherf**** f***ot".

Here is what Vlade Divac had to say on the matter. “Rajon’s comment was disrespectful and offensive, and we wholeheartedly disapprove of any language that discriminates or disparages others based on sexual orientation or anything else."

3 Kobe Bryant

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

I like Kobe because what he has done for the game of basketball, but that doesn't give him a free pass for this list. 

In the beginning of his career he said this about his teammates. "I almost won an MVP with Smush Parker and Kwame Brown on my team...I was shooting 45 times a game. What was I supposed to do? Pass it to Chris Mihm or Kwame Brown."

Kobe also got away with cheating on his wife with many different women. His wife had filed for divorce, and said Kobe slept with as many as 105 different people.

Kobe was also accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a hotel in Colorado (2003). Kobe admitted to having sex with the 19-year-old but not assaulting her. The case was dropped in court.

Smush Parker said Kobe was a bad teammate who was not friendly to him remotely.

“The guy wants to win so you always have issues with him if you’re playing poorly or subpar," said Andrew Bynum.

“He feels like he needs to show this league and the people in this country that he is better without Shaq. He can win championships without Shaq. So offensively, he’s going to jump out and say, ‘I can average 30 points. I can still carry the load on this team." said Ray Allen.

Kobe has a history of being an ass to his teammates, and being selfish in terms of his goals. Despite his transgressions, the NBA proceeds to honor Kobe for his abilities. Any negative talk of Kobe is sure to be drowned out by his pompous fans.

2 Matt Barnes

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Barnes drove over 90 miles to go beat up Derek Fisher. He heard from his son, that Fisher was with his ex-wife.... EX WIFE.

He went over to the house and beat up Fisher, and allegedly spit in his wife's face. "I don't regret it. Like, man to man knows who's wrong and who's right. The NBA decided to step in and did what they did. But it is what it is," Barnes stated.

It is the behavior of a dangerous misogynist lunatic. It is an act of violent aggression. It is a man forcefully asserting personal property rights over a woman’s home, body, and life." said Deadspin writer Albert Burneko.

No question about it, Matt Barnes is a douche.

1 Kevin Garnett

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Garnett is the #1 biggest jerk in the NBA.

Why you may ask?

Many reasons.

In 2010, Charlie Villanueva tweeted this. "KG called me a cancer patient, I'm pissed because, u know how many people died from cancer, and he's tossing it like it's a joke."

Charlie Villanueva is bald, so Garnett thought he would poke a good old cancer joke at it. Garnett referred to the situation as a miscommunication. Here is what he said regarding the situation. "I'm a passionate player. If you don't like the way I am ... I play this way the last 15, 16 years. I leave it on the court."

Yes, you are VERY passionate Kevin. Kudos.


Anyway, this is one instance of Garnett's stupidity. But there's more. Here are examples of how obnoxious he is.

Kevin Garnett slapped Tim Duncan in the face during a game, and continued to mock him for years to come. He is so intense, that he is inhumane in how he acts to people on the court. He may have the worst attitude the league has ever seen.

Garnett would routinely beat up on NBA player Patrick O' Bryant, and yell at him throughout his Boston career. Doc Rivers said "Kevin destroyed him." Bryant asked to be  traded, and was to the Raptors because he was sick of putting up with Garnett.

Glen "Big Baby" Davis got his nickname from Garnett. The Celtics were beating the Trail Blazers in 2008, and Garnett was sitting on the bench. He watched his teammates begin to lose the 25 point deficit that was built. He came over to the Team and did his usual routine of yelling, and screaming his head off at them. Glen Davis ended up crying, and received his famous nickname.

Nets' Mason Plumlee had this to say about Kevin Garnett. “Last year he tied (former Nets point guard) Tyshawn Taylor up in some ropes and threw him in the shower. He knew it was coming. Tyshawn can’t be mad because he brought it on himself. I also had rookie duties, got put in my place a couple times. But it was all in good fun.”

All good and fun.. Right?

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