The egos involved in sports often get out of control leading to drama between various athletes. Each sport has its own fair share of issues when it comes to the stars having problems with each other. The trouble ranges from serious personal issues causing a rift to petty silliness that comes from the sports aspect of life. Athletes from all sports tend to clash at some point with some of their peers. Most instances of bad blood will end like Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal making peace years after their brutal feud. However, there are some stories of the athletes still hating each other.
We'll look at some of the drama to go down in various sports. These stories will reveal just what caused the beef between each pair of athletes along with the chances of them ever getting on the same page. No one can predict the future, but some athletes just hate each other at the point of no return to peace. Let’s take a trip through the petty side of sports and just how easily conflict can start with no resolution in sight. These are fifteen pairs of athletes you likely didn’t realize had beef with each other.
15 DeMarcus Cousins and Zach Randolph
There has been tension between DeMarcus Cousins and Zach Randolph over the past few years. Randolph is now in Cousins’ old stomping grounds as a member of the Sacramento Kings. Cousins has the reputation of being a bully that has followed him from the Kings to the New Orleans Pelicans. Both men got into it verbally in a recent game before the officials separated.
This wasn’t a normal incident of two NBA players letting their emotions getting the better of them for a few minutes. Randolph trashed Cousins after the game telling the media that “bullies get bullied” in his neighborhood. The desire of Randolph to give Cousins a taste of his own medicine started a rivalry between the two that should get better every time they face. Randolph not backing down and bullying back Cousins may make him the hero of many NBA players.
14 Philip Rivers and Jay Cutler
Philip Rivers and Jay Cutler will likely be remembered as two of the more average quarterbacks of their era. Both guys did solid work, but neither was able to truly become an elite quarterback at the top of the NFL. One other thing that they had in common is that they couldn’t stand each other one bit. Rivers is known for having a temper and he showed it by talking trash at Cutler during a game many years ago.
The two have remained enemies through the years. At one point, Cutler flat out stated that he didn’t like Rivers as a person and has no desire to become friends with him when asked about it. The fact that Cutler has a laid-back personality makes it even more noteworthy that he publicly insulted Rivers.
13 Tony Parker and Brent Barry
A strange incident involving two NBA players developing a hostile relationship featured the friendship of Brent Barry and Tony Parker falling apart. Both men were close friends and often went on double dates. Barry was married, and Parker had a relationship with celebrity actress Eva Longoria. Everything ended when it was revealed that Parker was having an affair with Barry’s wife.
Text messages were discovered between Parker and Mrs. Barry leading to all friendships and relationships ending. Longoria broke up with Parker and the Barry couple decided to get a divorce. Parker and Barry apparently stopped speaking once Brent found out what Tony was doing behind his back. Barry does analyst work for the NBA, but he has not had to pretend to be a buddy of Parker yet.
12 Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent
Most fans remember Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent as being one of the best power hitting duos in the MLB. Bonds was having an iconic run as the home run king of baseball with Kent in the lineup as his best support. Despite both guys being great hitters, they never got along and flat out disliked each other. Bonds and Kent were polar opposites and rarely spoke to each other despite spending months together in the same dugout.
The worst incident between the two saw them almost get into a fight in the dugout at one point when disagreeing about something. Bonds and Kent took a few shots at each in the media. A few reports indicated the team was split into two camps with everyone choosing between Kent and Bonds until the former was traded away.
11 Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry
Everyone knows that Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant don’t get along after Durant joined the Golden State Warriors. However, Westbrook also has a huge problem with Durant’s current point guard teammate Stephen Curry. During a playoff series in 2016, Westbrook laughed at the idea of Curry guarding him effectively on defense.
Curry told the media last season that he believed James Harden deserved the MVP Award over Westbrook to which Russell replied, “Who is he?” to dismiss Steph’s comments. The November win for the Oklahoma City Thunder over Golden State saw Westbrook talk a lot of trash at Curry. Both men want to be the best point guard in the league and can’t stand each other. This would have been a great rivalry, but adding Durant to the mix just makes it more entertaining.
10 Kobe Bryant and Karl Malone
One bizarre forgotten instance of two athletes hating each other features the one season Karl Malone and Kobe Bryant were teammates on the Los Angeles Lakers. Malone joined the team in hopes of finally winning an NBA Championship before falling short in the NBA Finals to the Detroit Pistons. The most memorable action of Malone that season saw him make a pass at Kobe’s wife Vanessa Bryant.
This led to Kobe outing Malone publicly while expressing his anger that a teammate would cross the line that way. Malone still has never apologized and challenged Bryant to a fight a few years ago if Kobe was still upset about the “flirting” that went on. The bad blood is still there, and we'll likely never see them in the same place again.
9 Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson
The relationship between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson has been confusing for two decades since both men started to dominate the golf world. Woods changed the entire culture of golf by making it cool to the mainstream audience. The entire sport benefited from the popularity of Woods before his downfall. Mickelson was the second biggest star as an extremely talented golfer that many people related to.
Both Woods and Mickelson would battle countless times over the years to prove they were the top. The caddies of each man would take shots at the other golfer. It is well known that caddies usually talk the trash that golfers don’t want to get the blame for. In recent years, they have been complimentary of each other trying to prove they are buddies, but there’s no proof that they're past the shady relationship of years prior.
