Everyone has that one infuriating co-worker that gets under their skin. The one co-worker that always knows exactly what to say to irritate and antagonize you, and no matter how hard you try to get along with them-they still manage to piss you off every single day.
Playing professional basketball in the NBA is no different. Certain players don't get along with other players and general managers and coaches don't see eye to eye on a trade or agree on how many minutes a player should be getting, blah blah blah. Everyone has someone that they don't get along with and it's no secret that not everyone in the NBA is a a great teammate-but there are some guys that take the cake. There are certain NBA players who have played in the NBA and no matter where they go they are disliked by their teammates.
No matter how good of a player they were or how popular they were with fans, their teammates could not stand being around them. Another name for this list could be "The Top 20 A**holes in NBA history," but I digress.
The NBA is league that is driven more by individual star power than any of the other major sports. It makes sense. The NFL and NHL have their players covered up in helmets and full body equipment, while baseball players are mostly isolated and stationary most of the game.
In the NBA, only five guys take the court for a team at a time. Their faces exposed, leading to more marketing opportunities for the athletes. With that, individualism stems and sometimes it's a detriment to the team.
Check out the Top 20 Worst Teammates in NBA History.
20 LeBron James
You wouldn't naturally come to the conclusion that a guy who averages 6.9 assists per game during his career (all while dropping 25+ points a night) would make the list of the NBA's all-time worst teammates, but The King has his flaws.
First, LeBron left his Cleveland Cavalier buddies and teammates in the dark before announcing his departure from Cleveland with his infamous phrase "I'm taking my talents to South Beach." Next, LeBron left Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to go return to Cleveland-where he forced the trade of rookie forward Aandrew Wiggins in return for Kevin Love.
LeBron has openly bashed teammates via social media as he has continuously uses his Twitter account to send covert messages to his teammates regarding their levels of play. Lastly, LeBron has never dismissed the idea of teaming up with best friends Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, and Carmelo Anthony-essentially telling his current teammates that he is bouncing when the time is right.
19 Derrick Rose
It is hard to fault the Chicago kid who has dealt with untimely injury after injury, but at some point Rose has to understand that he is being paid millions of dollars to play, not sit on the sidelines.
Rose also has provided multiple quotes that have put him in the negative spotlight with his teammates, including quotes regarding not wanting to push himself so that he can be able to walk when his son is older, or his premature comments on 2017 free agency already at the beginning of 2016.
There also was the entire debacle in 2013 where Rose was cleared to play by the team's medical staff, and instead of lacing up, Rose chose to watch his teammates lose in the second round of the NBA playoffs to their Eastern Conference rival: the Miami Heat.
18 Allen Iverson
Pound for pound, Allen Iverson is maybe the greatest NBA player ever-however he wasn't the best teammate ever. Iverson was known for skipping practice, not notifying coaches before games that he would need to miss, arriving late for games, and being a bit of a ball hog with the Philadelphia 76ers. Oh and there will always be Iverson's famous rant when he used the word "practice" 20 times in regards to his constantly missing practice. "We talking about practice?"
17 Rasheed Wallace
There are many great records in sports, and many of them will eventually be broken-however Rasheed Wallace's record won't ever be beaten.
In 2000-01, Wallace set the NBA record for most technical fouls in one season. Since then, the NBA has become much more strict on the number of technical fouls a player can receive before having to serve a suspension. Talk about being a bad teammate. Every time that Wallace lost him temper, he cost his team points and possession of the ball.
We love Wallace for the awesome basketball he played with the Portland Trail Blazers and the Detroit Pistons-we also love him for his use of his favorite phrase "Ball don't lie!"
Unfortunately, he wasn't the best teammate.
16 Josh Smith
Josh Smith is not on this list because he is a bad guy or because he did any one thing in particular to annoy a teammate-instead Josh is on this list for his poor shot selection.
