Working in professional sports seems to be an ideal job for fans who are on the outside looking in. Pro athletes who are even moderately talented make over a million dollars per year due to what they can contribute for their teams, and the top-tier performers in their professions are financially set for life (unless they squander their money) before they turn 30-years old. Great athletes and even great coaches who are popular in certain markets also get endorsement deals from a wide variety of companies, advertising agreements that further build up what are already bank accounts filled with money.
Not everybody, however, views working and living in the sports world as being an ideal situation. For some, the pressure that comes from having to perform in front of crowds in the thousands and from being in the public eye 24 hours a day and seven days a week understandably becomes too much. In other cases, individuals who have never truly had to work to be great at that particular sport find that they are not willing to put in the necessary effort to be able to hang with the best of the best. Don't forget about those who learn that sports may not be for them.
Included in this list is a phenomenal basketball player who really only cared about his craft on game days, a man who should be headed to the Hall of Fame at some point down the road. Then, there are the knuckleheads who seemingly cannot get their lives in order despite the fact that they have rare talent that could potentially see them develop into all-time greats. This piece begins with such an athlete, a young man who truly has Hall-of-Fame talent and one who has time and time again failed to understand the rules as it pertains to what he can and cannot put into his body.
10 10. Josh Gordon
9 9. CM Punk
8 8. Allen Iverson
Iverson, one of the best basketball players of his generation, cemented his legacy when he uttered those now famous words:
“If I can't practice, I can't practice man. If I'm hurt, I'm hurt. I mean … simple as that. It ain't about that... I mean it's... It's not about that... At all. You know what I'm saying I mean... But it's...it's easy … to, to talk about... It's easy to sum it up when you're just talking about practice. We're sitting in here, and I'm supposed to be the franchise player, and we in here talking about practice. I mean, listen, we're talking about practice, not a game, not a game, not a game, we talking about practice. Not a game. Not, not … Not the game that I go out there and die for and play every game like it's my last. Not the game, but we're talking about practice, man. I mean, how silly is that?”
7 7. William Gallas
6 6. Adam Dunn
J.P. Ricciardi was serving as general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays in the summer of 2008 when, during a radio segment, a fan asked him about Toronto potentially acquiring Adam Dunn. Ricciardi, as you will see, was not considering making a deal:
5 5. Kyle Shanahan
4 4. Nicolas Anelka
Anelka made headlines in 2013 when he performed the controversial hand gesture known as the “quenelle” while playing for West Bromwich Albion, but it is in incident that occurred in 2010 that lands him here. The striker was featuring for France at the 2010 FIFA World Cup when coach Raymond Domenech criticized Anelka at halftime of a match. Anelka did not take those words kindly, reportedly responding by saying “Go f*** yourself you son of a w***e” to his coach. That outburst got Anelka an 18-match ban from international play.
3 3. Larry Sanders
2 2. Mario Balotelli
1 1. Andre Agassi
Agassi will forever go down as one of the best men's tennis players of his generation, but it was not until after he retired and he penned his autobiography that fans saw just how much he disliked the sport from time to time during his famous career. “I play tennis for a living even though I hate tennis, hate it with a dark and secret passion and always have,” is a transcript taken from that book. Agassi has, in interviews that have occurred since that book was released, somewhat walked back those comments, instead calling his relationship with tennis one that was “hate-love.”
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