8 Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas
The tension between Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas has been going strong for almost three decades. Jordan’s biggest challenge in the early portion of his career was trying to dethrone Thomas’ Detroit Pistons during their “Bady Boys” era. Detroit would play very physical basketball and often took hard shots at Jordan to send a message it would be a tough night for him.
Jordan’s Chicago Bulls finally eliminated the Pistons in 1991, but Thomas led the Pistons in walking off the court before the buzzer sounded refusing to shake hands. The response by Jordan saw him get Isaiah blacklisted from joining the 1992 Dream Team in the Olympics. Clearly, they still can’t stand each other today if you watch Thomas’ broadcasting work. Isiah has stated he thinks LeBron James among a few other names is better than Jordan.
7 Peyton Manning and Mike Vanderjagt
Peyton Manning was a golden boy in the NFL during most of his career. Almost everyone had nothing but positive words to say about Manning as a competitor and a peer. One person that got into a war of words with him was Indianapolis Colts teammate Mike Vanderjagt. It was shocking for a kicker to criticize his team’s superstar quarterback, but he called out Manning for losing a playoff game.
Manning responded in surprising fashion by referring to Vanderjagt as an “idiot kicker” that was “liquored up.” This was an extremely rare case of Manning saying something negative about someone. Peyton usually just let it slide, but this showed his genuine dislike. Both guys continued to play on the same team for a few more seasons. They reportedly rarely spoke to each other and remained enemies.
6 Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters
The Cleveland Cavaliers hoped to build around Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters as their future stars when LeBron James left for the Miami Heat. Both guys were highly talented prospects selected early in the draft. Irving fulfilled his potential and helped Cleveland win an NBA Championship when LeBron returned. Waiters was shipped out for not understanding how to fit his role on a title contender.
Irving reportedly didn’t like playing with Waiters one bit due to his selfish of jacking up shots rather than moving the ball around. Waiters confirmed he felt the same way this past summer when the news broke that Kyrie wanted to get traded away from the Cavaliers. Miami was one of the teams on Irving’s desired list. Waiters chimed in publicly stating there was already an “alpha male” on the Heat and he should go elsewhere. As silly as his comments were, they showed how much he dislikes Irving.
5 Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez
The combination of Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez helped the New York Yankees win the 2009 World Series together. Both legends played together for many years following a bit of tension when they were opponents. Rodriguez insulted Jeter in the media regarding why he deserved a bigger contract as a free agent when both guys played shortstop.
The tension between the two existed for many years until forced to play together. Rodriguez and Jeter recently appeared together in an extremely awkward interview on CNBC. Jeter looked visibly uncomfortable sitting next to Rodriguez trying to answer questions. Dan Le Batard reported that Jeter was furious when he was given the last minute information about A-Rod being part of it. The beef still exists after all these years.
4 Richard Sherman and Tom Brady
Two of the few household names in the NFL right now are Richard Sherman and Tom Brady. Both men happen to dislike each other in real life due to the competition off the field. Sherman is very outspoken as a superstar on defense for the Seattle Seahawks. The golden boy persona of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has rubbed him the wrong way given how they are each treated by the media.
Sherman went up to Brady after a regular season win and shouted, “you mad, bro?” in his face showing no respect. The trash talking from Sherman continued every time the two played against each other following this. Brady took a subtle shot at Sherman claiming he exhibits a lack of class and respect. Sherman has claimed Brady isn’t the person everyone thinks he is and the two will likely have beef until their careers end.
3 Joe Montana and Steve Young
The San Francisco 49ers lucked into having two legendary quarterbacks back to back with Joe Montana and Steve Young. Montana was the Superstar quarterback when Young joined the team having them work together. The competitive nature of both men wanting the same job saw things get ugly between them. Young and Montana both refused to trust each other, and their relationship has been described as having tension and distrust.
Montana would get traded away and Young received the job of starting quarterback. Young did a good job once Montana moved on and he was able to take over without any tension on the roster. Both quarterbacks reportedly still have tension today with an uncomfortable relationship. 49ers fans adore them both due to the great memories associated with both, but neither man likes the other.
2 Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras
Two tennis stars of the 90s are remembered for their dominance aka Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras. Both guys tried to prove they were the absolute best in their sport and each deserved to be considered among the all-time greats. Agassi had a flashy style that added to his personality within the game. Sampras had less charisma but proved his worth on the athletic side of things.
Their different approaches to the game led to some tension over the years. Agassi took some shots at Sampras in his book referring to him as being a dull robot that lacked inspiration needed to take the sport to the next level. Sampras was insulted and said he wanted to face him man to man to discuss this. Both guys have tried to convince fans that they don’t hate each other in recent years, but everything says otherwise.
1 Marvin Harrison and Terrell Owens
The argument can be made that Marvin Harrison and Terrell Owens are the two greatest wide receivers of the 90s. It is a given that they are among the two best of all-time. However, both guys have nothing in common and treated the game differently. Harrison was relatively quiet and treated the game as a professional when working with Peyton Manning as his quarterback throughout his career.
Owens did the opposite by having hostile relationships with quarterbacks and trying to be the big story with his entertaining touchdown celebrations. Both men have taken shots at each other in recent years regarding the Hall of Fame. Harrison stated that he never worried about Owens splitting votes with him as he knew he was the better player and he wasn’t sure Owens deserved to be inducted. Owens has stated he was better and even implied Harrison was overrated in various interviews.