How bad is his shot selection? Throughout his career, despite almost always being the most athletic person on the court, Smith chooses to hoist up off line brick after brick from the perimeter. As a small forward that shoots a lot of three pointers and only makes 29% from behind the arc, it is safe to say you aren't a teammate favorite in the locker room.
15 Shaquille O'Neal
Shaq makes this list mostly by association. Kobe didn't like Shaq and Shaq didn't like Kobe. Two players with superstar talent and even bigger egos.
It is a shame that the duo, which is commonly referred to as the best big man-little man combination to ever play in the NBA-couldn't have stuck it out a few more seasons in Los Angeles.
Kobe will make an appearance much later on this list, as Shaq is far lesser a culprit of being a bad teammate as Mr. Bryant.
14 Gilbert Arenas
Gilbert Arenas is a classic example of an NBA star that allowed non basketball reasons to remove him from playing the game that he was born to play.
In 2004-2007 Arenas had season scoring averages of 25.5, 29.3, and 28.4 points per game. He was essentially the best point guard in the NBA during the prime of his career. Unfortunately after an incident of bringing guns to an NBA arena, and then also allegedly pulling a gun out on teammate Javaris Crittenton over a gambling situation, Arenas' career was blemished and he was seen as a negative player to have around the NBA.
13 Ricky Davis
We all remember Rick Davis for being two things: athletic and stupid.
Davis put together a few strong scoring seasons early in his career, but it isn't too hard to score in bunches when you shoot every time you catch the ball. There wasn't a shot that Ricky Davis didn't like. In fact, Davis once even attempted a shot as his own basket just for the chance to get a 10th rebound and secure a triple double.
Being selfish is a sure fire way to land a spot on this list.
12 Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard never turned into the mature, dominating big man that everyone hoped he would become. Instead he remains the childish center who laughs after missed free throws and smiles no matter how poorly he and his team are playing.
Howard left the Orlando Magic in hopes of playing in a city with a larger market, which he did by joining the Lakers, but sadly while in L.A., he teamed up with another player that made this list: the black mamba.
11 J.R. Smith
Since joining the Cleveland Cavaliers Smith has mellowed down and even begun to play pretty solid defense, but this wasn't always the case.
Early in Smith's career while playing in Denver, Smith was a complete hot head that only played on one side of the ball. Smith shot every time he got the ball, for the most part he was a very accurate shooter, but Smith did not get along with his teammates and drove his head coach George Karl crazy.
10 Rajon Rondo
Rondo did win a championship with the Boston Celtics in 2008, but it was not before him and his teammates and head coach Doc Rivers had some serious conversations about the guards attitude. Luckily Rondo's talent was able to lead the Celtics to that title, because his luck after that season greatly depreciated.
After Boston, Rondo joined the Dallas Mavericks. While with the Mavs, Rondo argued constantly with head coach Rick Carlisle on who should be calling the plays for the team, and during the 2015 NBA playoffs Rondo gave up on his team and essentially faked an injury so he could stop playing with the team.
The Mavericks promptly let Rondo walk, no surprise there.
9 Kevin Garnett
KG aka The Big Ticket was as fierce a competitor as the NBA has ever seen. KG could attack the rim, shoot jump shots, block shots, and trash talk his ass off. Unfortunately, the trash talking didn't only happen to opposing team, but his teammates also received Garnett's tongue lashings.
Former teammate Wally Szczerbiak came out and stated that Garnett would often go off on tirades at his teammates while in Minnesota. Not something that would make you wanted around in any locker room.
8 DeMarcus Cousins
Affectionately know as "Big Cuz," DeMarcus Cousins has been a big pain in virtually everyone's ass in Sacramento. It is well documented that Cousins and his teammates do not get along, and even worse, Cousins and head coach George Karl have both spoken openly on their desire to have the other be released multiple times this season.
Going forward, Cousins will need to mature and be more liked in the locker room if he hopes to fulfill his destiny as being the last true center in the NBA.
7 Metta World Peace
Even before the Malice at the Palace with the Indiana Pacers in 2004, Artest was a disturbed player. Artest has admitted to drinking Hennessy during the halftime of games with the Lakers, or doing drugs right before games. Metta has most recently come out and admitted to having mental health issues that he is working to solve, but it may be a little to late, as his actions have landed him the no.7 spot on this list.
6 Michael Jordan
Just because he is the GOAT, doesn't necessarily mean he was the best teammate ever. Horace Grant and Will Perdue, both former teammtes of MJ, have told a story of MJ punching Perdue one day during practice.
As Grant tells it:
“Our practices were so intense because Phil [Jackson], the mastermind behind everything, would put M.J. on the second team. Me and Scottie [Pippen] would be on the first team. And then, being competitive like [Jordan] was, man ... unreal, unreal. And, you know, of course, punches got thrown, many fights. I’m just so happy that social media wasn’t [around] back then.” [...]
Although Jordan is a legend, some of his actions sound like he wasn't the GOAT teammate.
5 D'Angelo Russell
Russell broke serious bro code by releasing video of him speaking with teammate Nick Young where on the video Young tells Russell about his many different sexual affairs he is having behind fiancee Iggy Azalea's back.
If sabotage was Russell's goal, he certainty achieved it, however not in the way he might have planned. The Lakers have reportedly banned together against Russell and have essentially placed him in the team doghouse.
4 Delonte West
Talking to a teammates girlfriend is one thing. However sleeping with their mother is a whole different ball game, AND sleeping with the mom of the best player in the NBA, well that takes some balls Mr. West.
LeBron's learning of West sleeping with his mother was rumored to be the reason behind LeBron James' horrific play in the 2010 NBA playoffs, and the aftermath was James leaving the team to join the Miami Heat.
Along with being named #4 on this list, Delonte West also is receiving the #1 Douche Bag award as well.
3 Stephon Marbury
Stephon Marbury didn't become a horrific teammate until he joined the New York Knicks, aka the team that Stephon Marbury killed.
Marbury came to New York with the ability to score. In fact, Marbury was always a scorer in the NBA, however his 19.3 points per game career average aren't enough to forgive him for his dumb decisions.
While with the Knicks, Marbury and head coach Isiah Thomas constantly argued about Marbury's attitude. In fact, while on a plane trip, Marbury and Thomas got in a physical altercation after Thomas threatened to take Marbury out of the starting lineup.
In 2008 the Knicks organization banned Marbury from entering the arena or attending any games. If that doesn't show that you are a bad teammate, I don't know what will.
2 Latrell Sprewell
Here is a list of the things Sprewell has done to land him the #2 spot on this list.
- Got in a fist fight with Golden State Warrior Teamate Jerome Kersey.
- Complained that his $21 million dollar contract was not enough to feed his family.
- Shot the basketball everytime he had the ball and could see the rim.
- Threatened to kill his coach P.J. Carlesimo
Do I need to continue?
Sprewell was a heck of a player, but also a nut job. It was no surprise that his actions eventually derailed his NBA career.
1 Kobe Bryant
Having a farewell tour that lasts an entire season seems rather selfish, but winning five NBA titles and revolutionizing the shooting guard position in the modern NBA might be enough to warrant such a tour, but Kobe has done some other things to land himself on this list.
Kobe has been known to taunt and yell at younger and less talented teammates in practice and even worse, in his last few seasons, Bryant's teammates have admitted that Bryant rarely ever practices at all, and instead shows up well rested to games and chucks up highly contested shot after shot while shooting a low percentage.
On top of that, Kobe was the impetus behind the forcing of Lakers management to get rid of Shaq in order for Kobe to be the star of the franchise. Instead of retiring one ring short of MJ, if Kobe could have simply managed to be a better teammate-maybe he would be retiring with more rings than Michael.